Arising in December

As the year winds down I think it’s pretty standard to start reflecting on the last 12 months, though the demarcation is relatively arbitrary. December often seems to be a month of change for me, or at least preparing for change.

A lot has changed in the last year and change is on the horizon for the next year. If I had expected my 30s to be more settled relative to my 20s then I misunderstood the nature of life and of my approach to it. It’s odd – I tend to have very absolutist thinking on the surface (a habit I’m trying to diminish) while constantly shifting in my interests, habits and ideas. Change and nuance are all around, while I seem to have a monochrome filter over things that I think and say.

This year has been hard for pretty much everyone I know for a variety of reasons. My own disappointment and setbacks with physiotherapy and impostor syndrome pale in comparison to the hardships friends and strangers around the world have been through. There has also been defiance, however, and unalloyed happiness this year (my dear friends welcomed a new baby after a lot of uncertainty, SOME people in positions of power are being held accountable for their abusive behaviour). There has been adventure (my partner and I did our first multi-day backpacking trip on the South West Coast Path), reunions (visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Salem was both wonderful in and of itself and one of the things that pushed me back to magic) and deep lessons in patience and self-acceptance. I’ve learned a lot but I’ve also abandoned a lot of former ideas I had about myself, or at least I’m in the process of doing so.

Taken as a whole, 2017 felt like a year of stripping away in order to start again, not with a clean slate, but perhaps with a new relationship to the problems we’re facing. Therefore, I have relatively few prior expectations for December. I want to take care of my physical and mental health better than I have been doing before and to approach 2018 with the energy to make the world a better place, not in any big way but in small, consistent ways that are based in care for others as well as myself.

Sorry, this is a pretty boring post. That’s what comes of having very few expectations about the road ahead, I guess!

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