Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ending on a High Note

2014 ends tonight at 11:59 pm. Or does it end at the stroke of midnight? I don't know the answer and may 
never know - it doesn't matter. It's funny how perspective changes with time and experience. I always looked at 
New Years as a beginning, like most people, I suppose. It now seems more appropriate and true to look at New Years as 
an ending with a focus on accomplishments. 

When you take stock of your own productivity, you must be very careful. We tend to view our own lives through one of two (or three, perhaps) lenses: a rose-colored one, where everything is lovely and wonderful, or a magnifying lens, where every flaw is revealed. I like to think there can be a third lens; one of clear glass, preferably antique glass with bubbles and waviness within it, that allows me to view correctly and completely but with the knowledge that all images may not be perfect. 

I see myself sitting before a wood-framed, 6-pane window, made with that antique, wavy glass. Pane one is the first part of 2014. It's hazy, to be sure, but if I concentrate, I can start to make out a few images: working on my health, my book, my crafts and such. Started networking more, mostly on google and tried to blog more regularly. So, first window pane, not too shabby. 

Next glimpse is end of winter, beginning of Spring and a leap into the world of craft fairs. Sounds better than it turned out to be, but it WAS a learning experience and I sold a few things. Problem is, I didn't do any others after that. Lots of positive reinforcement received and more networking, though. Also decided to try getting back into nursing and interviewed for a telephone triage nurse job. Long story short, it went to someone else. Moving on. 

Late spring, early summer and the juices are flowing. I see myself getting busier outdoors with gardening and yardwork while still keeping up the crocheting. Came up with some new products and lots of cotton yarn projects. Sewing machine getting more use. Yard sale time, too. By now I quit the online games and stopped spending hours reading FB posts and clicking on every link. Turning 60 makes me realize that time is ever more precious and should be used more wisely. 

Midsummer days appear. Inside during the hottest parts of the day leaves lots of time for writing and thinking. With funds depleting, it makes sense to think about a paying job again (horrors?!?). Nursing seems low on the list of possibilities, even though that seems an unwise path to want to follow. I'm crocheting afghans even though it's 90 degrees outside. The AC does a decent job keeping it comfortable inside this 140 yr. old house, how thankful am I about that? Very. And, oh, major events this year! A visit with a dear high school friend to catch up on the past 40 years of our lives. That's an entire blog post in itself. And a reconnection to a past love, an ex-spouse, old friend, father of three of my children. Another entire post that I do not plan on writing anytime soon. Did I say major? I meant MAJOR. Yep. 
Pattern for commissioned afghan

oil painting in progress
Looking at early fall days now and, while it's still hot outdoors most of the day, there are comfortable mornings that allow me to flex my artistic muscles and do some oil painting. Great feeling to use that medium again to create with. Acquired a more disciplined approach to each day. I decide I need more structure in my life, and one way to do this is to make sure to allow 30 minutes or so for piano practice daily. This serves a dual purpose -  my 8-years-old-this-September grandson really enjoys my keyboard playing (not to mention the guitar and fiddle), and showing him how practice makes more perfect is something special. I've also decided to devote daily time for spirituality - always a  good thing. Sales increased at my etsy shop during this time, but it's still not paying any bills, so I apply for a job at a local grocery store. I'm not hired. Well, well, well - that's kind of deep.

The remaining vista is clearer simply because it is recent and the emotions tied to it much easier to reach. Holidays are a challenge for many. Being with family and the stress of preparations, stretching dollars, etc. puts a damper on feelings of joy and peace. I'm fortunate to have only experienced this a handful of times in my life. I know I am. And knowing that makes my 60th Christmas season so very much like a beautifully wrapped gift to me. Happily, I was able to concentrate more on sharing the togetherness of the season with those I love than worrying about making sure everyone got the perfect gift, or their favorite sweets, or a spectacular dinner with all the trimmings. I made lasagna and a few finger foods. Everyone enjoyed it and I, for once, got to sit down and enjoy it with them. Why does it take 60 years to figure out what's really important? I have no idea. Maybe I'll figure that out in 2015. 

Happiness, prosperity and a healthy amount of humor are my wishes for all in the coming year. Consider yourself hugged.

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