The turn of the calendar is full of reflection, though I tend to do more reflection around the turn of my age. I do have a little more reflecting to do, and news, but reflecting first.
The year 2008 contained many things, including: and end, summer and beginning of an academic year; a new cohabitation set up; the addition of a pet (hi Clarence!); advancing knitting skill; and developed more confidence in myself.
I’ve always been a goal-setter, a resolution maker. I guess it’s the residual Mormon in me, just like stocking the pantry full of canned and dry goods. Since I was a young child, I journaled and the beginning of a new year was like magic. During the next 365 days I could make myself into a new person, the person I wanted to be. The turning of the calendar is symbolic of a fresh start, a clean slate. What I didn’t realize when I was younger is that you had to know what you wanted and where you were going before you set down goals. The ones I created from the time I could write to the end of high school consisted of a variation of the following: flatten my tummy, clear up my skin, find good jeans, get good grades, grow my hair out (cut it, dye it, etc) and others. What I didn’t realize then is that the goal I had in mind was this idealized vision of life and a woman. The goal I had in mind was a static commercial life that had no depth. It took years of maturation and reflection to realize that scars, curves and sometimes even poor grades add dimension, depth, and understanding that creates a person far more dynamic, interesting, and alluring than the one I envisioned when I was fourteen.
So, I offer my life-goals and states of being and then the steps I hope to accomplish during this revolution of the earth.
I want: a stable life, including a friend and lover that will stand by my side, secure finances, and a warm, lovely, and inviting home; a plot of earth to garden and cultivate to create beauty and health; a task that can become my life mission that will benefit others; health and fitness; the love and friendship of kindred spirits; and plenty of books to read and wool to knit.
I have: a loving and supportive husband; finances that are slowly climbing out of the college-loan debt and gaining ground towards a home of my very own; two baskets full of wool and even more visions of projects to create from this stash; little green friends in pots around the house; two book shelves full of books to read (plus libraries and ebooks!); and the sacred mission of educating our youth.
This year, I hope to accomplish the following to move me closer to my ultimate vision of life:
- continue on the path of emotional and physical health, including being more open about my life experiences (my dear readers have often been more privy than those I converse with on my couch)
- find ways to balance my career and my personal life so that I feel that they are in harmony rather than in discord with each other
- continue to nurture and develop my relationship with my husband
- find more time to spend with my loved ones and friends
- continue to be thrifty and frugal to save money towards big life purchases
- find more time to knit and read for pleasure during the academic year
I know, not very specific, but I’ve learned, through reflection, that if I set parameters on goals, I won’t do them, but if I have a general goal, one that is ultimately geared towards balance and harmony, I will acheive great things.
On to news.
I spent the last three days visiting friends and family in the Bangor area. We picked up and began playing Settlers of Catan and the menfolk ended up playing game after game while I bowed out halfway through the first game. The game breeds competition, trickery, and isolation. It bothered me so much I got angry and nearly started crying. I can’t play games that cause people to pull apart. It’s the nurturer and pacifist in me. The menfolk enjoyed it and they did tone down the competition and, as a spectator, it began to bother me a little less. I still don’t know that it’s a game I’d enjoy playing.
While in the area, I connected with a friend I made while I was working on my Master’s program. Robert wanted to learn to knit, so we sat down for hours going over web resources, terms, basic constructions, and all that. It was great to have a rapt pupil. After two hours of going over patterns and helping him learn to read them and understand the construction, we ventured in to town to get materials. When we returned to Veazie, we sat for two hours knitting. It was so cool.
On top of the knitting, we had a really good and open conversation. A few months ago, Robert and his fiancee separated because she is going through some personal development and dealing with her past, learning to cope with many of the same things I, too, experienced. Over knitting, I opened up to Robert about things that very few people on this planet know about. My voice and hands shook as I recounted some of my experiences and the impact they had on my life and the difficulty in learning healthy and positive coping skills. It was a quiet and hard conversation, and I was shaky for hours after, but I felt so free, and strong.
I felt like I became real. I became alive. I owned the experiences and looked them straight in the face and discussed them plainly and frankly with another (someone other than Allan and other confidantes). This was one of the most powerful and life changing experiences I’ve had. Being able to freely and openly trace the path my life has taken, without polishing or dusting, and with my own voice and not fingertips, tapped into the strength and vivacity I’ve developed but never knew I had.
That conversation took place yesterday, on the first day of the New Year. With that energy, I hope to enact great change and growth in the days to come.
Here’s to the new year!