It’s only days before my year flips and a new year begins for me. This is traditionally a time of deep introspection and reflection. I take the time to visit the previous year’s birthday list…cross off my accomplishments and take inventory of what is left and how my desires have changed. The things that still resonate with me get moved to the next year’s list and new things are added to tailor the upcoming year to who I’ve become and who I want to become.
This year was hard. A few very important items were marked off within days or weeks of creation of the list. Those were amazing and breathtaking. A few more were marked off at random intervals…but not with any kind of intention at all. This past year blindsided me in so many ways. I spent days in courtrooms instead of on hiking trails or beaches or other government offices where I would have rather been. I got a court decree instead of a degree. I was granted custody instead of a passport. I had to be creative about how to keep a very vital relationship on life support instead of breathing life into my art and dreams. I fought and gritted my teeth and made it through one day at a time totally exhausted instead of hitting the gym each day for that lovely physical exhaustion. I went to a funeral and thought of how careless it was to put an Irish wake on my list. I held my family in my heart and hands and lap and cried heartbroken tears mixed with I’ve missed you tears. Money came and brought with it guilt instead of freedom. I deserted my home and fled from my place in the world but not to explore distant lands…only to hide and regroup and try to make sense of so many things that had gone awry.
In light of this last year, the undone items on the list seem so juvenile...and the things that were accomplished that weren't on the list shine with startlingly beautiful significance.
My heart is heavy as I write of this past year's challenges...but I am reminded that every one of them was necessary. I might not have accomplished even a quarter of the desires of my heart as I sat here a year ago and wrote them down, but the things we did/saw/experienced/became were not for naught. We are better. We are whole and here and every day is a reminder that all of our days are precious. We grew and it's a terrible disservice to forget the ludicrous moments of belly laughter, shared secrets, heart-shattering landscapes and views, moments of absolute connectedness and certainty, tears and smiles and hands held that came with those challenges.
This year, I’m moving very few items to the new birthday year’s list. Things have changed so drastically and I’m proud to change with them. The new list reflects so clearly where I am in life.
Basic. Easy. Connected. Sure.
For my 41st year:
Write love letters.
Learn to play one song on the guitar.
Take bubble baths.
Eat lots of green things.
Salute the sun every day.
Drive less, ride more.
Watch live music at every opportunity.
Find someone to speak French with.
Ride in a helicopter.
WWTD? Get back to basics, that's what. That's where the real magic is...where the living of life has room to fill in between the lines...with color and sound and fireworks.