This time of year is always bittersweet. Bitter because the sun no longer drips its happy nectar from the sky all over my face and body. Sweet because the cold means unforgettable evenings cozying up to a crackling fire and built-in time with family.
Winter is supposed to be slower. Animals hibernate. Plants retreat, saving their energy for spring. The days are shorter. The general idea seems to be to take a deep breath, reflect on the year, and begin to nest for a prosperous time to come.
And even though Americans manage to accelerate into an anxious holiday frenzy, I'm putting my cold, wintery, contemplative stake in the ground this year and giving my mind, body, and spirit time to rest. Time to thank itself for enduring what was by all accounts a pretty rough year. Time to breathe and honor and heal.
My sister and I have agreed that 2009 sucked. Yes, there were victories and triumphs that should not be forgotten. My husband successfully completed his first semester in one of the most prestigious MBA programs in the country (yay!). We made time and prioritized funds for our first love - traveling - and spent precious moments with family and friends romping through the water in Key West and soaking up wild beauty in Costa Rica. We welcomed little miracles into the world and celebrated birthdays of others.
But we also endured a lot of muck. A lot of death. A lot of pain. Tests, I guess, to see if we pass onto the next round of whatever else there is to be dished out.
And it wasn't until just recently that I reflected back and began to catalogue each wrong, each obstacle stacking itself onto my now towering stress pile, each little negative speck of energy sticking to my waistline. And I realized that I should be celebrating, not mourning.
Up until this point I had been mentally beating myself to a pulp. Criticizing each of those needy pounds I'd seemed to find in 2009. Damning myself for not making more time to write and to read this year. Feeling sorry for myself for stressful job woes. And yes, all that stuff isn't ideal.
But, for the love, I survived! It could have been more pounds. At least I have a job. And I'll just have to write more next year.
I've resolved to spend more time harnessing the positive energy within and around me and less time focusing on the dirty and the ugly. Granted, this is no small task for anyone. But I vow to at least fight the urge to regress back into the easier routine of dealing myself into the game of workplace passive aggressiveness and succumbing to the debbie downer loop in my head about never achieving my dreams and goals.
In 5 days I leave for yet another blissful journey to Costa Rica, and it now seems more poetic than ever to be capping off my year this way. I've promised myself to live in each and every moment while there. To not excitedly wish the days away in the meantime. And to not sulk for the days past when it is over. But to just be.
I'm saying a great big PEACE OUT to 2009, and preparing a nice cozy spot for 2010. Because, by God, it just has to be better.
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