looking back while moving forward
A fresh new year, full of promise, is about to unfold before us. We’ll wish each other Happy New Year, often with our fingers crossed behind our backs. Happiness is so very elusive, and yet we are ever hopeful. The threshold we stand on today, between the old year and the new, offers the opportunity to review, reconsider, release the negative, reaffirm the positive, and resolve to treat both ourselves and those around us with a gentler touch in 2019.
I have a New Year’s ritual of sorts—releasing my artsy, new wall calendar from its wrappings. The entire year is laid out before me, clean and fresh. I turn the pages slowly, savoring all the stunning photographs. Each new page is a delicious blank slate, embodying the promise of what might be. I run my fingertips over the neatly delineated days, in their clean white squares. The blank dates tantalize and tease. Which will become noteworthy memories? Which will offer new opportunities? More importantly, will I recognize an opportunity when one presents itself, especially if it takes an unexpected form? A new year gives us all the chance to let go of our preconceived concepts and open ourselves up to being delighted and surprised.
Being a woman of contradiction, as much as I embrace the idea of spontaneity, I’m also a confirmed list maker and planner. Juxtaposed to the ideal of simply going with the flow is my to-do and project list for 2019. It’s already well-fleshed out with plans, goals, deadlines, and tickets purchased for events. I’ll most likely have many of the clean, blank boxes inked-in before the end of first week of January. Makes me wonder whether the part of me that craves security fears the unexpected? Do I need to ward off adversity by not allowing it to wedge itself onto my filled calendar? Does that mean I can accept life unfolding at the whim of the “powers that be” only if it doesn’t sidetrack my plans? One more thing to ponder as I move into 2019.
As for the close of 2018, I can say that I’m ending the year relatively content with life. I hope that my progress up life’s learning curve was at least commensurate to the rate at which my hair has turned grey. I took on some new and challenging projects and continued to build confidence in my abilities. I’ve also learned a few lessons to take forward with me, like changing an unrealistic definition of friendship. While being a good friend remains important to me, I’ve been around the block enough now to recognize that sometimes a friendship really isn’t, and it’s time to walk away. Maybe age has jaded my idealism a bit, but on the up side, I’m still young at heart with enough zeal to pursue my passions, develop my talents, set some goals, and put energy into nurturing some new friendships.
I’m pleased to be part of blended family comprised of interesting individuals, and I have a supportive husband who does his very best to understand me. I am blessed with enough material comfort to remind me that I should never complain and to spur me to give back. My prayer to the "powers that be" is that I can face next New Year's Eve with few-to-no regrets, and at least one dream or two fulfilled. If I am nothing else, I am an optimist.
That said, I can wish all of you a “Happy New Year” with enthusiasm, and my fingers are not even crossed behind my back.
12/30/2018 11:35:56 am
Happy New Year, Lynn. I find your contemplation of moving out of the old and into the new very thought -provoking. (I am also astonished that you plan so completely that you already have tickets for 2019 events!)
12/30/2018 05:04:15 pm
I am a such a planner, Margie, it's almost embarrassing. Let's get something on the calendar soon...msg me.
12/30/2018 02:03:35 pm
Great post! Hope and optimism are often refined by clashes with reality and life. However, life would be so dull without hope and dreams. It's the effort we expend to reach those dreams which makes life more worthwhile.
12/30/2018 05:05:18 pm
Absolutely ! I guess it's all about maintaining one's perspective, and a sense of humor doesn't hurt either :)
12/30/2018 05:28:09 pm
This morning my pastor expressed many of these same views and concepts that we should have while we are bringing in the New Year and with the right mindset, as you say, we can all release the negative and reaffirm the positive for a wonderful 2019 !!
1/1/2019 12:26:08 pm
Sounds like a good message, Rita. Now we all have to reconfirm it and keep making positive changes.
12/30/2018 06:11:01 pm
'Enjoyed reading your End-of-Year musings/plans/thoughts. As I look at your cactus, there is snow outside the window here in Ontario. Not too much - just enough to be pretty. Tomorrow night, we will drive to Oakville (about 45 minutes south) and spend New Year's Eve with friends I've known for over 40 years. Like you, I am in a blended family, and Mike has known my friends for a decade, but it sure feels longer as we get along so well. Best to you, and your family for the New Year.
1/1/2019 12:27:38 pm
I'm going to FB msg you with a snow picture my friend took by her house. She only lives about 20 miles from me, but the elevation difference is enough that she woke up to snow this morning. All the best to you and your Mike.
1/1/2019 08:54:56 am
Happy new year, Lynn. I have always been a *cautious optimist*. Well, maybe, realistically, more of a natural pessimist who tries to surround myself with positive friends in the hopes that I will absorb it by osmosis. I always love the promise of a fresh new year, like a fresh new start. I am also a compulsive list-maker and calendars abound in my house as ever-changing wall art! :-)
1/1/2019 12:28:41 pm
I LOVE your statements about being a cautious optimist. Catch up email forthcoming. Thanks for reading :)
1/10/2019 10:18:36 am
Have always admired your optimism! Even when I didn't share it :>). It is refreshing to read how you are looking forward to the new year.
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