Monday, December 17, 2012
Great Expectations of Life and Living
Ahh ... the end of a season's long journey of 'triumphs and travails'!
As the year winds down, we give rambling thoughts to the sprinkling of oddities and momentous decisions that proceeded upliftingly well or jack-knifed dizzyingly wrong. There are the myriad wonderful, mediocre, and sustaining daily moments that provide the volume in between. The little daily decisions and unsung heroes of our lives that we may or may not take for granted are sifted into the mix. The final result is the compound miracle of our life and well-being's continuation. Poof! Our year is condensed into capsule form!
We all give ourselves over a little bit to the hapless impetuosity of each day's outcome, sometimes before those days have even started. Our dynamic focus may change, our paths may cross or converge with others of like mind or of inspiring differences, and some may simply hurtle through the volatile times unaware and uncurious of their ignorance.
What matters is...?
Here we are.
We made it. Here we are at the end of a year, hopefully the better for our blunders or blessings.
Hopefully we are wiser or in some way affected for our experiences.
And so, there is the culmination of whatever we thought would happen, hoped would happen, didn't make happen, and/or never could have to start with.
Personally, this has been a year of intense learning, suffering, decision-making, and triumphal beauty. I have discovered things about myself I never thought I would in a million years. I have been honed, shaped, polished just a little more, and more pointedly directed. I have reinvented, re-imagined, and sculpted new and surprising things.
I have also discovered even more in the layers and unexpected corners turned by others in my life. I have learned the necessity of saying no, being definitive, and selective. I have learned the importance of trust, value, and reliability in my personal and professional relationships. I have been forced to a higher understanding of reasonableness, yielding, discernment, and compassion, in regard to myself and others; whether we seem to deserve it or not at the time.
Also, and this is one of my more valuable lessons, I am mastering the ever-present art of defining boundaries.
I, and many others like myself, am a giving and building person. I give tremendously and not always respectfully of myself and actual circumstances. But that is my job. My responsibility is to determine what I can, in fact, afford to do with myself and my life. Not just money, (though that is important!), but time is the luxury I give up all too willingly sometimes to people, causes, or ideas that may not always be deserving of it.
Therefore, it is this I consider most presently as the year ticks off its final days.
Have I spent my time wisely? Have I been too generous to the wrong people, and not enough to the right ones? Is there something more I could have done, or should not have done? Is it really fixable or preventable in the future? Is there a lesson in this relationship, or that one?
For one thing, I have resolved for the next season to spend far less perturbing and protracted time sharing minutiae, or dedicating my valuables to so many other priorities, and more time focused on what is most important in my life right now: dedicated learning, living, loving, and laughing.
It is amazing just how much people can expect of us or try to take from us. I cannot count the number of hours I have spent cataloging, analyzing, and recording the various moments of my life this year, often with difficulty. I am a writer. It is one of the many things I was born to do. You could just as easily ask a writer to stop writing, as a flower would no longer be planted to bloom. I am scribe and 'rememberer'.
Storytelling means something to me. My earliest memories of 'the story' are a melange of scriptural lessons, Uncle Remus' Br'er Rabbit tales, Dr. Seuss classics, and anecdotes. My family is a compendium of fantastic, colorful, and sometimes even realistic storytellers.
Nevertheless, one cannot hold people responsible for the vandalism of one's privacy, schedule, or decision-making when they are allowed to do so. In which case it is not vandalism, but volunteerism. Ultimately, it is up to each and every one of us to decide how to spend our time, and who deserves the value of it. This really is the crux of life. Where is our heart? Who receives its worth? Have they really earned it?
Here is hoping that this year has brought light into the lives of many, comfort when needed, and a burning desire to see next year through to even higher tides.
Whatever the case may be, there is the natural compulsion to congratulate one another on another year of life well-lived or lived at all. One gains momentum from the strength of shared experience. So I say, "Congratulations!" to all I have been privileged to learn with or learn from.
May you have much Peace, an abundance of Love, and a wealth of Wisdom.