The Axial Tilt of the earth and the winter darkness easily allow us to look inside and examine the good and bad and lessons learned of the past year. I’m taking a few quiet moments in the wee hours of the morning to do just that.
My mind turns first, of course, to my December goals. December, of course, is not over; however, the busyness that is the Solstice and Yule celebrations will easily get the best of my time. So now I reflect. As every month there was both difficulty and ease in finding my goals.
In regards to my goal on journaling about the things I’ve learned, I realized I do fairly regularly in my morning pages. It gave me the idea that I might put together a little chap book for my kids for next Yule about the best of what I’ve learned. It could be a project I do throughout the year in between my regular writing goals. They don’t read this blog…so, they’ll never know. 😉
Discovering a new best was a bit more difficult. What I finally concluded was that I was looking at the phrase all wrong. It wasn’t a “new” best, but just new in the realization that I’m the best wife I can be; I’m the best mother I can be (and trust me with three teenagers in the house, it’s difficult to ever feel that, but I have my moments); I’m the best artist I can be. Also, recently, I got a pie in the face from some very special writers in my life and learned I’m a damn good mentor. I’m best out in the field and creating in the kitchen, or at the keyboard typing out stories. I’m fairly organized given the chaos in my life. I’m best at making people feel very, very good, as well as, very, very bad. I try to make a habit of the former preferably. But if you deserve a tongue-lashing, you might just hear it from me. Because, I learned, I’m best and battling, especially for those who won’t battle for themselves. I’m also best at being adventurous, whether it’s trying a new food or investigating an interest.
Giving away something epic has been difficult to nail down. I was looking at material goods, of course. But, I realized I give of myself to my family, friends, and community daily. Yes, daily. That’s pretty effing epic in my book. Today, I’m going to surprise someone with something they wanted. I think they might think it’s epic. It deserves a tick mark of note, regardless. I would like to give away this cold I currently have to the wilds of the ether to never darken anyone’s sinuses again, but alas, I have no control over that. But, I let my mind go there. I frequently also let my mind go to this dream I have of taking my husband on a honeymoon. We’ve been together now for nine years, married in April for eight. We didn’t get a honeymoon. I want to take him to Fiji, or at least Hawaii. I’ll get there, eventually and it will be epic. Again, it’s all in the perspective.
Hosting the party for Happiness. I was looking at a special engagement, and nailing down a good time for my circle of friends was hard. Then, it dawned on me that every day could definitely be a party for happiness. A note in the “good things” jar, an extra special meal, a hug when the teenager least expected it (or maybe even deserved it), a quick cup of coffee with a friend in need of a good ear….every day truly can be a party for happiness. Right now I’m happy there’s a warm hearth in my home, a loyal dog at my feet and Theraflu in my cup. Martha Washington said it best: “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
All in all My 2013 Happiness Project has been a success in developing this huge attitude of gratitude in my life, renewed energy and strength to tackle the challenges that face me, and more importantly, a ready forgiveness of myself when I harshly criticize myself for not measuring up. Measuring up to who? When I stop and examine why that voice is booming so loud, and who I’m trying to please. I recognize the person I need to please first is myself. Everything falls into place after that. That whisper of malcontent inside of us likely exists to drive us to be the best we can be. To try new things, meet new people, listen to new music, read a new book, volunteer to do some good – whatever satisfies that whiny child inside of you. In the end, we’re pushed out of our comfort zone so we learn something. I’ve learned this year that I’m very fortunate despite the seemingly daily challenges of raising children (one whom is extreme special needs), existing in a culture that doesn’t value artists….oh, I could list all the trials and tribulations. But, apparently, just knowing the fact that I spent a whole year focused on trying to determine happiness in my life means I’m more disposed to just spin positive on the whole thing.
And I’m okay with that.
Here’s to a successful 2013 Happiness Project and continued recognition of the good we have all around us in 2014.
Now I think there is some holiday baking for which I must attend. Won’t you tell me how your December has gone? How you think your 2013 was? What are you looking forward to in 2014?