The most interesting Christmas gift of the year came in five boxes.
More exactly, the most interesting gift was five boxes.
Each one is marked:
The idea is that these are boxes to put all your troubles in.
The Five Second box is the biggest. This is where you put a lot of problems. Someone wasn't nice to you. You got cut off in traffic. There was a loud noise. Most of your problems can go in this box, put away, and be forgotten.
The next is the Five Minute Box. It's pretty big too because it's got to hold all the things that you are putting off: notes to write, calls to answer, bulbs to change, laundry to pick up. All the things that are weighting you down and making you feel guilt because you're putting them off. Most of them only take about five minutes to fix.
The Five Hour box holds some serious problems: missed flights, lost stuff, burnt meals, headaches, complex conversations all go in this box.
And then that's just about it for troubles.
The Five Day box holds things you want to learn, to fix, to accomplish. A work week is five days. But so is a creative week and a holiday week. Learn to draw faces, learn the basics of an instrument, plant a garden... you can learn to weld and build a bicycle from scratch in five days in the right setting. There are very few things you can't start, or stop, in five days.
In Five Years? You can change just about anything, even the world. Get a degree. Change careers. Write a book. Start a business. Build a body. Train to run marathons. Have a decent sized family. Walk around the world. Change the government. There's little a person can't do or change with five years.
So that's it. Done. A place for everything. All the clutter of all your troubles sorted. Now you can take the biggest box, the five second box, and throw it away. Right now. You don't need any of that stuff. Then get down to the five minute box and start chunking at it. It'll only take... five minutes. Keep the five hour box handy 'cause that's where you put the regular stuff of life. And find a special place for the little five day and five year box, and keep them open where you can see them. These problems are actually all your opportunities and they will form the shape of things to come in 2016. It's going to be great.
Writing about life, citizenship, and Nova Scotia.