On the second day of the New Year, I've still made no resolutions.This way I will have no guilt later when resolutions are broken. The promises I make these days are only to myself because life is so uncertain. It's the road less taken and easier if things don't work out. There is less energy spent fighting for things-and no remorse. In this past year I have learned to streamline my life: I do without a lot of things I'd like to have and take a hard look at what I buy.What I own are the essentials. I am beginning to understand my grandparents life-long mindset of being frugal developed during the War Years, but I hope I never develop their anxiety and paranoia about life when things get little shaky. Living on the brink of disaster( imagined or not) is not how I want to live my life. There is too much joy to be found in unexpected places, and I'd like to allow myself the flexibility to take that chance in order to find it.
I am a lot better about not beating myself up these days. I haven't lowered my standards or given up, but I have shifted my perspective, and I am kinder and gentler to myself on the days when I have mobility problems, when things slip out of my hands and hit the floor, when something I value-some precious babble that commemorates a special moment in my life- ends up shattered into a million pieces because it has slipped from my grasp. I am not as hard on myself. Life ever flows on, even on the bad days.
This attitude is slowly seeping into other areas of my life, like relationships and work. I'm a bit less eager to criticize myself for things not going the way they were planned. I bite my tongue a lot more and let things slide that aren't my direct responsibility. I have developed the habit of leaving the room because I'd rather not bloody my head from banging it against the wall over things I cannot change.
A very wise man once said, " Would you rather be right or rather be happy?" I'd like to both, but since that isn't the way life works out most if the time, being happy is more important to me. Selfish? Perhaps...but I think it's time. In theory (and reality) no one cares more about your well being than you because you know your needs better than anyone. There are days when I am not feeling my personal best, or when I am feeling dark and depressed. There are days that I just don't care.
We've all been there because it's a universal state of mind. It's just that if I don't kick my darkness in the ass and send it packing it has a tendency to stick around and feed. It's had a lot to feed on in the past several years, but I am determined to keep it on a strict starvation diet in the coming year- I have to if the plans I've made are going to work out. It is really not all about me, but I need a few moments for myself or I will not be able to give any part of me to others.
Perhaps it's the state of the economy or the world in general, but I'm seeing a lot of this attitude on social media sites. People are just woeful and pitiful. I'd like to chalk it up to post-holiday blues, but I suspect the reality of it is that our world is so out of control right now that many of us feel helpless.
I find myself in that place of helplessness momentarily also, but I have learned to step back and take stock. This is not the life I want; it is the life I am living now. It has been and could be a lot worse. Presently, I have a roof over my head, food on the table and a relative amount of freedom, for which I am ever grateful. There are friends who are on the brink of loosing their homes.Some have had to move back in with their parents. Others have no place to go. I have a wonderful new faith community where I can immerse myself, and I count myself very fortunate because others have been set afloat on the sea of spiritual uncertainty. Some have stopped believing in a Higher Power while others are so angry with God that the resentment is eating them alive. Whenever I feel creative, I pull out my craft supplies and make something to satisfy my creative side. The people down the street were trying to figure out what to make for dinner with the odd cans of vegetables they received in a bag from the food closet: another type of creativity. While I can wrap myself in a blanket and hunker down with a good book and a fabulous cup of coffee and loose myself for a few hours, there are those I know who are hunkering down under bushes wrapped in a few precious blankets because the shelters are all full and they can't get inside out of the cold.
I want to help them, all of them...but a single individual can only do so much. We each only have a certain amount of energy in reserve, and at times the reserve is mighty low. There is only enough for ourselves. My heart says to give a little of that energy away, there is enough for all of us. My head says no, because I am running on empty now-what will happen if I give it away and it turns out that I need that energy to care fore myself later?
Faith is what happens. I close my eyes and trust. Because it's all I can do for now.