I've been guilty of this every year for decades. I look at the secular year ticking away and proceed to berate myself for the many failures and grieve for the dreams that remain fantasies. And then I make vows to do everything better, setting 'resolutions' I generally break before the sun sets on January 1st.
For many of us 2016 tried to slink out with its tail tucked between its legs,crouching past us like a dog who peed on the floor and knows there's gonna be trouble. The thought of retrospection was kind of nauseating and depressing. And hey...if you've "retrospected" already, survived it and moved on, cool beans, and more power to ya! But I fought the temptaion, the habit, and opted out, though I could fill a whole lotta boxes with the remnants of unresolved resolutions and unmet goals. Instead, I decided to find some accomplishments to feel good about in my own life. Here are a few:
--I wrote words. Nope, haven't written the novel, but I put more words on paper/computer screen in 2016 than in the last several years combined. I allowed myself to say "I'm a writer" (in my own company anyway) and let it ride with less derision than ever before. I even took a writng class!
--I began helping Linda with the bees. I'm terrified of 'bugs', and getting up close & personal with hives of bees was daunting, but I did it, because she needed help moving hives to other locations. And not only did I get more comfortable with it, this Spring I'll be getting my 'own' hive to work with directly so I can learn from the beginning in practice rather than from afar in theory (or dinner conversation with Linda).
--I started reacquainting myself with the world of herbalism, a thing that fascinates me. And planted 2 dozen elderberries as part of that! In fact, I've developed quite the crush on elderberry; one that I gave Linda three years ago came into its own this year and was a thing of such grace, soul and beauty I could have just sat with her all summer. And now we'll have two dozen!!
So rather than looking at the grime of 2016, political or personal, I savored some ordinary good things, and it feels preety good. Now, about that virgin black chalkboard, the unmarked page, of 2017...I refuse to set the scene for failure this year. Instead, I posed a question:what would you like to do this year? There's not alot of pressure to that question, and no built-in failure potential. I want to put words that matter to me on paper; eat more vegetables; kiss my wfe more often; pay attention to the natural world all around me and embrace the joy it offers; continue to ignore the very ugly and scary spider living in a small crevice in the bathroom rather than beg Linda to make it be gone; get to know honeybees more personally because they really are kind of fascinating; feel stronger; drink herb teas I've blended; commune with herbs as I grow, harvest and concoct with them; read more; laugh more; be curious; pay attention.
When I sat down to write this post, the thoughts were nebulous and I was stumped at titling it. And then, for no earthly reason (hahaha!!!) I thought of Star Trek:TNG, and Picard's oft-used "Engage!". I found this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jd1Ih8EUmw and loved the opening first line.
So what do I want this year? To see what's out there--and in me, and wallow in it, raise my hands to the full moon and my face to the first light of dawn. No retrospection, resolutions or resistance....just waking and savoring curiosity and paying attention and being, and falling asleep beside my beloved.
I think 2017 could be a very good year...and I wish you the same!