Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas everyone! I so miss the snowy Christmases of my childhood. Sitting by the window watching the flakes fall while sipping a cup of hot chocolate - the moonlight reflecting off the snow as it accumulates in wind-sculpted drifts - the occasional showshoe hare that would hop across the yard when I lived in Montana. So last night I was thinking how much I wish it would snow for Christmas Day. And an hour ago I got my wish ... it's even sticking a bit, unusual for Portland. As the flakes fall in my backyard, I am watching the squirrels and jays scurry to fill themselves with peanuts and corn and hurrying back to shelter. The little Oregon Junkos that are scurrying through the yard, stopping at my feeder, with their feathers blown about by the wind, seem the least perterbed about the change in weather. So I think I will make myself a cup of tea and enjoy my unexpected gift from Mother Nature.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

An End and a Beginning

As the solstice grows near and the new year looms ahead, it is time to say goodbye to 2007 and make plans for 2008. I read that in all winter rituals and religious observations that there is a common thread of musings that are acknowledged in each. First, to remember and recognize all that has been accomplished over the last year. Secondly, to forgive yourself and leave behind all that has saddened or hurt you over the last year and finally, to decide the direction you wish to take for the new year.

I have had an incredible year. I am so grateful for the support and guidance provided or shared with me over the past year by so many wonderful people as I have traveled from a depressed, overweight and defeated individual to a healthy person excited by each new day of life and the prospects it brings. I am grateful to all who helped, supported and encouraged me as I lost weight, got fit, traveled to new places and grew in my art. You all know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I will attempt to let go of my need for perfectionism and recognize that despite my upbringing, it is not possible for a human to be perfect and continue to learn to accept myself as I am: not all that I want to be, not able to please everyone, but a human with value, all the same. I ask for forgiveness from those who I have hurt over the past year - know that I would never do so deliberately, but need to be accountable for my behavior all the same. I am truly sorry.

As I grow older and no longer have the energy I once had to focus on many things at once, I will use the upcoming year to determine what is most important to me in life and learn to let less meaningful things go. To realize that my resources need to be focused on that which fulfills me and makes me a better person, not wasted on what brings only momentary happiness or gives me the illusion of being more acceptable in the eyes of others. Most importantly, I want to see more how I fit in this world and where my actions can do the most good rather than on demanding that the world accomodate me. I know it can be done - I have friends who are already there.

So to everyone out there, I hope you are able to lay the old year at rest and wish you all the best with your dreams and wishes for 2007.