I love anniversaries. With the rotation of the sun and planets and earth, we literally are right back where we were in SPACE one year ago. To my romantic mind, I find this incredibly significant. And with being in the same PLACE we were a year before, it naturally causes us to reflect on the TIME that has passed. While space and time may be constructs of our mortal experience, we still are incredibly bound by those principles here on earth.
And that is why I love anniversaries. I love being able to reflect on where I've been and where I'm trying to go. The rest of my days, I try to stay rooted in the present, but reflection on these things every so often (like in the new year) can be incredibly helpful and humbling. Anniversaries come pretty hard and fast for me this time of year. A.) My b-day, B.) one week later it's xmas, C.) one week later its TODAY, New Years Day. This always sets me up for reflecting on A.) where I've been B.) where I am C.) where I'm going.
I am reminded that life is about progression. But that progression is not in a line, but more in a spiral, a spiral like on a spring. We circle back to where we've been, but we are always moving forward toward something.
In that spirit, and in the spirit of the NEW YEAR! (don't you just love new things, even if they are arbitrary constructs like a new year?) I am going to list some of the things I have learned in 2014, and a few resolutions for 2015.
I have learned (or re-learned):
*There is nothing more powerful than seeing a loved one or dear friend in pain, and wanting so badly to make support them. (While not always knowing what to do).
*We all take turns in giving support, and in being supported. This is life. It is wonderful and terrible.
*When you think to yourself 'Life has been pretty good for a pretty long while, something bad must be on it's way' You'll probably get what you wishedfor.
*When that 'something bad' happens, YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH.
*I never cry at the 'right' times, and always at the 'wrong' times.
*I value KINDNESS over almost all else, but still have a hard time being kind myself.
*The biggest misunderstandings in this world usually come from FEAR. When one side fears another, stupidity ensues. When both sides fear each other, that is when truly horrible things happen. We should foster understanding, and not dig into our fears. (I know, so much easier said than done). This year I've seen this in politics, gender issues, religion, science, and much more.
*'Benefit of the doubt' will most likely not hurt you. It will help you have a better outlook for your fellow humans.
*You can be so much more alone in a crowd, than when you are by yourself.
*Having a sense of home is important.
*'Going Back' does not being 'moving backwards'
*I love Leslie Knope.
*Being busy is not sustainable.
*Less is more.
*When someone else finds happiness, it doesn't mean you need to do the same thing to be happy. My happy will never be the same as your happy.
*Happiness is about finding the balance between contentment with what you have, and ambition (the pursuit of a better life.)
*It is easy to mistake complacency and apathy for 'contentment'. And just as easy to mistake anxiety and wrestlessness for 'ambition'.
*Patience is important, but 'just putting up with something' is not patience.
*I still love to paint, and I don't suck at it.
*Sometimes it takes almost getting what you thought you wanted, to realize that you maybe don't want it at all. And then there's that thing you've always wanted to do since Jr High, that you've always dismissed. Maybe now is the time to do that thing?
*We are often told, and I generally believe it too, that we can do just about anything if we (insert power statement word here, i.e. 'believe', 'work hard', 'persevere', 'just want it enough'). While this is good, I've come to realize, that just because we may have he ability, SHOULD WE? Just because I know I could have a certain career if I worked hard enough, or reach some difficult goal, doesn't mean that I should. It doesn't mean that it's best for me or that I'm the best for that. It doesn't mean it will make me happy, and be better for the world. That is why there are millions and billions of different people, with different abilities and perspectives. We need each other, and we need to learn when a goal is NOT for us. And accepting that fact DOES NOT MEAN FAILURE. It does not make you a quitter. (well maybe it does, but being a quitter can be the BETTER option sometimes).
I usually make a ton of resolutions, and achieve a few and am perfectly happy with that. This year I am focusing on 2 MAIN resolutions. I will make monthly smaller goals to achieve them.
These resolutions are more about the type of person I want to be when 2016 rolls around, rather than what I will accomplish. I'm banking on the fact that I'll do better things if I am a better person.
1. TO BE A KINDER PERSON. I love people who are kind. I want to better understand this principle, to truly embody it.
2. TO BE BOLDER. I want to have the courage to stand my ground when necessary. To go for the things I want and need.
3. FIND THE BALANCE BETWEEN 1 and 2. Kindness can lead to being a pushover with out boldness. Boldness can be cold and inhumane without kindness. They need each other.