…a new one begins.
For most of my adult life I’ve taken some time at the end of each year to look back over the year, figure out what worked and what didn’t and think about what I want to do in the upcoming year. I write these things down and try to look at them often during the year. Sometimes I forget what I wrote and when I read it again, I am surprised that some of those things came to pass.
(Written on 11.11.11)
The end of this year finds me leaving behind a long, dark tunnel that I have been walking since the beginning of 2008. When I look back, I am astonished at all that has happened and how far I have come. Even when I finally began to feel like things were getting better towards the end of this year, I was afraid to fully believe it – there was a part of me that was waiting for “something else” to happen that would keep me in my dark place. There is a part of me that is still sort of feeling like that…
As hard as these past years were – and I would NOT want to repeat them – I look back and see what a time of self-discovery, growth, learning, and self-empowerment it was. I am truly a much stronger woman for having gone through that fire. There are things now that I will not give up – I will not go back to how I was before. I have worked hard to be where I am now, I have created very strong and clear boundaries, I have looked deeply and carefully at each of my relationships – especially the relationship I have with myself. I have taken back control of my own life. Knowing that I have accomplished these things and knowing I will never surrender those things again is empowering!
There were events and activities that were immensely healing for me – things that I had no idea would heal me as they did: my garden, swimming again, saying NO to certain things going on in my life, eliminating things (and even people) who drained me of my energy and joy. Doing Project Life was deeply healing as I focused on the ordinary, everyday things and was able to see much of what was GOOD in my life.
An incredibly powerful thing I began doing this past year was asking myself this: what would an empowered woman do? If I were empowered, what kinds of decisions would I make? How would I be? WHO would I be? Then I began to answer those questions one decision at a time.
One of the most important things I did was to STOP feeling obligated: if I could not do something from the fullness of my heart – if it felt like it was something I was doing out of a sense of obligation – I did not do it. It sounds selfish, but it really isn’t. No one benefits from obligation. That act alone restored so much of the energy I had lost pouring myself out for everyone else.
Now when I pour, it comes from the fullness of my overflowing heart – and everyone, including myself, benefits.
I also quit trying to fix everything – other peoples’ problems and even myself. I just tried to “go with the flow” of myself and discovered that while there are parts of myself I would like to change or improve (and I work on those things), there is also a great deal of myself that does NOT need “fixing”. And, let’s be honest, I simply had no business trying to fix anyone else. I have learned how to listen, but remain detached; to be compassionate without stepping in and trying to save anyone.
I have Hope again – it has been such a long time since I felt any hope at all. I try so hard to focus on the positive and to be optimistic, especially here on my blog. But underneath it all there has remained a nagging hopelessness. I have hope again – and that, too, is healing.
I normally wait until the day after Epiphany to “put away Christmas” – however, this year something was urging me to get it done early. I listen closely to my intuition, so I listened to that urging and got all of our Christmas “put away” yesterday. I feel like I have a completely clean slate and there is a HUGE promise waiting for me as I approach 2013.
I have many things planned for myself. Not huge impossible-seeming things. And not much that includes anyone but myself, as I can only control what I choose to do and how I choose to be. I invite others to join me, but I am quite happy if they choose to opt out and I do them alone.
I intend to take my blog in a new direction. I have mentioned before about it being a kind of memoir – I intend to take this more deeply for myself. I intend to make it a place in which I share and record my thoughts, feelings and projects that I have going on during the year, and then print it in book format at the end of the year to put on my shelf. I would have sooooo loved to have a recorded history of my grandmothers and great-grandmothers! I hope that in some place and time, someone will be glad that they had a recorded history of my ordinary everyday life.
I intend to plant flowers in addition to my vegetables, bake more bread, read books that I’ve read before (because so many of them feel like old friends!), do Project Life 2013, paint, create, live my faith and so much more! And, joy of joy, we have grandbaby #4 on the way – the little tatertot should be here sometime in August 2013!
I intend to savor every single bit of this one wild and precious year!
So I leave behind 2012 and step into 2013 with a brand new feeling of hope, love overflowing, abundance, gratitude and joy. I am excited and can’t wait to see what this year brings to this hopeful, stronger, bolder, empowered me. I am also excited to see who takes this journey with me and what connections I am able to make with others!
May your New Year be filled with bright promise and joy overflowing!