I should have known 2014 was going to be a wild year when I tried to fill out one of those Leone “my best most fantabulous year” planners and came up with squat.
I love her artwork but never bought into the idea of the planners and calendars being useful. Last year they became available on Amazon and I threw it into my cart on a whim along with my annual Christmas book haul for my oldest son. I sat down on a day when I felt great, meditated my way into the right frame of mind, lit a candle, and started writing answers to the prompts.
Maybe it’s like when Mike the MMA instructor slash carpenter told me he’d like to take my boys into his class. “But you,” he said in his heavy Russian accent,”You stay home.”
I asked him why couldn’t I come?
He said with a smile,”I see you and you don’t take direction well. You want I should order you around? Tell you, RUN, JULIE and don’t stop until I tell you?”
“No,” I said.
It was kind of like that with the book.
I tried and tried to come up with 50 things I wanted to do this year and 100 whatevers and all of that nonsense, but I already knew it was no good because I had my Word For The Year and that’s all I needed. Just a wee talisman to remind me of what I was shooting for in all things.
The year before it was PROSPERITY because we were on the balls of our behinds after extended unemployment left us wiped out. Prosperity came.
This year it was two words, EFFORTLESS JOY, much broader than prosperity (in my mind).
When you are planning and no plans come to mind, that’s when you know the odds are great that the universe has it all planned for you and you should expect the unexpected.
There was nothing I wanted to do with A Clear Sign, financially. I just wanted to write when I felt like it.
I didn’t think we’d be in a financial position or have enough time to plan anything grandiose, like an actual vacation or trip, since we hadn’t done it in the last 18 years.
My ideas for the year were kind of like this:
1. Pay attention to Spirit, my guide team, the present moment, and above all PAY ATTENTION and do your work.
2. Get Thing Two to learn to read already.
3. Make sure Thing One exercises.
4. It would be a good idea to keep my job.
5. Keep my husband happy.
6. Get some exercise myself.
7. Get rid of the goat?
So about a month ago I was looking for a receipt for $1,600 of work I had done on my car, which was now being recalled (never found it) and I ran into that 2014 Planner. I scowled at it and threw it right in the trash with a bang.
I want you to really, REALLY think over your 2014 while you’re reading this. If you had to summarize it in ten items or less, what were the highlights? If you neglect to end your year then you just bring the garbage with you into the new year. Yes, even wonderful things are garbage!
It is probably a good thing that the calendar rolls around every four seasons, giving us a chance to think this over rather than simply continue on unconsciously.
I have this very strong sense that things are about to change dramatically, and I don’t feel that too much of 2014 is coming along with us in 2015. It feels more like you should strap yourself in for a bumpy and wild ride. Things are going to actually happen. You won’t be doing so much waiting. Opportunities will come to your door and pass you right by if you aren’t ready. This is the year to look alive. This past year has been more about how we chain ourselves and lock ourselves up, loss, letting go, sitting tight, getting shocked and disappointed.
We were revisiting and repeating things from the past that we’d darn well thought we were done with but they showed back up. Collectively it felt like we were all saying,”This AGAIN?! No! How did this happen??”
Or,”How can this possibly be THIS HARD??”
So if I wasn’t expecting any big surprises this year, it was probably one of those protective times where the universe consults itself and says,”Better not warn her about ANY of this, let’s just hit her as necessary.”
Biggest Surprises From 2014
1. A revisit from The Slapper this Christmas. Boundaries were set, compromises were made for the sake of family harmony, but I had to give up 2 of the 4 full days I got with my husband in the last six months for this woman, only to get agita back.
Let’s just say that, like there is no crying in baseball, there is no touching unless invited or given permission. Everyone knows this, right? No touching! If your energy sucks, I don’t want it!
Oh the DRAMA, folks.
“To belittle, you have to be little.”
2. “And ever it has been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”
My husband moved out of the country for work for now and into the foreseeable future. Didn’t expect that one. However, it did result in an actual vacation for me and the kids to visit him.
3. Due to an incredibly stupid decision, one of the dogs got hit by a car. He had multiple procedures, two surgeries, and set us back in excess of $6,000, which we couldn’t afford. But my husband wouldn’t let our 6 year old be broken hearted over his dog dying, so if nothing else I can say I chose a good father for my children.
4. I got rid of the goat!
5. I am fairly sure I was successful at all of the other items on my list. The kid can read. I kept my job. I stayed in touch with my guide team. I learned a lot about things I needed to change and integrate. Some friendships deepened. I helped a few people. I wrote some fiction.
The year started beautifully. My husband and I were happier than we had been in a long while. There was laughter back in the house. But then he moved away.
There were things the school had told me would never be possible for my child, like writing the ubiquitous Five Paragraph Essay. His new school did a phenomenal job with teaching him and he began winning awards and being honored for his writing. I’d like to take every essay that won an award and shove it up the old principal’s nose, telling her that if she ever does what she did to my son to another child, I will haunt her. But I’m not dead yet, so just like The Slapper, when they see me coming they should run.
When I think of the past year, this comes to mind:
“We are all like the bright moon, we still have our darker side.”
I’ve decided that trying to be right or good, or kind and perfect in my thoughts even when faced with utter crap from other people is just not in the cards. I go with my gut and do what I can in the moment, but shaming myself for calling a spade a spade is nonsense that gets me nowhere. Feeling our feelings when they show up – whatever they are – is the right thing and the best way to learn.
Sometimes I see people sticking their noses out intentionally to get others in trouble because they don’t approve of their attitude, their politics, or the curse words they use. What do I know, maybe that way of being is necessary in the world to get things done, but as for me I’d rather mind my own business.
Be Proud – We Hung In There
Underlying all the thoughts that came to mind when reviewing 2014 is a sense that we hung in there, but we are capable of so much more. Do not fear what you’ve left undone, but look forward to meeting it in the future. There are times we must rest, times we must revisit our old mistakes, and times when we have to take a serious look at who we are and what we maybe haven’t noticed about ourselves yet.
I’ll assume that it’s true that there is a purpose to everything, good or bad in our estimation, but useful to us regardless.
I am so much stronger than I ever expected to be. Each time some ugliness creeps its way in, I can see how much I have learned to blow it off and not take things so much to heart. What would have traumatized me last year or the year before is now quickly dispensed with. We’ve had to accelerate along the learning curve for the work we have ahead of us, drawing nearer.
I long ago gave up a desire or need for “stuff” or big houses, but that’s probably because at one point I already had that experience. There are many things I haven’t done enough of yet, like travel. I still want to have my cat sanctuary. I still want to write. I still want to enjoy my children growing up and expanding their skills and abilities just because it will be interesting to see what my unique progeny decide to do with their lives. I still want to spend happy times with my husband. I still want to get back on the ice in my hockey skates. I imagine there are a lot more “I stills” left in me to be discovered.
I’m off to read Freckle Juice with Thing Two before bed and to think if I want to have a WORD again this year or just leave things be for future discovery.
What about you? Hopes for 2015? Lessons learned from 2014? What came to mind while reading this?
All quotes credit Khahil Gibran