Even though much of my work is literally TOO BIG FOR WORDS, occasionally I am inspired to write, and this is the place for that. Feel free to join in the conversation. Thanks for reading.
What will you choose to remember about 2014… Ebola? The Olympics? ISIS? Ferguson? Or something more personal, perhaps — a success, a failure? Reaching 400 friends on Facebook or befriending your shadow? Seeing a perspective-shifting movie like Interstellar or experiencing a stellar moment of your own creation? Savoring a delicious dinner with friends or an afternoon spent solo in silence?
One thing that resonates with me at this moment is a recurrent theme I’ve heard all year long from people of all ages and stages suffering short term memory loss. It makes sense and is expected from my aging parents, but this forgetting is not discriminating. We all seem to be afflicted by the same ailment: we remember far less than we used to — and it’s annoying, and maybe even scaring, us!
So, I wonder whether we’ll remember the calm or the chaos of 2014, or perhaps, nothing at all. They used to teach us that we learn about history so we don’t repeat our mistakes. Stuck in constant war-mode, I have to question this premise (and of course I agree we should study history). Surrounded by an ever-increasing array of distractions on a 24/7/365 basis, our brains have far more to process in far less time. How many photographs did you snap this year? How many emails did you send? We are making more memories than ever before, and remembering far fewer of them.
This time of year, I love to slow down and reflect on where I’ve been, what I’ve accomplished and what I’ve learned over the past year. And then choose what to let go of and what to linger on before leaping into the new year. It’s a process that takes some uninterrupted time and space. Choosing to begin this personal ritual on my 300-mile ride home for Christmas, I noticed my mind mirrored the blur of fallow fields and grey winter skies. For a moment, I couldn’t grasp a single story from 2014. My heart raced at the brief experience of a blank brain: the outer world reflected my inner state — Yuk! And then… the race riots in Ferguson burned through, as did letting go my college girl, the totaling of my car, and the weeks of p/t that ensued. It took awhile for me to refocus and retrieve what came next (without cheating and looking at my ical): college apps, snowstorms, and bad news. Eventually, the cream rose and I smiled recalling amazing Circle moments, celebrating glorious graduations and receiving sweet surprises.
It was as though the heavier, dark memories remembering was required to make room for the lighter, brighter ones to surface. As we crossed the line into Ohio, brilliant memories radiated through my mind’s eye, accompanied by a beautiful sunset (the first one I had seen in days). Freed by the re-membering, I chose what I wanted to hold onto, what it was time to release and then, perceived space to begin again.
“If you look, you will find, with some certainty, that JOY is in the spaces in between.
Live them.” Curly Girl (Leigh)
Here’s your permission to take a moment for yourself. Sneak away if you have to… Linger in the “in between” for a little while.
What do you remember about 2014?
What are you ready to release?
What are you excited to create in 2015?
Here’s to a JOYful new year!