self-portrait (I just cannot use the word selfie) at sunset last week.
I believe the past, present, and future are all woven together in ways I can’t fully understand. I also believe that a central task of adulthood is accepting, making peace with, and celebrating our individual pasts and histories. This is the only way we can embrace what is, let alone what lies ahead.
Today, 2014 dawns: clear, cold, brand-new.
As part of my desire to understand the past in order to fully move forward into the future, I have been reflecting on the year that has passed.
What did I learn in 2013?
Life is a lesson in letting go. It never ends, this learning, and it seems like every single day there’s a new thing on which I need to release my grip. Over and over again, I feel like I am endlessly saying goodbye, acknowledging losses. Of course I am also welcoming new things, people, and learning, though sometimes the former swamps the latter for me.
I am an immensely attached person. That makes the aforementioned letting go really hard.
Green juice – specifically grapefruit, ginger, and kale – is a terrific way to start the day. Also, I will never be hungry for breakfast.
I am going to get a cold, a bad one, every single winter. No matter what I do to try to stay healthy.
Poetry is my lingua franca. It is in poetry that I feel the most at home, poetry that I remember most vividly and most often, poets to whom I relate most intensely.
That “it’s rarely about you” lesson that I aspired to teach Grace as she turned 10? I need to learn it too. Again and again.
Maya Angelou said there are years that ask questions and years that answer. 2013 was a year of questions, but then again so were 2012 and 2011. It feels as though I’ve been in a period of more questions than answers, more uncertainty than clarity, more shadow than bright light. What I don’t know is whether that is fact or about my growing and sometimes-overwhelming awareness of everything around (and within) me.
Music is about lyrics for me (see above point about poetry – aren’t lyrics just poems set to music?) It’s hard to name favorites, but immediately Fix You, Home, Let Her Go, Breathe, Circle Game, and The Story come to mind as some I hold dear.
I asked Grace and Whit what they learned in 2013, and they had these observations to offer: Whit learned that Leonardo da Vinci’s parents were not married and how they made candles in the 1800s. Grace learned a lot about Samuel de Champlain, and how to write and edit a novel (she participated in NaNoWriMo). Just over two years ago, they cited noticing things, manners, and using the potty, so I’d say they’re moving in the granular (though perhaps less practical) direction.
What did you learn in 2013? How do these learnings inform what you aspire to in 2014?
Get Lindsey's thoughts on mindful living and parenting in your inbox