Archives for posts with tag: happy new year

The last day of 2020. There’s no point arguing that, and unless we abruptly change calendars, there’s no turning back now; the year is ending. 🙂 I’m okay with that.

This is a season of change. There are choices and plans to make. There are past mistakes to contemplate, to learn from, to avoid in the future. There are future opportunities (and pitfalls) ahead, on which to build still further into the future. My results will surely vary. There will be verbs involved. Practices to practice. Choices with surprising outcomes, upon which to reflect further. It seems like there is almost always “further” to go.

This blog, this humble instrument of expression, these handfuls (fistfuls? bucketfuls?) of words have been incredibly helpful for me, along this strange journey of healing and growth, as I head toward being the woman – the human being – I most want to be. I sip my coffee, flavored with a bit of the buttered rum batter I made this morning, for later this evening, when my Traveling Partner and I toast the new year together. It turned out pretty good, and I’m pleased with the flavors. Pretty good in coffee, too. 😀

I started this blog on January 8th, 2013, as I teetered on the edge of life’s most final decision; whether to go on living. (Breathe. This is all about hope and promise and continuation – it’s not a sad tale.) Since then,

I’ve published 2232 posts here.

I’ve received 10,020 spam comments (blocked by Akismet).

I’ve received 1060 legitimate comments from readers. (Thank you for reading.)

2914 days have passed.

11,304 views of my page were recorded.

When I look closer, I see that some of my posts are hundreds of times more popular than all the others… by far the most popular (in the history of my blog) is “Be My Valentine? How About I Be My Own Valentine?“. It’s followed closely by my reading list. The Parable of the Barking Dog, and The Parable of Poison have also been very popular. When I re-read these, myself, I still find value in them, and room to grow as a person from reflecting on observations made long ago. (That’s sort of how writing works, I guess. lol)

This year, the most popular posts still include my reading list and The Parable of the Barking Dog. Beyond those, the favorites seem to reflect the times rather a lot. Reflections on this journey-of-self, musings about finding balance in challenging times. Thoughts on the passage of time, and shifting perspective, on a birthday.

I take a look at the recorded search terms that took people to my blog this year (it’s always worth a giggle):

…”Don’t be a dick light”? What does that mean?

I find myself mildly frustrated that I can’t see the “unknown search terms” – I bet they are interesting. lol I take another look – search terms over “all time” (I mean, since this blog started, right?)… It is an interesting look at what drives traffic to my blog, and maybe why.

I’m clearly not the only fan of Rick & Morty. I’m interested in what it is about “inspirational word” searches that bring people here… I hope they find something worthy to sustain them on their journey.

2020 has been a wild ride – one of the most peculiar seeming years of my adult life, as far as I can recall. Right up there with 1981 (joined the Army), 1989 (the fall of the Berlin Wall), and 2010 (it’s complicated). It’s not that other years don’t stand out as significant, it’s just that these were “big years” in some harder to pin down way (for me). 2020? Monster year. Plague (well, pandemic). Election year. Black Lives Matter. Australia on fire. California and Oregon on fire. Presidential impeachment. Climate change slowly stops being debated and starts being acknowledged. The “Me Too” movement. RBG died. My Traveling Partner and I bought a home. I mean… yeah. It’s been a big year. I’m glad it’s over.

What about you? Have you taken a moment to reflect on times past? What will you do with the year ahead? Will you fulfill a dream? Reach a goal? Will you persist? Will you let go of old baggage in favor of a new direction in life? Will you change the world?

…I guess we don’t know until we begin again. 🙂 See you in 2021. 😀

Although I had intended to write over the long New Year’s holiday…

…I didn’t.

Interesting break from a great many routines. I took time to live life, to reflect on this life I live, to question my choices, gently, to consider new choices to come, to contemplate the path ahead, to let go of expectations, and to clarify assumptions. Productive lifetime in the company of friends, and my Traveling Partner. Solo moments, shared moments, moments of adventure, emotional moments, and a handful of moments of epiphany, all mingling with… moments of pure, lived lifetime. It was lovely.

