Monday, December 29, 2014

So long

2014: Year of the Let Down. 

The end--and the beginning--draws nigh...  

Frankly, this year has been, for me, mostly one big disappointment.  It's been less fulfilling, less hopeful, less purposeful, less productive, less creative, less inspired, less joyful, less meaningful, less exciting, less relaxing, less fun and less rewarding than any other year in recent memory.  I have arrived at the end of it a less loving, less trusting, less articulate, less informed, less active, less aware, less engaged, less vital, less confident, less funny, less musical, less smart and also somewhat fatter person than I started out.  All told, it was one of the most depressing and lonesome years of my life, on record.

But I got through it, actually pretty well by most accounts, and I learned a few things.

I learned to let go. Not of everything, but of a lot of things, including maybe some things that I shouldn't have, but I only have so much room here, and anything that doesn't make life better or easier just isn't worth holding onto for too long. That includes some material things, but mostly ideas and feelings and beliefs and thoughts, as well as some hopes and expectations and desires. If they don't serve you well, then, well, how do they serve you, if at all?

I learned that I have given a great deal more, and less, than I'd thought--and received much the same, in turn. It all balances out, I suppose, although it can be as misguided to place too much importance on your intentions, as it is to try to comprehend the consequences of your actions, or those of others. That's just energy wasted, and goodness knows we need to learn how to manage our energy resources better if we hope to survive.

I learned that my self-esteem is a rather intimate situation that I have not been handling with great care or respect. I honestly thought we were getting along just fine until I noticed that I wasn't laughing at my own jokes anymore, and I was avoiding sleeping on my side of the bed. But Love is a two-way street; you have to be willing to give in order to receive--and vice versa. (It's also a good idea to stick with driving on one side of that road, unless you're playing chicken, in which case you'll just want to make sure you've got the toughest vehicle.)

I learned that one way to guarantee a really shitty year is not to spend enough time outside doing things you love, with people you love.

I learned that money can buy happiness, up to a point, as evidenced by all the people who were apparently more than happy to take my money, and also by the hot tub.

I learned that having a good hairstylist might not be as good as having a boyfriend, but there is only one of those I can't live without.

I learned that it's really best to sleep when you're tired.

I learned that some of the people who love me the most are the people I see the least, and that may not be the best arrangement for any of us, but it's a whole lot better than not seeing each other at all.

I learned that honesty is not a policy. It's a way of living and being, it's a practice and a promise, and it's one I need to make to myself, and keep, every day. Everything else will come naturally.

I learned that there is little sweeter in this world than being someone's favorite--or second favorite--aunt, because I am one (and I'm a niece, too). It's important to be important to someone, and know you make them happy.

These mostly seem like things I should have already known, and possibly did know already, but learning isn't a one-time event. Imagine, for example, learning to shoot a bow by doing so only once. So much for improving your form, or fine-tuning your technique, much less hitting your target... 

Aim to learn the things you love. There's no sense in knowing anything else by heart.

I learned how to do a butterfly roll, how to recover myself and my vessel safely, and to help recover others.

I learned how many loads of shit it takes to make a garden.


I'm glad this year is over, and I won't miss it any more than I already have.

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