So we're coming to the close of our fifth day of this year. How fast time flies!
I've been busy. School started back up on the 2nd and getting into the swing of early mornings and afternoon bike rides home and keeping up with the house and getting back into my routine has left little time for blogging. Besides, the life that I have been living these first five days is hardly blog post worthy. Long dinners with great conversations, mending, tidying the house, curling up with a good book (one of my students lent me Lord of the Rings so I'm working on that) and bike riding, bike riding, bike riding is great living, believe me. But it's living done not in front of the computer so I've been a bit quiet.
I have always been a great maker of resolutions for the new year. Two years ago my resolution was to be quiet and not make any decisions and it was a life changing year. Last year I resolved to do 50 crafts (which I didn't do - I got to 34 or so and it just fell off the radar when I started teaching.) but also to create more in general (which I did do.)
This year I've really struggled to pin down a resolution. There is so much in my life I want to work on, so much I want to accomplish and become. So many things I'd like to be if I could just figure out how to make it happen. I'd like to be more gracious towards others. I'd like to listen more. I'd like to be known for my compassion and not for the orderly, businesslike manner I mostly conduct my life in. Most of all I am acutely aware of the passing of my days and it has been both a gift and trouble and I am coming to see that I have accomplished much but there is a pressing need to do more.
Last year I had a saying by Emily Dickinson up on my chalkboard above my desk - "I dwell in possibility." That seemed to be what last year was - there was so much potential wrapped up in 2011. I spent every spare minute frantically trying to create, create, create. I designed a clothing line. I created a house that was featured on Apartment Therapy. I wrote stories and emails that gave people hope and made them think. I put together a classroom and curriculum where students learn every day. I got dressed with happiness and abandon (mostly) every morning.
And because I dwelled in the possibility that good things would happen if I simply tried (and they did happen! More wonderful things than I could have ever imagined!) I learned that it is not enough to simply dwell in the possibility of something. You must do it. You have to follow through and see it through. All the way to the end.
This year I would like to keep the contemplative spirit that I gained in 2010 and couple it with the possibility I held onto in 2011. I would like to add refinement to that this year. I would like to gain confidence in who I am as a person, and fearlessness. I have learned to create and now I'd like to give that to others and that takes courage of a sort I haven't developed yet.
I'd like to be the sort of person that simply meets others where they are, seeing who they are and finding the potential in them. That takes courage too. I'd like to invest more in people, create relationships with people, reach out to them, extend across the I don't know you and I'm not sure and you are a nameless face to see who is waiting on the other side. That takes immense courage because the possibility to fail is nowhere more stark and more evident than in human relationships. Maybe nowhere more painful either. I don't know if I have that courage yet but I learned two years ago that if you are quiet then the answers will come. I learned last year that if you try it will likely happen.
I can't do it yet, but I'm working on it. I know how to do it, how to put it into practice.
This is how:
Go say hello, and then listen.
(Photos from the first five days of the year.)