Elizabeth Barret Browning opens Sonnet 42 with:
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
It is a hard call to love a year that has been difficult.
It's harder to love a Pandemic Year, where not only are the personal, spiritual, public and private parts of life challenged in new and often catastrophic ways, while also living in a Collective energy that's about as far from happy and harmonious as we could get, as the world shifts out of the old but has yet to settle in the new. It is confronting. Perhaps finding reasons to love, celebrate and honour this year's unfolding, and to gently hold awe, wonder and joy, is even more important. It would be easy to take stock only in terms of death, exhaustion, isolation, uncertainty, claustrophobia, loss and the seemingly growing divide in humanity. It would be simple, absolutely warranted, but would it be fair, kind or honest?
The thing with "shitting on the year that shits on us" is we carry the ghost of the previous year into the new year. We also make the new year responsible for a better experience in ways that it can never truly live up to--that we can never truly live up to.
Every year will have highs and lows. Every year will come with challenges and opportunities. People will come into our lives and people will leave. We'll climb mountains and flow down rivers. We'll also be lost and aimless. There will be moments of ecstatic freedom and crushing imprisonment. Any given year will give us all of this in greater or lesser extents. We will experience it in our bodies, in our homes, our workplaces, relationships and the world beyond.
In a year that could be consumed with memories of spending months of existential dread, believing I was dying and feeling perpetually unsafe in my body, these are some of the things I am choosing to remember and celebrate instead:
1. small incremental change
2. tending my house and kitchen
3. unexpected relationships
4. creating a new writing routine & helping midwife two new books
5. the multiple strands of what it means to be a life coach
6. walks that happen before 5:30am
7. brain rest in the afternoon
8. Chris Cornell's music
9. my local afternoon dog friends group
10. my tarot journal, The Re-Authored Life