Although I quite enjoy transitions, I have never found New Years to be a wholy satisfactory ritual. Yes, I do like the sparkly parties, the noise-makers, the cocktails, Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve, the ball falling in Times Square, Harry finally declaring his love for Sally, and I get a lump in my throat when I hear Auld Lang Syne. But I am no party-animal and so I tend to enjoy those well-known New Years symbols from a comfortable couch with a small group of friends. (This year that small group of friends was enjoying an evening of playing Wii games, only stopping for the countdown!)
This is all good fun, however, I do tend to suffer from the post-Christmas blues (*sigh* 354 more days until next Christmas) and New Years does little to assuage the grief. I like the idea of creating/participating in rituals that help to add a little shine to the every-day, as well as marking passages of time in a meaningful way. So for that reason I am going to jump on Andrea Scher's Mondo Beyondo bandwagon.
1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007?
I would like to aknowledge that I faced a new decade of life with cheerful enthusiasm and eagerness, rather than clinging to the past. I am so excited to be in my 30s! : )
After a few years focused on a particular dream (to be a midwife), I have been re-discovering all those other parts of myself, things I didn't have a lot of time for in that phase of life. Stuff like painting, making jewelry, reading, writing, creating a blog. One of the bravest choices I made in 2007 was one of self-acceptance. Meaning that I have been making a conscious (and somewhat successful) attempt to not be so damn hard on myself. This came through mostly in the fall (although had been brewing for... um ever I guess) as I faced yet another semester of school and faced it imperfectly despite my insanely high expectations. As usual even when it felt like all was lost, and like I was the least prepared person in the entire university, everything wound up being totally fine. I keep finding more and more evidence to support trusting myself regardless of how it looks to the judgemental harpie who lives in my brain, and this is good news.
2. What is there to grieve about 2007?
2007 sure had its ups and downs. As I said, I celebrated my 30th birthday, so I think it quite reasonable that I grieved the end of my 20s (well "grieved" is only partly true, I was glad to see them go, those tumultuous and hectic 20s). I continued to grieve my parting of ways with a life of midwifery... that was harder than many a break up, and just as necessary. I grieved a lot for a family member (well members) who are struggling, and for the waves of grief and saddness that this struggle has sent rippling through all of us who so love them. I grieved for certain perfectionist ideals I have held for so long, both consciously and unconsciously, about my life, my partner, my "career" (whatever that is) and especially my self. I forgive myself for putting myself (and sometimes the person closest to me) under so much pressure to perform a certain way. I forgive myself for all the straining against reality and the huge expectations. I forgive myself for all the judging and defensiveness. I forgive myself for the seemingly endless procrastination and the imperfect (but complete!) work I have done. I forgive myself for not living up to the impossible!
3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?
Oh 2007, you tricky monkey. Actually, it was (and still is) the year of the Fire Pig. Maybe it would have been good to know that at the time. Apparently it was also both the International Polar Year and the Year of Rumi. There are so many things I did not know about you 2007!! But now you are over and it is time to welcome a whole new year of possiblity ...
And so... "I officially declare 2007 complete!"
The final step is to consider your primary focus for the year to come. What is your primary intention or theme for 2008? Is it the year of joy? the year of self-care? the year of partnership? Stand up and say it proud, "2008 is my year of...."
Picture: Pig stamp from Canada Post website.