A Year's Tale
Some years slip by unnoticed. Dull, uneventful, calm waters or maybe 'in the zone' creative from January to December. Mr Spock from Star Trek would agree that time is a social construct and a year can't have a personality; it's illogical to think in terms of magic time.
But sometimes it does feel like a year has intent, it's trying to teach you something or test your endurance, or maybe it shines with special moments and shared joys. Looking back at last year from a distance it was memorable; full of doors closing and forcing windows open to jump out in the absence of the metaphorical open doors ahead.
So what did your year teach you? Was it full of learning and experience? Did it have a distinct character? This is the story of mine:
- Understanding how difficult and debilitating unemployment is. It's like a pit that gets a couple of inches deeper with each week that goes by.
- Being able to occupy yourself. This is an essential skill when you’re not at work.
- Daytime television isn’t the answer, it’s purely for sick days. It makes you feel like you have no place in the world and nothing to contribute but wish the hours away.
- Listening to the radio is good though, you feel connected to the world with only one of your senses occupied so you can busy yourself.
- Realising the value of people who make an effort to keep in touch and offer moral support when you need it. Looking back it's almost impossible to predict who is going to stick around and who is going to fade away. There are some extraordinary people who are generous with their time and support even when they have their own difficulties.
- That many elements of life are actually uncommonly transient: years, effort, energy, time go in to things that disappear like the morning mist.
- I look back at change from the end and it feels like a gift, at the beginning it feels like facing the labours of hercules.
- Getting through a period of change or trouble is like walking through a tunnel: you can’t turn off, you can’t go back, you just have to keep going.
- Trying new things is essential to our mental wellbeing as it gives a sense of achievement and actively moving through our lives.
- I thought about taking up crochet, based on the fact that I had a dream that I was crocheting myself some socks. This is still on the' to do' list though.
- I went back to Eastern Europe and remembered how interesting, beautiful and diverse it is, and the sense of history sitting on its shoulder never quite goes away.
- I took some new classes at the gym. Body balance is wonderfully meditative. Pilates on the other hand is like a miniature weekly challenge.
- Since I very rarely wore businessy clothes ironing hardly ever seemed necessary. Now I wonder how much of it ever was.
- I discovered I can write. I had no idea this was the case because there had been no reason to try. This gives a lot of credence to the 'get out there and do something different' school of thought.
The Rhythm of Years
Does time have a karmic element to it? Is a taxing year followed by a rewarding one? I read once that there is no such thing as luck, that lucky people are just better at identifying and exploiting opportunities. But the year my father died it was ten years since my divorce – ten solid, productive, happy years and it felt like adversity had caught up with me.
So what about this year? Are you already digging in or does the road look clear ahead? In wishing you a good one am I employing populist superstition to assuage insecurity or do our years pass with a rhythm and balance like the seasons?