Where Are You Going? Setting Intentions For 2014

Apropos of nothing, except the sarcasm that hilariously bubbles up from it which perfectly matches how I feel this time of year, this is my favorite nursery rhyme.  It’s a bit obscure and I only found it because it was on one of those baby CDs that someone or other gifted us years ago:

“Where are you going, my pretty maid?”
“I’m going a-milking, sir,” she said.
“May I go with you, my pretty maid?”
“You’re kindly welcome, sir,” she said.
“What is your father, my pretty maid?”
“My father’s a farmer, sir,” she said.

“Say, will you marry me, my pretty maid?”
“Yes, if you please, kind sir,” she said.
“What is your fortune, my pretty maid?”
“My face is my fortune, sir,” she said.
“Then I can’t marry you, my pretty maid!”
“Nobody asked you, sir,” she said.

How do you make your decisions and plans these days?  Do you have far-reaching goals with a lengthy chart of how you plan to arrive?  Do you wing it?  Do you have a vague sense of what you feel you might become, but it’s a distant dream out on the horizon?  Do you just take it day by day?

You know how people over-book themselves at the holidays, and run around like lunatics wanting to cross everything off their lists, get the sugar cookies made because they “should,” have 100 gifts to wrap, and over-spend because each thing is “under $20 so it’s a deal” but then they forget to calculate that there were 50 people on their list and their budget was only $200?

Not to mention the holiday parties, the school gingerbread houses, the functions and the ever-lovely extended family obligations?

Many years ago I decided to be an insurance agent.  The busiest time of the year is the 12/31 and 1/1 renewals, which means half of the underwriters are on vacation, a quarter are drunk at the off-site office party, and the rest are slaving away under intense pressure at their desks.  I was always the one stuck at my desk, trying to cross every T and dot every I and praying that London hadn’t left for the day without remembering to send my binder.

For the last few years I didn’t have to do that, but now that I am back at work it is upon me once again, with a few twists.

I missed my oldest child singing something from Oliver in the school play – the first school event of his I have missed, ever.  His teacher is 8 months pregnant so all of the notices went out on a Tuesday night for a Friday mid-morning show, and there wasn’t enough time to rearrange the plans so I could be there.

There is a balance between staying at home making no income and being available for everything and being a full-time office worker who has time for nothing.  So far I haven’t struck it.

I did appreciate seeing my pay stub this week that summarizes exactly how much we would be in debt if I hadn’t found a job.  There was also a small surprise holiday bonus, which I thought was lovely considering I have only been there 6 months…it was enough to cover everything I bought for Christmas.

The main thing though is that I have found a rhythm to life that is starting to gel a bit.

It’s that ability to prioritize in the moment, what can I embrace and accomplish and what do I need to let go of?

I was sad for a moment listening to the kids’ wish list – people they’d like to see, places they’d like to go.  Things that just aren’t likely to happen.

I realized that there are few people in our daily life that really matter.  I am not beset by a list of “show up here” and “we’re depending on you” because if anyone cares they know I won’t do it due to work obligations.

I’m not sure there’s anyone left who really cares!

It’s like how I suddenly realized that I hadn’t sent holiday cards out in about 7 years…no wonder I get only a handful from diehards!  Sure, I see most people online every day, but still…I like those cards.  Even though I don’t send them, I want to receive them…and I actually enjoy those ridiculous “This Was My Year” group letters that inevitably brag or are completely depressing, and now seem to come via an email attachment rather than in the mailbox, postage and time being what it is.

I had one high school friend who sent me a box of gifts – for me, not the kids, which never happens – with a personal handwritten card thanking me for extending my time to help with intuitive questions that popped up here and there for her.

I practically fell over when I got it.

THAT was perfect.

It sent my gratitude meter soaring.

I was tickled pink.

It was so completely unexpected, and just lovely.

I realized suddenly that there was absolutely no reason to be sad over what is not happening that we sometimes wish would.

I had cut a swath through my life this year, eliminating everyone that did not fit the bill.  It wasn’t really intentional, I didn’t set out to do it, but I did follow my intuition on it.  It is true that when you tell the Universe that you don’t want something in your life anymore, and you are fully prepared to deal with the fallout, and you are 100% ready…it unfolds like a magic carpet.  You wanted to cut cords of attachment?  You wanted more of this and less of that?  Here you go.  Silver platter.

What happens then is that a void opens.  You don’t know what to do with it, because suddenly…there is less stress.  There is more time.  There is a moment of opening back up to the things you had let go of, because you just keep expecting them to be there hitting you over the head…they’ve been doing so for years or decades, where did they go?

Then you realize that WOW, they are really GONE!  Gone for good!

Then you have to start looking for your list…the list of what you wanted to do before, but couldn’t.  Suddenly, you can!  It feels a bit surreal to have the refrigerator lifted off your back and stand up straight, looking around the world and seeing the sun.

This is when there is an opening, to new people, to other community involvements, to…who knows what the Universe might bring you, now that you have changed?

You know how everyone says to “close out” your year?  It’s true, do it.  When the moment feels right, take a conscious inventory of your entire year.  What were you hoping for this time, last year?  What were your new year resolutions? What were you hoping to close the door on?  What doors were you hoping would open?

Did they?

If they didn’t, what else came on it to take their place?  Something better?  Something worse?  Something you needed?

When the moment feels right, take a mental walk down 2013 Memory Lane and express appreciation for whatever showed up for you, and what didn’t.  Put a mental and emotional period at the end of that sentence.  Consciously close it out, like you were doing your annual books or renewing your policy.

2013 was a “1” numerology year for me, the start of a new cycle.  You can look yours up for 2014, just to get a feel of where you are in the 9 year cycle.

My “word” for the year was PROSPERITY.  I got it.

Then, take a deep breath, let it out, and see what pops to mind as your “word” for 2014…something surprising may hit you.  Your new year’s resolution should be simply that one word that you bring into the new year.

The word is a prayer – an intention you send out into the Universe for what you will focus on in the upcoming cycle.

If you have one, what’s your word?