Monday, December 31, 2012

Seeing 2012 Out and Inviting 2013 In

by Zinta Aistars

Throughout the year, I've been told that the glow of my life in 2012 shines through me. That I emanate the peace and contentment of where I am now in my life. Well, of course it does.

Who we are, what is inside us, and ultimately what we decide to keep around us, will color the moments of our every day. 2012 has been the best year of my life.

Not perfect, mind you. The best. Perfection is not something I worship or even wish to attain. Indeed, I think perfection highly overrated. It is the imperfections in our lives, after all, that keep us from becoming complacent. It is the imperfections in the people close to us that endear them to us and that challenge us to achieve our own best. It is our own imperfections that make us strive to achieve a higher level of excellence.

Yet I would be hard put to say what is missing from my life now. Happiness is, in great part, recognizing the time to say: "Enough." I have enough. And I most assuredly do.

The year is ending far from where it began, and not only in measure of time. After all, in time, a year is not much. Then again, it can be forever, and one year can change everything. I began the year content enough, eh, with several frustrations bristling and itching beneath my skin. Yet it was in December 2011 that I found that magical place one calls Home, and so I began the year knowing that great things were soon to happen. I circled this place I've come to call Z Acres, a secluded 10-acre farm with woods and rolling land and pond and fields to plant, with a history that dates back to 1832, and by March 23, 2012, I was ready to take key in hand. I unlocked the door that day as owner and stepped into my own little slice of heaven.

I did all of that on a great leap of faith. And there, exactly there, is what transformed not only this one year, but my life as it stands. I finally learned of what and how to let go and what and how to take firmly in hand. I learned how to step off the cliff and unfold my wings into soaring flight.

I learned that when you make a decision to do something that may verge on crazy if measured by convention, if you do it for the right reasons, a net will appear. The right reasons ... because it is the right thing to do ... and because you are following your bliss.

I've taken leaps based on those two reasons more than once in 2012. When I bought Z Acres, I kept my old house as rental property, and I did it while changing jobs ... that is, going out on my own, starting a business as Z Word, LLC, a writing and editing service. It was a tremendous risk, but I knew it was one I wanted and needed to take. I was declaring my independence on all sides, and it could either result in quick ruin ... or set me on the road to freedom.

I'm still smiling. The road has been lit for me at every turn. Lanterns lit by my strengthening faith and my flexing muscle of letting go of all that could hold me back. Dare I say ... it's been stunningly easy?

Yes and no. It has taken a lifetime of paying dues and learning lessons to get to this point. So no, not entirely easy. School for this has consisted of broken dreams, broken hearts, broken promises, broken wings. And yet, stunningly easy when the right moment arrived. All that I had built to this point, the jobs well done, the circle of family and friends to give support, the deadlines met, the reputation built, the demons conquered, the skills honed, the lessons learned ... all had brought me to this point, to this place in my life, when the puzzle pieces could all fall neatly into place ... and create a wonderful life, a dream at long last come true. And the freedom to fully express it.

My son and his lady Dawn

My son and my daughter on her wedding day

My daughter and her new husband
Home found, business open, what else? In 2012, I've witnessed my children each find their true loves. People who stand by them and support them, loving them for who they are and just as they are, and there for them through thick and thin. What greater joy can a mother know?

Mom and Dad, still together after 62 years
I have had the time to spend with my elderly parents, and now that I, too, have hair grown white with a life fully lived, we understand each other well, and reach compromise where we differ. One learns to accept family differences with time, and that is a great blessing. Where I chafed and bristled in youth, I now find acceptance. Life has taken its cycles nearly full turn, and now I am blessed to often provide the helping hand and care that they once gave me in my younger years. Just as it should be. Each and every time I see the two of them, my mother and my father, I feel the blessing.

Z Acres
A great part of living at Z Acres is enjoying immensely the peace and the solitude this place provides me. Ah, the quiet ... the serenity of the morning, when I start my day, faithful old chow pup walking beside me, as we daily walk the grounds, the wooded paths, the edge of the pond, the trail through the fields, up to the Cottage on the Hill, and that serenity pours over me like warm honey. And yet, when I do wish for company, I have but to look across the table to meet kind eyes.

My faithful old chow pup, Guinnez
This is life of balance. All good things in measure. Even as I have enjoyed my best year ever in all respects, I'm sure I won't be rolling in monetary wealth in the years to come, but who needs it when you already have everything? My goal is to achieve, not endless growth, but sustainability. Paying off the mortgage, pay the regular bills of maintenance, and that's all I need in the years to come.

I already heat mostly by dead wood I gather on the property, I plan to expand my vegetable garden in the coming summer to twice what it was in this first year, and I hope to bring four or five chickens to the farm in spring to provide a constant flow of fresh eggs. Since I no longer commute to work, only venture out for the occasional work assignment interview, my use of a car is minimal.

And so on. I compost, I recycle, I live a minimalist life, donating or selling belongings that no longer fit into my life. My little red farmhouse is small, just enough and no more, yet big enough that I could host a Christmas gathering in 2012 for a dozen dear people.

So I look back, and I am pleased. I am rich with blessing. And now I look forward to 2013, ready. I realize that most of my hopes and wishes in this new year are for my children, closer to the beginnings of their great journeys, making the decisions that will mold their lives to come. I wish them continued love and support  in their primary relationships. I wish them wisely chosen dreams and the courage to pursue them ... following their bliss and doing it for the right reasons ... and the wisdom of knowing what to pursue and what to let go.

I wish us all love. That heart warmth that keeps us tied together, into a supporting net of our own, catching those among us who may slip and fall, while giving others of us a place from which to climb. Family is about that: sharing our ups and downs, the good and the bad, and sustaining hope when one of us loses the strength to maintain it.

These are the things that have brought me to this contentment: faith, family, friends, and following my bliss in my work. These are the things that will keep me on course in 2013.

I wish you all a happy new year. I wish you all ... enough. I wish you all to find Home, that place that holds us, where we can send down deep roots, giving us the ability to reach as high as we have the courage to reach. I do think the world, after all, the world that we knew ... ended in 2012, and we now stand on a springboard to an era of enlightenment.

Welcome to 2013.

No comments:

Post a Comment