Since Christmas, I’ve been looking at 2013 through a mental wide-angle lens, reading my blogs and perusing photos, searching for a theme that sums up my year. Nothing really popped out at first. I mean, I met Jim in January.
And Alice T. Dog in March.
Andrew is still in film school, I finished school, and my ex retired from school. Teaching, that is.
Then I zoomed in on the year a bit and saw that…by golly…I s-l-o-w-l-y got my brave on. Perhaps “brave” is a bit brave, but when I compare last year at this time with how things are now, I kind of feel like freakin’ Hercules, man. Despite what felt like a physical apocalypse, 2013 offered me a whole lot of focus and awareness.
A quote that sums up this year is from Anne Lamott’s book, “Help Thanks Wow”:
“When you get your hooks out of something, it can roll away, down its own hill, away from you. It can breathe again. It got away from you, and your tight, sweaty grip, and your stagnant dog breath, the torture of watching you do somersaults and listening to you whine, ‘What if?’ and ‘Wait, wait, I have ONE more idea…’”
Hoping something or someone will change is like getting mad at turbulence (something I actually did on a flight out to Minnesota in November). It’s futile and a waste of time. And yet, for so long I, with my stagnant dog breath, had my hooks in things I wanted so badly to be what I wanted them to be, refusing to see what they really were. People, knees, that slice of cheesecake…I wanted them to be different.
I wanted ME to be different.
In taking my hooks out of some (not all, by any means) of those things and people that weren’t what I needed them to be and saw that they were just being what they were designed or needed to be, I in turn set myself free. It wasn’t always easy. Sometimes letting go is like shaking tape off our fingers or picking a fleck of egg shell out of a frying pan. But those little leaps of faith didn’t cause my world to fall apart. They made my world less cluttered.
I’m heading into 2014 with a bit more courage and clarity than last year, but sans a Hercules costume. Perhaps granddaughter Claire will let me borrow her ninja mask.
Wishing all of you a happy, healthy, and a mostly nutritionally sound 2014. You can still pencil in chocolate, bread, wine, and brie once in a while.
(The title for this blog came from the song “The Letting Go” by Melissa Etheridge.