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.
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|
|Mom and Dad, still together after 62 years|
|My faithful old chow pup, Guinnez|
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.