A new year. Sigh. We can do this. I can do this. We’ve got this. It will even be a great year! Once I kick this funky feeling out.
I felt fairly optimistic on December 31st but somehow and completely inexplicably, January the 1st has found me decidedly on the nostalgic side. It is silly, I know. Nothing changed as I slept between yesterday and today (yes, the New Year found us half asleep and already in bed. Party animals. Not!).
I have every reason to welcome the New Year with joy. I have a house, health, free time, financial security, a life partner, exciting trips to plan… There is nothing I can really complain about at a personal level. I have Enough.
Yes, I miss my daughter, wishing I was with her even if that meant shoveling snow in the Narnia-like winterlands of Maine. But no, that does not weigh heavy on my soul. She is happy where she is and that fills me with joy. I do wish that I was physically with my sister and her husband as they go through tough days in his battle against pancreatic cancer. Though my heart aches for them, I visited 2 weeks ago and will see them again sometime in the near future. But grief from sickness in the family falls into an entirely different category; so that is not it either.
When I take a good look at this nostalgia, I find that I yearn for the things I did not do in 2016. I wonder what the artwork I did not take the time to make would have looked like. I miss the essays, musings, ramblings, and blog entries that I did not write. The miles I did not run. The calls I did not make. The dates I never made to have lunch or dinner with my extended family. The places I did not go to. The recipes I did not cook and the people that I did not feed.
Mind you, these are not actual regrets. I did do at least some of each of these things! I knitted beautiful pieces. I exercised regularly; even enough to say that I’m the strongest and fittest I have ever been. I went out with friends. We traveled. I visited with family. I wrote (ok…at least towards the beginning of the year). I helped out a few people in very different ways. I cooked.
And let me state here for the record, there is no bigger satisfaction than cooking for a sick person and watching him eat enthusiastically for the first time in months.
But I know in my heart that I could have done…. More.
More?!? More what?
I have long since outgrown the glorification of ‘busy’. I have embraced a minimalist lifestyle. I strive (and mostly succeed) to live a simple life. There is not a thing I want (though nice rings or bangles are always welcome!). So why this sudden desire for ‘more’?
Ooooookay. Time to have a honest conversation with Self. I finally had to admit that I want to do more things that express who I am and what I think. I was nostalgic for my creative self. I wanted to be ‘more’ creative AND have something to show at the end of the day for it. And of all the things I do, I miss writing the most. Writing about life, love, friendship, travel and cooking.
I will bashfully yet freely admit to neglecting the disciplined part of the creative process. I did ‘some’ writing in 2016 but not ‘as much as I could have’ had I been a) paying attention, b) setting somewhat concrete goals or c) having a disciplined approach to my chosen craft. So, yeah….it was certainly not Enough.
And all this brings me to where I am. Ready to make 2017 the year where I chose to make my writing a mindful, disciplined, sustained, and accountable goal. Maybe I finally get somewhere with that novel. But wherever this yearning takes me, I’m pretty sure I find in this year enough topics to dip my Spoon into.
Let’s do this. I’m shrugging off that funky feeling! Have a blessed New Year.