The last week of December… that time of year when I almost induce whiplash as I alternately look back on the year and then forward to the next… considering what was or was not said, decided, or done so I may plot, plan, and hope for what might be, who I might be, what I might do in the days to come.
Introspection. Soul-searching. Meditation. Clearing the deck so I can take responsibility when I should, and extend grace when I shouldn’t.
The calendar is historically a man-made ending and beginning. A guidepost. Telling us where we are in the journey. No more, no less. But it’s a marker we all agree upon, all over the world, and there is something lovely about the concept of global agreement. On something.
There was a lot this year… for all of us it seems… and if I consider the entirety of the 2000s, all that occurred… there’s just too many life events to list… births, deaths, marriages, divorces, surgeries, name changes, career changes, relationships begun and ended, moves across the country, ebbs and flows of friendships… so many pre-existing conditions to enter into the next decade with…
Beginning a new year is like that moment when you’ve gone someplace new, where no one knows you, and when it’s your turn around the circle to introduce yourself, you have 15 seconds to say who you are, where you’re from, and why you’re there… the words you choose in this moment can be anything… Your heart rate increases, and you begin rehearsing as soon as it’s announced you’ll have to encapsulate your life's resume into a haiku... feverish with the possibilities.
Beginning a new decade is even more intense, laden with responsibility, relief juxtaposed with fear of the scarcity of time. Successes sit side-by-side next to failures. Life lumped into wide swaths, encouraging gross generalizations.
But… It’s all one. No matter how much we pick and piece it apart. No matter how we contrive to make the years we live divisible by 10.
It’s one life. Every moment of it useful. Even the dark and frustrating and angry and fear-filled parts.
As I consider all you’ve shared about your lives, and all I’ve written about mine – the thing that rises to the top, the sweetest cream, is that we’re all… ready.
We’ve all had enough of lies, of old rules meant to benefit only some, of inequality and meanness. We’re through with holding in our stomachs, backing off our voices, and silencing our intuition. We’re unwilling to carry shame, refusing to condone any violence to another’s spirit, including our own. Exhausted by indecision and fear, we are ready to be our full size, to laugh more, to celebrate the sacred, and to embrace joy.
We are ready for higher standards. For ourselves, and for one another.
No matter what you have walked through, around, or into this year or this decade… it’s worth looking at with discerning eyes.... with kindness... with heart and humor.
So your feet are pointed in a direction that is towards...
always in motion,