Archives for posts with tag: celebrating the New Year

How do you know who you are, specifically? Is it a question you easily ask and answer, or does the “who are you, really?” question mess with your head? I suppose I revisit this question rather frequently, and with little stress, these days, and sometimes with some surprise (as in “Is this who I am?”). I’ve changed a lot as a human being over a lifetime. (You’ve probably changed some, too – haven’t you?)

When I think about who I am, who I have been, and the journey between those points (and, frankly, extending well beyond my current understanding of self, into the murky unknown of the future), I prefer to rest comfortably on what I know of myself, personally, understood in the context of my own values, my own experience, and my own understanding of the world. There is value in hearing the perspective of others, and honest self-reflection on the words and impressions of others can be an eye-opener worthy of deep listening and consideration…but… at the end of the day (any day), the greater value is in self-knowledge, self-awareness, and an internal dialogue that is frank without cruelty, I find. It is a literal truth that no one knows me like I know myself.

How do I know if my internal dialogue is sufficiently honest? I guess only by being honest with myself about that, too. There are choices involved. Awareness is a good starting point on any journey.

Why does this matter today? Well, I guess because (to me) it matters every day…but… tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day will (if all goes well) follow it fairly closely. 🙂 I celebrate New Year’s as a simple enough turning of a calendar page, and I celebrate it as the end of the winter holiday season, and also as another opportunity to begin again. No “resolutions” – change doesn’t work for me quite that way. I’ll sit down with myself, reflect on the year that has ended, consider the year to come, and look at the journey I’ve made in life so far. I’ll look ahead to destinations I hope to reach, successes I hope to achieve (larger or small, it’s not really about scale, more about trajectory), and changes I hope to make for myself to improve my quality of life, or to be more the woman I most want to be. I’ll consider the things I didn’t reach along last year’s journey, without diminishing myself or treating myself poorly. I’ll give myself the opportunity to learn and grow from both my successes and my failures. No shortcuts. No self-deception. No looking away from the harder moments, or less pleasant truths, and also willfully and eagerly embracing the lovely moments, the delights, the wonders, and the joys.

I use an assortment of tools, tasks, and practices to consider and reconsider the year behind me, the year to come, and the woman in the mirror poised between them. I spend time writing. I update my “Life in Weeks” calendar and reflect on how I have spent my time, and what I can do differently to better meet my long-term needs in life. I meditate. I meditate on questions I may not previously have thought to ask… sometimes it helps to have a tool for that. I take a walk along one path or another, sometimes new, sometimes more familiar. More than anything else, though, it is a matter of taking the time for constructive self-reflection, and placing enough value on that time to fully respect it, to set boundaries, and to take care of the woman in the mirror. Once a year? I definitely have time for me once a year. 🙂 Over time it has proven to be a worthy investment in self, and so I continue the tradition year after year.

Today I will get the housekeeping out of the way for the weekend, run errands, do chores. I’ll treat myself exceptionally well by preparing in advance for deeply satisfying celebratory self-reflection and leisure to come. No discomfort, no guilt, no reluctance; I enjoy this time I spend with myself each year, and invest some effort in making it a moment worth savoring. Other people, other celebrations, this is me, doing New Year’s my way. I’m okay with that; it’s enough. 2017? Bring it!

It is some moments after a pastel frosty dawn. The sky is still pink with it, lightening to a chilly gray-blue. Winter. A new year unfolding, each new day its own, and I have not spent much of it writing.  That is not a complaint; my time has been well spent.

My coffee this morning is smooth and sweet on my tongue. The house is quiet. I feel content.

I celebrated the New Year with an interestingly 3-dimensional, very hands-on, sort of meditation; craft work, building, as a physical metaphor for investing in myself, of being the change, of building a future aligned to my values, that supports my needs over time. I assembled a desk, re-arranged my space, and ‘moved in again’. I did each activity as mindfully as I was able, which was ‘mostly’, investing care, commitment, and love in assembling the desk, the chair, moving a bookcase, arranging ‘things’, eliminating clutter…  I can’t own the idea, it developed during a conversation with my partners about my challenges making my time really count for me.  I have not found it easy.  We discussed the nature of the challenges, and one partner suggested – and had before – a more dedicated writing space (I generally cozy up on the sectional, and perch my laptop in my lap). There was real wisdom in many of the observations and suggestions, and the outcome was a shopping trip out to Ikea, and a New Year’s Day project.  It was a powerful experience to build a solution in full awareness, mindfully, and with great care – as a treat for me.  It brought me face to face with the reality that I rarely treat myself with the same quality of good treatment that I am inclined to deliver to my loved ones. In the abstract, I had thought I was past that. lol.

The changes result in some small amount of upheaval, of course. These days I have some understanding why that is, and it didn’t linger longer than needed to get my attention to the matter, and I take time to be in the changed space frequently to chill and be, allowing it to return to a level of familiarity that feels comfortable. I have been sleeping very well since I moved the bookcase, and put the desk in my room. The room seems much quieter.

It is always interesting to rethink a space, and configure or use it differently. Having made these changes, like elaborate dominoes others now seem necessary, and the tight efficient arrangement of objects in a small space will require a high level of attention of detail and tidiness to stay beautiful and cozy, but last night when I stepped into my room at the end of the evening, it felt rather like a homecoming in a very visceral and supportive way.

The new year is off to a good start, for me.

Another lovely metaphor, eggs on a leaf in my aquarium. Happy New Year.

Another lovely metaphor, eggs on a leaf in my aquarium. Happy New Year.