Last night, I climbed up into my loft feeling sad. I was missing my dad and I was thinking about all of the heartbreaking news too. The news has been full of loss and I just wanted to curl up under the covers and write.
While I was writing about my emotions, I decided to take a break from blogging; at least until the new year starts. My plan is to rest, reflect and play! I’m going to spend time with my family and I will also be writing in my journal and taking photos.
During my blogging mini-break I'm going to focus on a few intentions, including:
1. Practicing gratitude. The past year was shaped by taking care of my dad and subsequently losing him. I miss him so much, especially with Christmas right around the corner. It still takes my breath away that he’s really gone. I keep returning to Cheryl Strayed’s book, “Tiny Beautiful Things,” and this quote:
“. . . we cannot possibly know what will manifest in our lives. We live and have experiences and leave people we love and get left by them. People we thought would be with us forever aren’t and people we didn’t know would come into our lives do. Our work here is to keep faith with that, to put it in a box and wait.”
Strayed’s words resonated with me because they are true. For example, a year ago I was living in Portland and had no idea how 2012 would unfold. I didn’t know that my dad would die, that Logan would lose his job, or that I would be living on a ranch in rural Northern, California.
As I wrote this post, I was feeling both sad and grateful. I’m sad because I can’t call my dad on the phone, hug him, or spend Christmas Eve eating crab with him while he told funny jokes. But I’m also grateful; grateful that he was part of my life and grateful that we’re living close to family. I don’t want to lose that sense of gratitude or miss all of the tiny, beautiful moments that will happen as I close out the year and move into the next.
2. Choosing joy. The past year has taught me to look for joy even in the midst of loss and grief. And more importantly, choosing joy is where everyday can be found. For me, joy encompasses the tiny moments that make up my day, from my morning cup of coffee to a bike ride into town. It’s the seemingly ordinary moments that make life so beautiful.
3. Savoring tiny pleasures. I’ve talked about tiny pleasures on the blog and in my book before. I truly believe that savoring tiny pleasures is one key to leading a happy, joyful life. So over the holiday, I’m going to savor the little things, like yummy cookies from my sweet friend Courtney, morning kisses with Logan, and a glass of white wine in the evening.
Parting words . . .
If you find yourself getting stressed out during the holidays, remember to practice gratitude, choose joy, and to savor the little moments.
Micro-action: Conduct an annual review. You can read my review here and find tips to get start your own. As you reflect on the past year, think about gratitude, joy, and the tiny pleasures you experienced during 2012. Also, consider downloading Susannah’s workbook. It will help you unravel 2012 and start thinking about 2013.