Dwelling in possibility

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I dwell in possibility. ~ Emily Dickinson

As we draw closer to a new year, I spent extra time considering the message I desired to convey in this post. And I settled on a common thread I imagine weaves itself throughout humanity: expectation. In my own life, my family waits with expectation to celebrate the birth of Jesus (see “Regain the wonder…”). Others, throughout the world, prepare with expectation to engage in favorite traditions in the spirit of the holidays. Regardless of what this season might look like on your corner of the planet, I can almost guarantee each of us anticipates starting over. Yet, with many of the best-laid plans we envisioned for a new decade turned upside-down, it might prove difficult to wrap our minds around the hint of possibility. But herein lies the nugget—an idea to contemplate as we count down to 2021 and the clichéd clean slate. Without expectation, without hope: what remains?

How does your life reflect expectation for the new year?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

A rebirth of sorts: happiness at last

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As the year draws to a close, and as I grasp tightly (kicking and screaming) the vestiges of my forties for a few days longer, I reflect on that for which I’m grateful: Those friends who have come and gone from my life—the ones who bless me daily, and those who served the sole purpose of teaching me (sometimes painful) lessons; the second chances I’ve been gifted, a new path to traverse—a clean slate, if you will. I’m energized by the possibilities, my heart lighter than ever. And as I step into this new season, I can honestly say I’ve discovered what I’ve been searching for all this time. The funny thing is it’s been right under my nose all along. Because when I finally stopped focusing on me—my needs, my expectations, my self—I understood for the first time what it means to be happy. So happy rebirthday to me… a fresh beginning to sparkle where I’m planted.

Where could you use a rebirth?

Image courtesy of Nongkran_ch at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Purging and prioritizing: housekeeping for the soul

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regrets mistakes memories

Hard, this life thing. Over the past few weeks I’ve engaged in significant housekeeping tasks that, below the surface, denote a clean slate—a ‘starting over’ in practice and in theory. On the home front, I’ve tackled clutter and tossed what is no longer necessary, bagged up things to be sorted through eventually and donated items I hope might bless others. My personal life also experienced a collective loss, which has become the catalyst toward a sense of peace and healing—an opportunity to put my priorities in right order, to live with intention instead of allowing life to happen to me. Every regret or mistake I’ve made is a lesson learned, a temporary memory purged much like photos that fade over time or are deleted off a hard drive. And then replaced by the truth of knowing I’m finally on the right path as I leave behind my self-centered ways and prepare to step into my fabulous new life.

How do you ‘get over’ regrets or mistakes?

The littlest of blessings

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At the beginning of 2013, I pulled out a jar from the cupboard and placed it in plain view. The plan was for my family to jot down things we’re grateful for throughout the year and add these slips of paper to the jar. On New Year’s Eve, we’re supposed to read the notes and reflect on all of the blessings we received. Not unlike a clean slate on Jan. 1, an empty jar leaves so much room for possibilities. Glancing at the jar as I write this, I’m disappointed to see only a few pieces of paper scattered across the bottom. Although I know I’ve forgotten to write down some of the “good” things over the past 11 months, overall it’s been a challenging year. Consequently, the few slips of paper we’ll review at the end of December are that much more precious. And it makes me determined to recognize even the littlest of blessings I receive in 2014.

Has it been a “good” year for you?

The first day of the rest of your life (story)

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Today is the first day of the rest of your life

[Image credit: Ohmega1982]

One day your life will flash before your eyes.
Make sure it’s worth watching. ~ Unknown

So how did the year go?  Can you look back on the last 366* days and pat yourself on the back for a job well done?  Or did your enthusiasm start with a bang and end with a fizzle?  My year was filled with starts and stops and ups and downs.  Many of my goals were accomplished, even ones that were not a glimmer on January 1st.  Now tomorrow is another New Year — a chance for a clean slate and for us to continue writing our life story.  The cool part is that a story writes itself and, as it plays out, the ending is always being revised.  May your story play out exactly as you dream, with delightful surprises woven throughout each chapter.  And when you reach the final page, I hope you’ll be truly satisfied with how it turned out.

What are your plans to celebrate the advent of 2013?

*Leap Year (thanks for pointing that out, Big Sister!)

Title: to be determined

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[Image credit: phanlop88]

Procrastination is something best put off until tomorrow.
~ Gerald Vaughan

In my post Getting where you want to go, I asked, “Are you a resolution maker or one-day-at-a-timer?”  Here’s a third choice: procrastinator.  Personally, I’m a resolution maker and a procrastinator.  I have good intentions, but if something comes up, it’s typically easier to put off whatever I had planned until a later date.  The problem with procrastination, however, is that “every duty which is bidden to wait returns with seven fresh duties at its back” (Charles Kingsley).  It happens at work when I put off a particular project, and then all of a sudden I’m being pulled in umpteen directions.  Or at home when I let one thing slide, not only do I still need to address that one thing, but the car has something wrong with it, the cat needs to see the vet or a myriad of other unexpected “duties.”  Better to start with a clean slate each day.

What’s your classic put-off-until-tomorrow task?

Getting where you want to go


[Image credit: anankkml]

Yesterday I was telling I friend I was completely out of blog ideas.  Typically, I maintain a small arsenal of posts waiting to be tweaked and uploaded, but now my mind’s a blank and I’m scrambling to fulfill my self-imposed goal of writing a blog-a-day.  First he said I don’t have to follow through with it (I know, but I’ve only got a few months left); then he suggested the topic of people waiting until the New Year to make resolutions.  Although I prefer to think of them as goals or dreams, January 1st is the perfect time for me to reflect on the previous 12 months before planning for the next 365 days.  Obviously, if my wellbeing is in jeopardy, I would enact a solution sooner rather than later.  But for things less pressing, I’ll wait until I’m faced with a clean slate to add them to my list.  I guess whatever works to get you where you want to go.

Are you a resolution maker or one-day-at-a-timer?