The late evening – early morning actually – was crisp and clear. Above me I could see what seemed like a million stars. Being careful not to misstep as I bent my neck as far as it would go, I took in as much of the night sky as possible, while the dog six feet from me on a leash in my right hand pulled me steadily forward.
The walk with my boy is my final daily ritual that closes each day regardless of the weather or visibility. It’s often mediative, a reflection on the day. This night it was a reflection on the year. This, at a time I could feel frustrated about all the inconveniences or sad about all the broken plans, or angry about the losses, gave me hope. I felt an enormous sense of gratitude for the expansive scene before me and it provided a reminder of all that we do have.
Maybe because this night served as the beginning of the last week of a very imperfect year, I was looking for a sign that the future would be better. Many of us have lost someone this year. More have lost someone some year, so most understand that pain, and thus understand how rightfully tragic this year is perceived. While somewhere in our grief, in the struggle and frustration, comes patience and courage. Perhaps what we take into the next year is all that we have learned from this experience.
A lesson I have learned many times throughout my life is that having the right tools is always the key to the successful completion of any project. Although that also often means having to learn how to use that new tool first, letting go of how we used to do things, and managing a period of discomfort. Looking into the stars, I felt a sense that the universe was telling me I now had the tools. I was just learning to live through the discomfort.
Let’s give ourselves credit for all we achieved this year. Let’s be grateful for our abilities to manage the discomfort; for our strength to endure the pain; for the experiences we take into new years as we are pulled steadily forward.
That night, as we turned for home, I glanced one last time into space, looking for the alignment of Jupiter and Mars and caught a shooting star as it sailed across the sky. My wish is for all of us: a New Year of gratitude, togetherness, hope, and abundance of opportunities and dreams achieved.
I didn’t know where this blog was going when I started it five years (and 250 posts) ago. One of my concerns was producing the content to keep it going and yet, here I am. I still don’t know if I understand exactly why I am doing it. I never built the following I had hoped to, nothing I’ve written has ever gone viral or brought me recognition or riches. Every so often though, someone comments or sends me a PM and I know I’ve hit a cord or provided some sense of inspiration that makes the effort seem worthwhile. I have felt a bit of pressure to stick to a schedule, and have decided going into the next year to focus on quality over quantity, to try to be more focused in the content rather than random ramblings. Maybe I will even take the time to organize the 201,140 words I’ve published here so far into the book I’ve always dreamed of writing.