On the 31st day of December …

Hope

“… Tonight’s the night the world begins again.” — Goo Goo Dolls, Better Days

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The last day of December. The last day of 2017.

I do love a clean slate.

My last wish is hope — because I’m trying to hold onto that. With both hands. Even though I’m not a naturally hopeful person.

I’m hoping 2018 is a great year. That I can take the gifts and the lessons of 2017 and apply them accordingly. That I can continue to grow and learn, and find the good in people and the world.

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Thank you, friends, for sharing this month with me. I’ve made a very basic Word doc of all of the wishes at the request of my mother, and if anyone feels the need for a copy, let me know in the comments and I’ll email it to you. My little gift for the end of the year.

I’m going to take a blogging break for the first couple of weeks in January. I want to spend as much time as I can with the fam while we’re still all under the same roof. We’ve got a few things planned, as well as the basic back-to-reality craziness that comes after the holiday season.

I’m almost looking forward to it.

Happy New Year!

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On the 30th day of December …

Quiet

It’s been a long, busy, loud month in the Walker household, and I can’t help but think that’s probably the case for most people. So my wish for us today is quiet.

I’ve had fewer and fewer quiet moments as my life has progressed — especially being a mother, although it’s much easier now that the girls are older — and mostly that’s because of the choices I make: Grabbing the iPad and scrolling through Facebook to avoid sitting with my thoughts, saying yes to something I don’t want to do to avoid hurting feelings, working through breaks and lunches because I can’t think of anything else to do, and/or the inability to not have music playing at all times to fill the void.

Today I’m going to just appreciate the silence. It’s not easy — it makes me anxious, actually, which is why I avoid it — but I think that, after the sensory overload that is December, I need to take a break and reboot. To allow myself to be comforted by the silence.

Maybe I’ll try meditating for five minutes. Maybe I’ll take a walk without my iPod. Maybe I’ll stay home all day and never change out of my pajamas. Maybe I’ll just notice the quiet moments today naturally brings and not rush to fill it with something else.

Incidentally, I’m looking forward to the turn of the calendar, a new year of new possibilities, and the return to routine. January is a quieter month. And I’d like to take this wish and extend it into the coming weeks.

Out of curiosity, how do you achieve quiet? Or do you just embrace the noise? I find it interesting, taking a word and translating that into an action … which I’m not always great at. Well, it’s easier to just live in your head.

On the 29th day of December …

Reflection

“Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us — a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.” — David Cameron

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I think clarity and reflection go hand in hand — we figure out what is and then we plan accordingly.

(Christmas isn’t really what makes me reflective, incidentally, but New Year’s. I mean, to each their own, though.)

Anyway, yesterday we pondered a few questions to start making sense of what has happened and what we’d like to happen, and now it’s time to move beyond pondering and actually put pen to paper and answer the damn things:

  • What went well in 2017? What am I most proud of?
  • What did not go so well in 2017? What would I have done differently?
  • What lessons am I bringing into 2018?
  • If I could choose any three things to accomplish next year, what would they be?

I’m sure there are more questions we can ask … and maybe questions we don’t want to ask at all. 😉 My journal right now is filled with scribbles: What did I let go of, what did I embrace, what did I discover, what did I fear, what am I looking forward to, where do I want to be mentally/physically/spiritually by this time next year. Actually, the best part isn’t writing down the answers, but seeing what I wrote a year or two or three (or four) ago and how far I’ve come.

So that’s today’s gift. If you don’t feel reflective today, don’t sweat it. Go dance in the living room instead. That’s practically the same thing.

On the 28th day of December …

Clarity

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With the year coming to a close (finally! I’m ready to kiss this one goodbye), I find myself trying to make sense of 2017 and sketching rough goals for 2018, and for that, I need clarity.

So that’s my wish for us today, just because I’m really going to need it.

Spoiler alert, tomorrow’s word is reflection — they go hand in hand, really — so I don’t want to get into the weeds and hash out the year too much. Today is just about sorting out thoughts and feelings, needs and wants, hopes and dreams so that from tomorrow, we can put pen to paper and get the real work done.

A few questions to ponder:

  • What went well in 2017? What am I most proud of?
  • What did not go so well in 2017? What would I have done differently?
  • What lessons am I bringing into 2018?
  • If I could choose any three things to accomplish next year, what would they be?

I’m open to other questions if anyone wants to add anything. And I would seriously love to know how everyone else puts the old year to bed / starts a new year.

On the 27th day of December …

Space

“Honor the space between the no longer and not yet.” — Nancy Levin

“When you let go, you create space for better things to enter your life.” — Live Life Happy

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A recent Snapchat from Abby.

To be completely honest, I’m not really sure where I want to go with today’s wish. All I know is that I really like space, and with Christmas just past and the new year coming quick, I’m craving it even more.

Room to introvert, that’s the key. I get real cranky real fast when I don’t get space to myself. I need that time.

But space is more than that. There’s just so much meaning in those five letters.

I’ve been attempting to sort through what happened this year while broadly planning how I’d like the next to look. And I find myself smack in “the space between the no longer and the not yet.” So I’m trying to remember — again — to be present, to work with the now and not overthink the future. Or dwell too much on the past.

The second quote is perhaps a little trite, but there’s another meaning I rather like — letting go of the baggage we carry with us (for me, that’s pessimism) to make room for good things (like giving myself permission to be happy regardless).

We get to take our pick, I guess.

On the 26th day of December …

Love

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” — Victor Hugo

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It’s the day after Christmas, and all through the house, my kids are still sleeping, and crap, Bean and Goose just got another mouse.

(My sincerest apologies to you, Night Before Christmas guy.)

This maybe should have been a wish for earlier this month, now that I think about it. Well, better late than never. I’m coming off a full three days with so many friends and relatives, and my heart is full. I can really identify with Victor above because I know that I am so loved, even though I’m not always sure why — I’m great, but I’m not that great.

Still, it’s the best gift I get, anytime, anywhere, and that’s what I’m wishing all of us today: Just that happiness that comes from loving others and being loved ourselves.