It is vital that people count their blessings to appreciate what they possess without having to go through its actual loss.
As the decades roll by I certainly rue the loss of some of the things, people, places and experiences I once knew. Some of the things I lost were things I had to leave behind due to my vagabond life. Others were things I let go of foolishly. People sometimes discard other people as if they were worn out bedroom slippers. I wish I hadn't been so discarded, but it was someone's choice and I have come to live with it graciously. Today I am realizing there are things I can let go of. There are books I used to feel so attached to I never wanted to be away from but that now don't interest me much any more. There was music that I thought was vital to my life which I have since outgrown. I feel comfortable about letting things go and settling for the things I really cherish. Most of those things have been with me all my life. Some of them are tangibles, like my Shakespeare, and some are intangibles, like faith, hope, forward thinking, the knowledge that there are things out there that really exist but that I haven't discovered yet.
Then there are the people. I have discarded a few in my time. Those were mostly people who began to express qualities that I found unacceptable to my heart. In a few cases I went away because someone wanted me to go away. But I have been the old bedroom slipper to others, many times. I just accept that now. It's heartbreaking, but as Gertrude Stein wrote "Before the fires of friendship died, friendship died." That's what makes it so difficult.
But then I think about the friends I have now. There aren't very many but almost all of them are people I have known for many years, in some cases many decades, and they are still there. Isn't that a remarkable thing?
There is a big birthday party for Janice and her friends and family.
A lot of people have come to it. The list includes Alice, Bob, Cathy and Charlie, Donna, Eugene, George and Janet, Lucinda, Mark, Nancy, Olivia, Rose, Ruth and Sam, Terry and good old Will.
Many of them have brought gifts.
1. A small package wrapped in white with a silver bow, Looks like it might have come from a jewelry store.
2. A medium sized rectangular box, wrapped in blue with a red ribbon, might be a book.
3. A large flat package in simple brown wrapping with a strings tied around it and a card stuck under the string. Some important documents maybe.
4 A large box wrapped in a many colored paper with a flower design on it. I wonder what that is.
5. Another rectangular box, thicker than the other one, beautifully wrapped in a gold paper with a black ribbon finished off in a perfect bow. Another book? Or a few books?
6. Hard to hide the plant sitting on the floor with green paper wrapped around it and some circular object at the base with a green plastic thing peeking out.
7. A larger rectangular box, fairly thick and light, looks like it might be clothes.
8 A square box in a striped blue and yellow paper wrapping, on top is a pretty red bow.
9. One very large box, apart from the rest, big enough to hold any number of electronic things. It's wrapped in Muslin.
10. A medium sized circular package, inside a bag, with a store name on it, which has been taped shut.
11. Another very large package, not in a box, but completely covered over with a wrapper left over from Christmas. A card is taped to the side of it.
Your assignment is to decide, in your opinion, which package Janet should open up first. Please leave the number of your choice on my email firstname.lastname@example.org