As I enter the New Year, this time full of health and vitality (not struck down by mono like I was in 2012), I find myself still contemplating taking it easy. It seems that more and more of my life is run at a breakneck pace but that I’m finding it easier to determine what is really important. I’m very privileged in that I worry about my life being too full rather than too empty and that I am not forced to work endless hours just to pay rent and feed my family, so I have very little to complain about and very much to appreciate. However, I still get overwhelmed (albeit by First World Problems) and often find myself turning to mindless busyness and distractions to keep me from facing important feelings and tasks, particularly anxieties about whether I am <i>enough</i>. (Enough what? For whom? Talk about irrational.)
My goals for the New Year are to stay focused on the important things and be gentle with myself and with others. Lately, I have been appreciating the Buddhist mantra, “when in doubt, contemplate warriorship.” I think this will serve me well if I carry it wherever I go.
It’s too early to tell for sure, but we will probably be spending almost a quarter of 2013 traveling. We just got back from Montana and are soon off to Hawaii. I have been dedicating time and energy to renewing my strength and fitness for a 2-week trekking trip in Patagonia this March. Then, in April, we are canoeing the Green River, followed by a few days in Vegas, a likely week in Glacier, and hopefully an Autumn trip to Japan and back to Santa Fe. It may be a “last hurrah” before a temporary travel hiatus: I think we are finally going to start our family and try for a baby as the year winds down. I will be deepening my meditation practice and getting my body into super shape to prepare for the physical and mental trials of motherhood the best I can. At 30, I’m starting to feel a few aches and pains that I want to stave off as long as I can. A quiet life and a steady body will take me farther than the alternative.
I plan to invest more in my relationships, too. Justin and I will be working on our communication, life goals, and finances together with a renewed commitment. I’ll make a concerted effort to spend my energy where it matters and not fritter it away in front of the computer or on mindless entertainment. I’ll also try harder to say “no” when I feel stretched thin and take time to rest and regroup. As I age, I feel that family and community are more important than ever, and also that it’s less worthwhile for me to bend over backwards to accomodate everyone and more worthwhile for me to just be confident and trust in my experience.
I feel unafflicted right now with the societally omnipresent desire to “achieve more.” I would rather experience more and continue to grow in that way. It seems that accomplishment follows naturally from experience. I stopped struggling and trying so hard last year and my business grew by more than 100%. I don’t expect a repeat of last year, but I also know that I don’t need to have visions of grandeur to be successful. I will take care of couple, every family, every individual I work with, appreciate them for who they are, and tell their story through beautiful words and pictures in a lasting way. I will trust in my experience and my expertise to guide them and learn from others with more experience and expertise when I have the chance. I will not tell myself I am the best, but rather that I can learn whatever I put my mind to and overcome the fear that stands in my way.
Let 2013 be a year of acceptance and a year of facing fear with gentleness and yielding. Let this be the year I take the advice of my recent ski instructor, Randy, as I point my ski tips down whatever slight or scary slope lies ahead, “Stand tall, open up, and go faster.”