It was also clearly missing something, but until the moment that 2018 expired, it was less than ideally clear to me what I thought might be missing…

…We really needed a piñata. Seriously. One that could be just beat to fucking death, and explode in a shower of trinkets, mementos, sweets, intoxicants, bits of wisdom gathered through the year, money, glitter and confetti. lol No kidding. I am considering making this a new New Year’s tradition at home. A piñata. 🙂 Something more lasting than a kiss, more visceral than a ball drop, a more powerful metaphor, something a bit physical. 😀 Who’s with me on this?

All of the routines that will remain routine have recommenced. A few got cut from the roster, being less than helpful, or too complicated, or driving more stress than they manage… changes over time mean choices over time, too.

Speaking of time, welcome to 2019. It’s time to begin again. What will you do to save the world?

The world awaits your choices. Your results may vary.

…Unless you are ready to choose change…unless you use verbs…unless you begin again. And again. And yet again…until the thing about which you propose to be resolved becomes a quality about who you actually are. Just saying. It’s said better here, perhaps. Or here. Or here.  All of them are fairly easily summarized – you can choose change, it does require verbs. There are no shortcuts, and there are no excuses.

Sometimes it feels like an uphill climb.

Sometimes it feels like an uphill climb. There are unexpected obstacles. 

The most frustrating thing about ‘New Year’s resolutions’ is that they so rarely result in real change (for many people – your results may vary). The ‘why’ of that is so simple; there are verbs involved, and a requirement that our intention, our will, and our actions align to result in change. No verbs? No change. I can want to lose weight, intend to lose weight, and make a good plan to reach a reasonable goal; if I do not practice the practices that get the desired result, I will not lose weight – and the frustration and disappointment of personal failure can so easily (and thoughtlessly) be transmuted to emotion-driven over-consumption of unneeded calories. Bummer. A lot of things work that way; feelings of futility and frustration easily result in a level of ‘giving up’ that results in not only not making the desired change, but even over-indulging the undesirable behavior. Huge bummer.

It’s not easy to stick with a commitment to change, whether the change involved is quitting smoking, losing weight, or giving up being a colossal psychotic raging bitch 24/7 to people you say you love; the nature of the change itself is almost irrelevant to the success or failure of the endeavor. How much you want it doesn’t have much to do with whether you will succeed or fail, either; the most earnest heartfelt desire for change is still simply an emotional experience (although one that can be leveraged for motivation, still just a feeling). Add to that the discouragement of loved ones in our support system being less than ideally encouraging – or frankly skeptical of success – and it can seem an insurmountable roadblock to change, just having emotions at all! Harsh – we’re so human! How do we get past all that? I don’t actually have an easy answer there; I begin again when I ‘fail’, and use the opportunity to learn and grow. There may be an easier answer, but I haven’t found it – and at this point, I’m not looking for easy answers. I’m content with questions… and verbs.

Go ahead. Choose change. Make a resolution. Be the person you most want to be in 2016! It may not be ‘easy’. You may fail – you may fail a lot. Incremental change over time is a real thing, though, and we do become what we practice – no kidding, that’s real, too (and true of behaviors both nurturing and damaging). Begin again. Start over. And again after that. Use a verb – use a lot of verbs – exert effort fearlessly; all you have in this lifetime is this lifetime, itself. Spending an entire lifetime not even making the attempt to be all you most want to be (as a human being) seems pretty… empty. Pointless? Wasted. So…later in January? February? Whenever you find you’ve quit, given up, or stalled – begin again. That’s actually ‘all it takes’ – begin again. Did you fail again? Okay – begin again. Again. And again. It’s the nature of practice to require repetition. 😉

One last bit on this, from a different perspective… Some of you out there could stand to treat your fellow human beings better than you do. (You know who you are, and your neighbors do indeed hear you; the world sees you in action pretty much every day and very few people are actually deceived.) Are you relying on rationalizations and excuses to get a pass for the mistreatment you heap upon your fellow human being? (Hormones, fatigue, alcohol, pain, illness…) Maybe you just feel righteous and justified or entitled. You can choose change, too. You can also refuse to choose change, but you don’t get to choose to avoid responsibility or accountability for your damaging behavior from that moment that your loved ones wake up to the awareness that you are in fact choosing who you are, and choosing to behave in a damaging ways to your loved ones (whether you call it abuse or not). If you have been told that your behavior or language is hurtful and you continue it, you are choosing and your behavior is no longer easily defined as ‘unintended’; it is not an accident, and you did indeed ‘mean to’.  2016 could so easily be the year you choose differently, learn to love, and learn to treat other human beings well. 2016 could also be the year that you don’t choose to behave any differently (sadly this is more likely)… but 2016 could also be the year your loved ones finally wake up to their value as human beings and that they don’t deserve to be mistreated, and don’t have to take it anymore – and walk on, to a life in which they are valued, loved, and treated well. (They are free to choose change, themselves, instead of enduring your abusive vile shifty behavior or mistreatment. 🙂 Just saying; it’s a system that works nicely with adequate use of verbs.)

