This year was full of activity, surprises, disappointments, illness, love, cookies and so much more. I caught myself yesterday saying "2017 kicked my ass..." and as I said it something didn't quite ring true. Yes, I often felt like my proverbial ass was handed to me this year. Obstacles were put in my path that I wasn't prepared to handle, I saw some relationships come and go, I felt deep darkness at times.
I realized that this year didn't kick my ass as much as it reminded me of a few things that I forgot.
1. Family and friends are everything. I needed major reinforcements this year. I needed my family and friends to rally around me and tell me that everything is going to be ok. I received love in bounds when I needed it, in many different forms. People at work took on extra work so I wouldn't worry about it. Friends made me meals when I couldn't cook for myself. My family put up with the highs and lows and were always there to listen and go to appointments with me. My community showed up to lift me out of my darkness and into their light.
All the trials and tribulations showed me that we are not alone in this lifetime, we need each other. I forgot how much it means to drop a note when someone needs it, to make a batch of soup to warm someone's soul. In the upcoming year I am going to be tuned in to giving to those I love in a more intentional way.
2. Rest is critical to healing. I was forced this year to rest and heal. I had no idea how difficult that was going to be. The "go-getter" in me wanted to push, to excel, to achieve. No matter how much I desired that, my body needed to rest. To snuggle. To read books. To drink tea and meditate.
This self care was not something that I would have granted to myself if I hadn't been forced into it. Not so in 2018. I am going to build in lazy rest days, go to bed earlier, and disconnect from the busy-ness of life a bit more. I am going to put my phone away more. I am going to read to my son more. I am going to invest in quality time.
3. Doing what you love fuels your soul. I forgot to do a lot of things that i love doing this year. I forgot that I love (and sometimes hate) meditation. I forgot that I love to write. I forgot that I need to move my body to feel real connection to my own soul. I forgot how much I love yoga. I forgot how much I love music. I forgot to be grateful for all the beautiful and amazing gifts in my life.
2018 is going to be the year I remember these things and devote more time to pleasure, joy, and fulfillment.
4. Each day is a gift. The people who died today had plans for this evening. The people who died yesterday had plans for today. We are not guaranteed each day. Each day is a gift and we get to choose how we use it. We get to choose what kind of people we are, what we want to accomplish in a day, how we make people feel when they are around us. We are not guaranteed another day, so how do you want to spend this one? In 2018, I will remember that each day is an opportunity for me to love deeply, grow, learn, and share my gifts with those around me.
5. Pleasure is a human right. This year, while focusing on some of the least pleasurable things in my life, I learned that pleasure is a human right and it's not far away at any given moment. The pleasure of the cold air hitting my face in the morning when I walk my dog. The pleasure of warm coffee waiting for me at my kitchen table. The pleasure of a caress or hug. The pleasure of an amazing meal. The pleasure of a deep kiss. The pleasure of crossing things off your list. The pleasure of great conversation between friends.
I had a lot of opportunity to dwell on tremendously shitty things this year, and I'm focusing on flipping that around in 2018. Remembering that the smallest things can bring pleasure.
Last week my son surprised me with a gigantic bouquet of white flowers doused in glitter. I will be finding glitter 40 years from now from these flowers. I have never loved any gesture as much. I realized that flowers bring me great pleasure, especially when delivered by a sweet ten year old boy.
This year I forgot birthdays, holidays, anniversaries. I forgot the things I love that bring me pleasure. I forgot to tell the people I love the most how much they mean to me (that's YOU....and you mean the world to me!!!). I forgot to slow down and appreciate the smallest things that bring me great pleasure.
I forgot to love myself deeply.
As I set my goals for 2018, I remember.
I remember that this life is a precious gift that is not to be squandered and I deeply feel the gratitude in my heart for all those who have held my hand this year. I remember that I have the ability to focus on whatever I want to focus on. And from now on, deep into 2018, I focus on love, gratitude, pleasure, and joy.
As you make your way into the new year, what have you forgotten, dear one?
What do you need to remember to make yourself whole again?