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If who we are is what we do, then like most people, I am a mixed bag of personas. Writer, bookworm, friend are what first come to mind. Equally apt would be potty mouth, dog walker, Guinness drinker, swimmer, storyteller, political animal, baker and proud Canadian. Mostly though, I consider myself simply insanely lucky to have a small posse of near and dear ones who put up with me and my curvy, creative, curly haired, opinionated self. I started this blog several years ago with the idea to challenge myself in a myriad of ways. Years in, despite at times sporadic entries, I still like to muse about the absurdity of life, what inspires surprises and angers me, books and other entertainments, my dogs, my travels and any other notion buzzing round in my head.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Brave New World


Another year already?  How’d that happen?  It just crept up sneakily on me.  I could have sworn it was just October a second ago.

In spending some time thinking about the past year, I was reminded of how quickly time seems to zip by.  The older I get, the faster the days and months seem to whirl past.  On a day to day basis I don’t really note any difference.  It’s only when I pause for a second.  Stop.  Put my head up and look around me that I realize once again, how quickly life goes.  How fast paced day to day living seems, how fleeting, how temporary.

I try to take some time at the end of each year, as a new one begins to read through my old journals, think about what has occurred, how I’ve felt, what I’ve learned, been delighted by or disappointed in.  I also can’t help but wonder where I’m going now.  It’s fun to imagine what I might experience and what’s in store for me. 

2012 was a year of real extremes.  Highs and lows in every sense.

I found love again. Or it found me. But not the kind of love I thought I’d ever know.  Wonderfully calm, grown up, I see you kind of love.

My writing floundered a good deal this year.  Lillian is still in need of care and attention.  She really does need to fly this year.  But while treading the waters of procrastination, a nugget of an idea floated by.  And from that, a new series of short stories came to be – The Longed for Days.  A triumph for me over my wordiness in the form of ten, very short, flash fiction style vignettes.

I found out things about someone I love.  But not the kind of things I ever thought I’d find. Things that shook me to the core.  Things I would rather not have seen. 

Work work was all peaks and valleys, with a big promotion and the satisfaction of being acknowledged and its corresponding challenges in sheer magnitude of work and responsibility.

I’ve been in robust good health, hale and hearty all year, while those close to me have had strokes, fought cancer and battled depression.

I wandered canalled and cobblestoned streets in Europe and sat quietly in the gazebo in my backyard with equal enjoyment.   

It’s just been that kind of year.  Differences. Opposites.  No real middle ground.

But in all that, there were constants too.  The steady; the foundational:  Murphy and Matilda and our daily walks, brunch with those Battenberg boys, coffee and books and pints with my girls. 

Would I want to repeat 2012?  Would anyone want to do over a year?  Does that even make any sense?  2012 was what was.  And I am richer for it, I think. 

This brings me to 2013.  Every year I take a peek at Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s Wish.  If you are interested you can find it here.  Last year he wished a year full of mistakes.  The kind you learn from, the kind that mean you risked something, the kind that mean you really lived. This year, he wishes for bravery and joy.  Bravery to go boldly and the joy of the experience. 

Bravery is a good one.  I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to begin the year with an ideal.  One friend tries to establish this with a word for the year.  In the past when I’ve given this any thought at all, creativity was my goal. 

But I believe Neil’s onto something.   
Courage is the key really. 
Courage to be present in this very second and not worry so much about what tomorrow will bring. 
Courage to be yourself despite what others may think. 
Courage to speak your mind, even if your voice is shaking. 
Courage to love. 
Courage to launch yourself at the world giving it everything you’ve got. 
Courage to forgive, others as well as yourself. 
Courage to be generous.
Courage to create.
Courage to be still.

My new year’s wish for all - courage, my friends. 
 
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
Anais Nin