Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Happy New Year and around here lately ....

I have a friend from long ago. I see her Facebook updates from far across the sea and every time, her beautiful positive energy shines through. She has a love  for life, a joyfulness in life, that I don't often see and it's contagious - all that beautiful shiny energy. She radiates passion in her approach to her work, the way she parents, the way she spends her free time. I have another friend, also from long ago. She practices her art and has found a beautiful balance between work (which is also her love and her passion), family and home. She writes beautifully. She rides horses. She drinks wine and sometimes battles to sleep because of all the things in her head.

I have been thinking a lot about New Years Resolutions .... some people make a list : eat healthily, exercise more, stop carbs. Some lists are more serious of course.

Some people choose a word: Mindful. Creative. Brave. 
A word helps them to stay focused when life is busy and projects are swirling and they feel pulled in different directions. It helps them to remember what they want for the coming year. It helps them stay clear minded.

I don't make lists. i don't choose words. But I do find myself reflecting on the year that passed, and the one that lies ahead. 

The past year was a difficult one in many ways. It had beautiful highlights ... my trip back to South Africa in May and getting to catch up with friends and family I miss so very much .... my mother's visit in August ... weekends away .... but there was a lot of heartache and soul searching too. There were people who I came to realize did not really know me the way I thought, no longer valued spending time with me ... no longer wanted to make the effort. People who had moved on. It happens. They were painful, these realizations .... but I know the value of moving on and letting go .... sometimes there is no other way, sad as it is.

There was a  lot of soul searching. The feeling of being lost and out of place which I have had ever since our move, and my little one's starting Kindergarten, has not really changed. I still feel as if I am waiting for life to start again, only I have no idea of which direction or path to take. The things I used to take for granted have slowly disappeared ... my love of painting ... my need to express myself. It's been a long walk, this past year .... and I find myself looking around, wondering where those parts of myself have gone.

And so as I think about the year ahead, I think of those two friends from long ago. I think about how beautiful it is to be fully engaged in one's life. To really live. Fully. With heart and open eyes. To go on adventures, even if they are little ones just down to the end of the road and back. To find joyfulness again. To live with passion, fully. To really truly be alive, not half-living only.

And so I hope to see new places. To go on adventures. To take the kids camping. To drink more wine. To try new foods. To read more books. To watch more movies. To make new friends. Try a new hobby. I hope to travel more ... but if that doesn't work out as planned, to learn to live fully right here - where I am ... to be grateful for the life I am in ... and to find my own passion again.

Here's hoping for you that it's a beautiful year. Here's to dreaming and living. To sandy toes and late nights dancing. Here's to all of it.