Practice the practices that take you closer to being the human being you most want to be.

Practice the practices that take you closer to being the human being you most want to be.

So…here it is… the cusp of a new year. As arbitrary as that really is, it is a moment – and you can choose change. Will this be the year you become the person you most want to be? Will you change the world? Will humankind’s global experience improve in your hands? Will you love well? Will you speak kindly? If practice makes perfect, what kind of world are we perfecting in 2016?

In just a few more minutes 2014 will end in my time zone, and a new year will begin. Sometime tomorrow, I’ll take some time for myself and think about what 2014 taught me, and what new understanding of myself I can carry forward to improve the quality of my experience. I’ll take time to consider how I can best take care of me, and to continue to develop a helpful level of emotional self-sufficiency – and what experiences in 2014 tended to make those goals harder to reach, or felt like a step back; I’ll take some other direction in the year to come.

I generally celebrate New Year’s Day by taking time to consider the year ahead, and what I want out of my time, and my limited mortal life force, that seems more worth having that other things. I consider how far I’ve come, where I want to be when the new year ends, and what may tend to take me in that direction on the journey ahead. It’s a fairly private thing, and I’m not the sort to make ‘resolutions’…though I do take the opportunity to recommit my will and intent to the things that new perspective indicate matter most to me now, or have the greatest likelihood of meeting my needs over time. Sometimes I make lists. I write. Sometimes I paint. I meditate – at least, I do these days.

This year I am also hoping for the time (and courage?) to start on my own Life In Weeks chart…a project that excites me, and causes me some small about of vague dread; what might I learn about my life, that I haven’t observed in such broad context? It’s an interesting project for a number of reasons, and I am eager to begin it.

So here we are… 11:57 pm. One year ends, another begins – and it’s really all rather arbitrary anyway; we made the whole thing up. The good news? Since we made it up, we can easily make it so much better. Happy New Year!

The warm glow of the hearth, and the last quiet moments of the year.

The warm glow of the hearth, and the last quiet moments of the year.

I finished 2013 softly. Family, friends, the occasional peek at Facebook, an informal spread of tasty treats, great conversation, good music, some visual entertainment; I didn’t plan, and it wasn’t at all organized, and delightfully it all fell into place quite easily. It wasn’t elaborate. It wasn’t noisy. It wasn’t stressful. At 8 minutes to midnight, guests had already gone, one partner was already headed to bed. The New Year arrived softly, with a hug, a kiss, and soft laughter about being cool with going to bed before midnight.

Moments before midnight, the neighbors reminded the world they exist, with a wasteful display of ordnance fired over the rooftops. I generally don’t mind that sort of thing, myself, but it drives the dogs mad with stress. The household was no longer on the verge of sleep.  The flurry of activity involved with pacifying the startled canines roused the household, put everyone on alert, and delayed sleep a bit.  The house quieted down quickly afterward, and 2013 was over.

It’s a new year.

I woke early, around 4:00 am. The idea of getting up at 4:00 am after going to sleep sometime after midnight didn’t make sense. I went back to sleep. I woke again, around 5:30 am. I made the same decision without really waking up completely.  I finally woke, slowly unfolding to a truly waking consciousness, aware that it was a new day. It was 7:00 am. I could have slept longer… only… 2014!! 😀

My intention was to spend the initial hour or so of this new day, new year, new beginning in solitary contemplation of … stuff.  I’m glad I didn’t set expectations with myself about when, precisely, that might happen. lol.

Today, I’ll be taking some time to consider the New Year, to consider what I want out of my life, how to best become the woman I most want to be, and to set new goals and priorities.  I do it every year, on New Year’s Day. This year, I do it mindfully, with self-compassion, and a foundation of contentment.

Okay, 2014 – let’s see what you’ve got!

No rush... there are 364 days before 2015!

No rush… there are 364 days before 2015!