New Beginnings, New Year

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“Mindfulness” has long been a word around which I arrange my life to the best extent I can. It encompasses so much of what I aspire to, and if more of us lived mindfully, the world would assuredly be a kinder, gentler, less hostile place. I found this wonderful post on Bloom today, in which the author talks about how she tries to shape her year around a theme. Her theme for 2009 was Mindfulness. This paragraph resonates with me strongly: “Mindful. Last January I’d had my first baby. I was trying to soak up every ounce of her baby-ness that I could. I wanted to just be with her, with my husband, in my home. I wanted quiet, and my own thoughts. I wanted to be un-swayed, unaffected by the outside world. I just wanted to focus on things that mattered for us. I wanted less mindless busyness, and more purposeful living.” For 2010, her theme is Gumption and I look forward to following her as she surges into this new year.

“Compassion,” in my mind a companion concept to Mindfulness, is another vitally important virtue I try to bear in mind as much as I can. In our gossipy, judgmental, reactive and sarcastic society, compassion is not always easy to summon. It is so much simpler to toss out a snarky thought or comment than to place ourselves in the position of another and think kindly of him, to try to understand him – or, at the very least, to refrain from harsh judgment. My shortcomings here are many; having been long brewed in television, movies and other media, my sense of sarcasm and use of it is strong. I appreciate sarcasm as humor, and believe it has its place, but I would like to temper my words and judgment to be kinder, both inwardly and outwardly.

“Connection” is not something I have sought out much for most of my life. When I have a few close friends, I am content. When I have a loving partner, I am secure and happy within the bounds of that relationship and it has typically fulfilled my meager needs for close, strong, intimate connections. As much as I love and adore my friends at work, I rarely attend outings anymore, being more of a homeward-thinking person. With the advent of Facebook and other online resources, I find myself reconnecting with old friends, and I treasure this, too. As I enter the year in which I will turn 40, I find myself looking a bit more to find Community, people sharing common interests. Seeking knowledge of my new interests has lead me into the somewhat underground community of those people deeply concerned with their connection to to the Earth, which heartens me, and also reminds me to bear my own connection to our Earth in mind. As I form tentative connections with new people, I find myself thinking of those from whom I have drifted away. I will try to amend this in the coming year.

“Home” took on great and wonderful meaning in 2009, when Mike Neir and I moved into our house in Williamston. Since moving out on my own in 1988, I have not had a defined sense of “home” at all. I lived in many places, had many jobs, but never felt the security of A Home. Putting down roots became a foreign concept, I was too afraid to even try – life was too uncertain in all areas. I resigned myself, not unhappily, mind you, to a somewhat nomadic, adventurous life. The trouble for me with a nomadic life, whether adventurous or not, was not having anyone to really share it with, not having any security whatsoever. Thankfully, this has changed.

I am always cognizant of how fortune I am, having found this amazing man who loves me, puts up with me, helps take care of me. I am frequently stunned into complete humbleness, wondering at his calmness, marveling at his patience, amazed he is able to overlook my many flaws and Be There for me through my crazy obsessions with chickens, sewing, fiscal irresponsibility and whatever else may come. Given my background, it is difficult for me to really Trust anything seemingly too good to be true. Historically, just as I am settling into something, really starting to Believe, it is all yanked out from underneath me at a moment’s notice. At times, these things happened due to my own actions, at others, through no fault of my own. Still, they happened, and they affect me. We have A Home now, together, and I am really believing – scary, scary, scary, but I Believe. I want to make our Home a sanctuary for us, our nest, a place of peace and restfulness coupled with honest productivity in our own chosen endeavors. Planning our garden, buying little knick-knacks for aesthetics, cooking our meals, taking care of Mike as best I can are such rewarding activities. I love that Mike Neir so much, and as we enter into this shiny new decade, brimming with Plans, wondering what the future will bring, I am Happy.

Thus, while I do have some defined goals in mind for this coming year and the years beyond, like the author at Bloom, I work better in broad, sweeping concepts than in details. These four things shape and guide me, and I will bear them in mind as we venture forward. I harbor some sadness it has taken me this long in life to reach such a place; my heart twinges with opportunities perhaps lost to me, time wasted.  Despite remarkable experiences and adventures, much of my time was spent being discontented. I could have easily spent my time better, but lacked motivation to do so. I sludged through time, by and large – vast periods of boredom punctuated by incredible excitement and opportunity.

Still, I am grateful to be where I am now. I recognize my past has made me who I am, but also that apathy has delayed the progress. Nothing to do now but move forward, of course, and I do so with gratitude.

Interesting New Year Posts:

My Word
Anna Maria Horner

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1 response to New Beginnings, New Year


  1. Beautifully written. It’s hard not to lament things in our past, but it sure is refreshing to look forward. And with age comes wisdom. Sometimes you just have to live life and make mistakes to learn what is really important. I have gone through many phases of my life, but also enjoy the connections that are enabled by the internet – esp. the connections to my past. I hope you continue to build on all of these themes during the new year.

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