Saturday, December 26, 2015

the "between" days

Years back I used to send what I called "between" cards - which were carefully selected and carefully written notes to my family and friends that I purposely sent in the span of days that fall between Christmas and New Year's.

The time between Christmas and New Year's has always been a contemplative time for me. The build-up to Christmas is full of joy but it's also often overloaded with expectations and attempts to make things "perfect" for the holiday. Every year I try to refocus my efforts on simplifying and having good and meaningful time with my family. Some years I manage it well, others I get caught up in the frenzy. And after the holiday has passed, I hear from clients the lesser-known stories of the holidays: disappointments, tensions that built and burst out, sadnesses, grief. For many people the holidays bring things to a head or highlight what isn't there, or hasn't been, or won't be.

This time before the new year is in my opinion a perfect time to reflect. As I sit here typing I see the white lights on the tree reflecting in the kitchen window so it appears there are little white lights on the bare oak tree by the barn. The same lights are reflecting in the black computer screen on the desk in the living room making what is essentially a blank screen into a piece of illuminated art.

What are my thoughts for myself this week?

I made several commitments in the fall for the coming year that I now see were poorly timed. I'm pulling back on those things and redirecting my time and energy. It's okay to do this! We don't always know what needs our focus. Reallocating is a good thing if done thoughtfully.

On busy days and nights this week I made a point to walk out to the barn and feed some treats to the herd. One evening I did it in the dark and realized (again) how powerful a remedy that is for me. I aim to do more of it. The feel of a muzzle against my palm and a soft snort in the moonlight is a treasure I have access to every single night of the year.

It's been over a week since I even thought about writing or editing. That's okay! But it's time to get back to it. A fair amount of my energy comes from doing that work each day. It's work that refuels my spirit.

Things that feel like failures in the moment can be powerful elements of change in our lives. I had a few of those this week and I'm going to keep reflecting and look toward using the experiences to make a few little leaps forward. We all have the option to do this - all it takes is reframing and a willingness to look at things from a different direction.

I just read a note from a friend who shared that 2015 was one of her worst, most difficult years. She is ready to move on to a new one. Sometimes when things have been hard that's the best thing to say - I'm leaving it behind and moving on to something new. Which in a way is what every New Year's Eve is about - choosing to celebrate the good, learn from the difficult, and mark the beginning of a new year in which to create new paths, new habits, and bring the things that work well forward too.

One thing I'm bringing forward is this blog - a place where I get to write whatever strikes my fancy without worrying too much about being perfect or literary or anything at all. Thanks for reading and for those of you who comment. I love reading your thoughts as much as I love writing the posts! 

Take a moment and savor this between time. Share something here if you like. I'm looking forward to thinking, reading, savoring.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Thank you for this thoughtful post. I can find myself in a lot of the things you pointed out. It is a time for reflection and also for saying it's okay to not have been able to achieve all the goals I set for myself in 2015. It hasn't been a good year but it wasn't all bad either. There's always trade offs to balance the good with the bad. The start of a new year always comes with the renewed hope that we can put the disappointing things behind us and move on to better times. Have a wonderful New Year!

billie said...

Thank you, A - I always love your thoughtful comments and wish you a great new year too!

Matthew said...

Really appreciate this.

billie said...

I'm glad you found it helpful!