Have a safe, peaceful, and blessed Hanukkah!
How is everyone today?
I’m …all right. VERY tired, but alive.
I will be glad, glad, glad when my current project is DONE, but, thanks be to God, I am surviving it – day by day!
I’d been pondering this tiny quote in the last Harry Potter book.
For those who don’t know, I came super, super late to the Harry Potter phenomenon – like, in the last 6 months, late! (Many thanks to Mandie Beck, who dragged me there against heavy opposition). I had already grown to adore their author, and I’ve found them to be beautifully written, often thought provoking stories.
This particular tidbit-of-the-week is not pivotal to any part of the story, but it struck me as profoundly practical. And timely.
A character signing off a radio update in the early stages of a very ugly war says:
Often when someone is leaving the house we say ‘Drive safely’, or ‘Be safe’.
We don’t think much about it, but really it’s a gentle way of saying, I love you; of conferring a blessing. And this little eight-word benediction struck me as a perfect expansion of that thought: “Let’s ALL stay safe! Let’s help each other BE safe!”
The simplest: to continue to hold faith – can’t go wrong there, can we?
But as a phrase, keeping faith also means being loyal, standing with someone or for something, even against difficult odds. That sounds pretty good too, ya know?
And a couple mornings ago, I hit upon this little gem:
And you know, it kind of gave me the same feeling!
That may well require unusual love, courage, and strength in our current reality, but I dare say that increases all our chances of good days and good nights! 🙂
Welcome to the end of the year!
My goodness what a year this has been.
Has YOUR year whirled by in a flash of chaos?
Mine sure has.
The hours of a day can drag on eternally, then the weeks, and especially the months, disappear in the time it takes to blink. The highest highs and the lowest lows might come within hours of each other.
One of my little priority life practices is to take some time as the year is drawing (or more often rocketing) to a close, to look back over it and get a feel for where I’ve been, what I’ve done, what I’ve learned…
Five years ago I wrote down a goal of leaving California by 2017.
Well, I made it!
Doesn’t look remotely like I expected. SO doesn’t look like I expected. WOW.
Nothing about my actual escape was part of the plan, and I haven’t a clue how ‘the plan’ will end up.
But you know what?
And I’m living in the beautiful PNW, not in my parents’ basement, or on a friend’s couch, so, you know … it has been at least more successful than the worst case!
One of this year’s New Life Resolutions was: Expect hope instead of horror with this next move. Honestly, that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Not the move, but the expecting hope instead of horror. Expecting anything but horror, actually!
Blessing comes even in scary packages.
As glad as I was to leave California, it also meant saying LOTS of goodbyes. I’m blessed that I usually don’t lose friends just because we are separated by distance, but it’s still not the same.
Nothing surprised me this year as much as HOW MUCH there is of life in even the toughest spots and worst moments. How very rich our blessings, and even our trials, can be.
That still inspires awe when I say it or write it. It doesn’t seem real.
All right, all right, this one technically started in 2016, I know. And it really, really, really doesn’t look like I expected.
Another resolution was: Focus FIRST on getting more of the kind of work that I really want to keep doing.
And I can honestly say I’ve FOCUSED on this!
Am I where I want to be? Oh no, no. AM I successfully self-employed at the level I need to be even to sustain this life? No.
But I’m working on it.
But 13 months after my job ended , I am still here!
I still don’t how this one pans out. The early months of 2018 will bring yet another critical decision point, and I have to just trust God and keep working. But I’m grateful beyond words for every moment I’ve had on this wild ride so far.
Another of my key goals for this year was: GAIN health in the coming transitions.
And one of the best side-effects of all of this change has been that I am getting healthier, little by little.
Living in a less harmful (not to mention GORGEOUS) environment has made me less mental, and even decreased my chronic pain a smidge! Having such a lovely climate has increased my fitness (still a smidge, I’m a work in progress here). And having a better grounding in, and restoration of HOPE, has transformed even my very worsts into much less dark places.
It’s a start. A good start.
If this year has been nothing else, it’s been an opportunity to test out my recently re-built faith!
Scary, scary thing, not knowing if your livelihood is going to hold up for another month! Learning to be a Business Owner after decades of Employment provides enumerable opportunities to face failure and locate the limits of your abilities. (If I haven’t mentioned it before, 85% of my worst fears involve numbers and calculation.)
And though my particular move to a place I knew no one wasn’t near as scary as it could have been, even that had its moment.
I thank God for a lovely community, a safe home, continued trickles of work and income, mentors, loving friends and family who drag my out of the doldrums and set me back on my feet.
My final New Life Resolution for 2017 was: Shape my life so that one year from today my own life is more abundant and I’m more of a catalyst for others’ abundance too.
I sure haven’t nailed this one!
(Though, technically I DO have until 13 January! 😉 )
Perhaps optimistically, though, I do think I have made baby steps, even here.
Certainly my becoming freer, healthier, MORE SANE, can only increase my chance of being of benefit to someone else’s pursuit of abundance.
Knowing God better will, I hope, make me a better help to others when they face struggles like I’ve faced. Or maybe even struggles I’ve never even approached.
So yeah, this baby needs to go back into the mix for 2018. Not quite ‘there’ yet.