“Pause at the edge, stand still and inhale, breathe in anticipation of what is waiting. When you’re ready, politely step across the threshold as the future envelopes you. Before you carry on, take to heart how each day, each moment of the past year was a gift, and then begin to unwrap those ahead with intention and gratitude.”
These words came to me, sitting quietly, listening to the sound of the rain, before falling asleep, long before midnight, on the final day of 2021. It was a gentle reminder to myself that life was going by, and it was up to me to savor what I treasure before it was too late.
I need reminding; we all do.
We live in a chaotic, fast-paced, and abbreviated world. It’s hard to avoid being caught up in the culture of overscheduled busyness with its constant demands on our attention. Taking time out for ourselves is often perceived as being uninspired or lazy. But, as I move into another year, and I grasp firmly the revelation that there are more behind than ahead, I understand my pace matters.
It’s January 4th, and I’m in bed, again, with yet another stomach bug. Perhaps it was the new year’s day black-eyed peas that twisted my finicky system into turmoil. Nonetheless, having to rest allows me time to reflect and take inventory.
As I look around my bedroom, I’m struck with how many loving friends are represented here. There are trinkets, thoughtful gifts, items passed along that grace my private abode and enrich it with the love and memories of those who contributed to my life, as well as my décor.
Everywhere I glance, I find reference to a time that warms my heart. Many handcrafted paintings and sketches. Some collected and regifted just because I liked them; others found along a trail on an afternoon hike. They are the mementos of friendships that matter. A few from friends I can no longer be with, and that makes them so much more precious. But each one holds a special meaning and provides me comfort.
As we age, we’re often discouraged from sitting with our memories and the emotions of what is no longer, judged as being morose and trapped in the past. But I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t precisely what I should be doing now before turning my attention to the future. Before rushing off into what is new and unexplored. Shouldn’t I spend just a little time relishing what filled my days and nights since last I stood at the precipice of another measure of a life? It seems a suiting tribute to what brought me here now.
Doing so feels right as I relive the moments with fondness, or a wry smile and a lighthearted giggle, and yes, a few tears, but mostly a genuine appreciation for the experiences that are represented here.
I’m looking forward to 2022, as I do to each new year. But this year, I intend to live it more fully, appreciate more, and marvel at what occurs by happenstance. I will love more deeply and be more honest, allowing myself to be touched by the generosity of those who are my treasures, just like the ones they left here.