Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tallying The Scorecard

I began my 2011 blog posts with a story entitled “I Resolve”.

In this story I listed over 30 resolutions that I hoped to accomplish over the year that has just past. Let’s take a look and see how I did…

I began my list stating that… “In 2011 I resolve to continue to find ways to make this world a better place for future generations.”

The best way - that I can think of - to make this world a better place is by sharing positive inspiration that leads to positive actions. In April, I shared the inspirational artworks of The Peacebus at an Earthday event and during the day I planted several trees.

Next on my list was this statement… “I resolve to understand where my food comes from so that I can make choices that will protect endangered forestlands.”

I was referring mostly to the horrors of McDonalds and my goal was to inspire others to boycott this evil franchise. Imagine my surprise when, last summer, I noticed that several of my old Peacebus students had created a Facebook group entitled “McCruelty – We’re Hating It!” and I was invited to join!!! Now, I’m sending this invitation to you to join our group…

In this group, we share stories about how to maintain a healthy diet by not eating fast foods and links are shared to news stories about how the McDonalds industry is beginning to crumble in other parts of the world!!!!

My next resolution had to do with maintaining my home to make it a better place…

… and I spent most of the summer doing just that! Now I have a garage roof that doesn’t leak.

Further down on my list I resolved to… “inspire children to be artful and creative.”

I think that I have accomplished this in more than just one way! For 3 months the students of The Peacebus and I worked together to create a total of 63 artworks inspired by thoughts of peace, animals and monochromatic colour schemes. The end result was this beautiful collage of the Earth in space surrounded by the Sun and the Universe.

Jeanne Sauve elementary school allowed me to have an artful celebration in their gymnasium and afterwards the students and I donated this artwork to the London Children’s Health Foundation.

Next, I resolved to… “share inspiration with the friends I have made on Facebook.”

I do this all the time, so I have easily accomplished this resolution. My Facebook highlight happened in September, when I started a new, fun, artful and educational group entitled, “Turtle Book Ink”. Again, I’m extending an invitation for all of you to join…

People from around the world are sharing pictures and stories about the turtles that they love! We’ve had a few fun contests with really cool prizes. People have been posting petitions to save turtles from harm. I even asked the students who ride The Peacebus to share their artistic talents and one young girl was so inspired that she created over 25 turtle drawings. These drawings, in turn, inspired me to create a special story about one courageous turtle who went on a great adventure. You can read the whole story and see the many beautiful artworks by following this link…

On my resolution list I also stated that I would… “attend community events that celebrate the diversities of my homeland.”

Last spring, I became aware of an American company who came to the part of Southern Ontario – where I grew up – to lie to all the farmers in the area. This company bought out many of the farms and soon became the largest potato producer in Canada! That wasn’t the lie. This spring, the company announced their plans to stop farming potatoes so that they could create North America’s 2nd largest open pit mine!!!

This story is so detailed that I will insist that you learn more by reading this story…

In July, the community of Orangeville, Ontario hosted an information event in the downtown core, to further raise awareness about this critical issue and to raise funds to fight the Highlands Corporation. I was in attendance!

This debate is still in process and I will invite you all to learn more and to support this cause by joining our Facebook group…

One of the easiest resolutions for me to keep was to… “appreciate the beauty of Nature.”

I do this every single day!!!! This is just one of the many arted photos that I took to capture the elegance, fury and majesty of our Earth and its ever changing weather patterns.

Next on my list was… “I resolve to maintain my sense of humour in response to environmental issues.”

To accomplish this, I continued to post many environmental cartoons in my Facebook album entitled, “The Lighter Side of Doomsday!”

One of my favourite resolutions was to… “grow more flowers in my gardens.”

Just look at all the flowers filling this photograph!!!! This is my front garden and it is dedicated to flowers. I dug this garden two years ago and last year I had a bumper crop!

“I resolve to appreciate and celebrate the accomplishments of others,” was also on my list. A noble resolution indeed!

I can think of many instances when I accomplished this goal, but none stand out on my mind more than when my lovely wife of 17 years gave birth to our son, Devon James Kogelheide!!!!

Now, I’ll easily be able to accomplish this resolution every single day, as I watch my beautiful boy, grow to wiggle and giggle his way through life!!!!

I love music! Especially music that bangs the beat for universal peace!! So, it is fitting that I made this resolution to… “attend great Rock’N’Roll concerts that fill my heart with waves of electric light.”

What better way of keeping my resolution than by going on a 3-day mini-holiday - for my birthday present - to Toronto to see my favourite band U2!!!!

I like to make my resolutions fun to accomplish. Like… “I resolve to drink locally manufactured beer with old high school friends around a bon-fire.”

Well… this resolution fell a little short. Yes, I was able to drink locally manufactured beer with old high school friends, but this year our gathering was at home where we couldn’t have a bon-fire. Almost got this one! Better luck this summer!

Also on my list was… “I resolve to take a picture of you taking a picture of me taking a picture of you.”

Again… I fell a little short of accomplishing this goal, but I almost got it! In the end I got a picture of my dad looking into my camera as I got ready to take a photo…

… of my whole family sitting by the Christmas tree!

Well… that about covers most of the resolutions from my 2011 list and you can see that I was able to accomplish almost all of my goals. Although many of my resolutions were created in fun and were quite easy to realize, I’m most proud of the ones that were hard to define, yet were the most satisfying to be a small part of… even when that small part was a lot of hard work!!!

All in all, it would be hard for me not to say that 2011 was the greatest year of my life… and even though that is a very bold statement I am confident that the best is still to come!

Yeah!!!!! It’s here!!!! Bring on 2012!!!!



Sue said...

Hi Jim,


What a wonderful year 2011 was for you & your family. Thanks for sharing & inspiring. I am surely in need of some positive role modeling & need re-energizing.

Your accomplishments give me hope & a few ideas.

I do hope for us all that we continue to be active in a positive way & enjoy even a greater year to come.

Congratulations on all your accomplishments & especially on that new baby boy. What tremendous gifts you have received!

Much Love & PEACE from Florida,

Jim said...

thanks sue!!!!

wishing you a positive and inspiring 2012


krasnimeanzred said...

.. so cool workz done, congratz! blessed new year 2012 i wish U!;) ..

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