The Turn of Another Year
Hello, readers [pokes head around the corner].
I am still here, believe it or not. It’s has almost been a year since my last post. I so wanted to get more blogging done, but it just didn’t happen. Oh well. On to what’s next…
So many thoughts are jumbling around in my head; I don’t even know where to begin.
First and foremost, I started off 2018 with writing this post. Having just reread it, I have to tell you… not much has changed. And yet, so much has changed. I’m still not ready to get into details, but I’ll do my best to explain without them.
I did not set out with specific goals for 2018. That is, I didn’t declare them or write them down. I had a few ideas floating around in my head and I sort of just went with the ebb and flow of them and the alterations of them. I have made some changes, some strides, and still feel stuck, though maybe a more accurate description is that I feel stuck in a new way.
I have moved forward, somewhat, from where I was, so there is that. But, still, again, I’m not sure where I go from here. Just like before, I will figure it out, each step of the way, little by little. It just seems to go at a snail’s pace for me, and that makes me super frustrated. But maybe I’m just the tortoise.
My 2018 in quick review:
I have been working on putting myself and my needs before others, something that I desperately needed to do. Sometimes I am able to do that, and sometimes not so much. It’s a constant struggle for me. However, even when I choose not to put myself first, I am now at least aware that I’m doing it, that it is indeed a choice I am making and not an unconscious move on my part.
I turned 40. The number doesn’t bother me. I don’t hide my age, and in fact, I’m proud to have made it to 40 because, sadly, some people don’t get that privilege. The bonus is that I don’t look my age (or so I’ve been told by many people). But the that fact that 40 years have gone by does bother me because in some ways, I feel like I’m moving backwards in life and not forwards, even though we sometimes have to go backwards a little in order to find a different forward route. I guess I’m still just looking for that hidden turn-off, or staring right at it, not yet ready to make the turn. I’m not sure. Or… maybe I’ve found the hidden path, have indeed made the turn, but just haven’t yet found my way out the woods into the clearing yet. Still so many possibilities.
I started working on things that make me happy and passionate. One is Country Line Dancing. I absolutely love it. I love the repetitive structure of it. I love learning new steps and dances. I love that there are thousands—and I mean thousands—of dances, with new ones being created all of the time. I love that the more advanced dances take a lot of concentration and practice to master. And I love that when you do finally master them, you feel like a boss. I love my weekly lessons, and I love the random weekend open dance parties. And above all, I love that so many people out there love it just as much as I do. I have been a Country Music fan since the early 1990s, and during that time on Long Island (New York), that was “abnormal.” It was something to hide, or at least risk criticism for if you admitted it. That was my experience anyway. It took a long time for a Country Music community to develop here, but it has and it is STRONG.
I took my first solo vacation. Admittedly, it was only an hour away, but I was alone. At the beach. I ate by myself. I went out by myself. I entertained myself. It was new and exciting, and at times, a little lonely, but definitely something worth doing.
I volunteered for a cleanup weekend at the camp I attended when I was young. This is by far one of my absolute favorite places on earth. It brings me such peace and serenity just to be on the grounds. Plus, I have many fond memories of my childhood summers there. It had been a long since I was there, and being back there… well, it’s definitely some place I want to make a habit of going every once in a while.
I started down the Chic Sparrow rabbit hole (more to come on this), which led to pieces of Bullet Journaling and Morning Pages. I did a lot of writing and list making, which got me through the winter and spring. And then, quite suddenly, for no apparent reason, I just stopped writing. I didn’t have the energy or drive or desire for it. It took several months for me to get back to it, and while it’s still not at the height it once was, I do sometimes find that my fingers and mind itch to write. Hence this random blog post.
I have accomplished all of these and some other things. For that, I’m proud of myself. So why is it that I feel like I’ve made no progress at all? I guess I feel that way because other areas of my life are still uncertain. When you’re going through a rough time, people will tell you, “Just wait. In a year from now, everything will be different.” When they’re right, they’re right. But we—or maybe just I—tend to think of that in a positive way, that things will be better in a year, and I think that’s the intent when it’s said, to put a positive spin on it. But what they don’t tell you is that sometimes, things can be worse than they are now, and that’s a “different” that I don’t like.
I’m still trying to just go with the flow of what comes my way, and I’ve been fairly successful at it. I don’t always like what I get, and I have railed against accepting some things in the beginning, but I’m not trying to control it as much as I once might have, and eventually I learn to let go, even if that has to happen in stages. Other things I’ve been able to completely go with the flow with. So that’s a small victory, too.
As we get closer to 2019, I’m not sure what I want to accomplish. I’m really not excited for the New Year. In fact, I dread its coming. I’m not sure why exactly. I mean, I could look at it as a way to start fresh, start new, start down my new path. And maybe I will, whatever that path is. But I also feel like there’s a lot of pressure to do that (both from myself and society towards New Years in general), and what if I can’t? What if I don’t want to? The reality is that 2019 is coming, even if I don’t want it to, even if I don’t want things to change, even if I don’t want them to stay the same either.
I haven’t really been in the holiday spirit this year, which is very unlike me. I’m trying. But I just can’t fully get there. There are reasons for this, which are part of the details that I’m not ready to share. But more than not being in the Christmas spirit, I’m really not in the New Years spirit. For me, I have no plans. I don’t want plans. I want December 31 to be just another night and January 1 to be just another day.
I know this is a temporary feeling and that I will find my way, whether on January 1 or March 27 or September 19. And as frustrating as it is to me to go at a snail’s pace (if only in my own mind), I will get there. Because I will have to.
Slow and steady wins the race.