“You were born and with you endless possibilities, very few ever to be realized. It’s okay. Life was never about what you could do, but what you would do. ”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year
Every day, since I was around twelve years old, I have risen early to meditate, to write, and to reflect on my day before the rest of the world wakes up. That quiet time is my gift to myself, and I have come to value it as sacred time.
Today, the day after my birthday and the first day of my new year, I am awake more early than usual. I wanted to reflect on my year ahead. What that might mean for me. How I would shape these coming days. What choices I might make.
If I am the Captain of my own ship, then I must set my own direction.
I grew up in an era where I was told that girls could do anything. That my life would be a whirling dance party of endless opportunity. That makes me smile now, thinking back. There is such hope and breath-taking naivety in that assumption. Perhaps it’s true that you can have anything. But in choosing one thing it often precludes others. No-one ever talked about that!
So here I am, standing in the doorway of another year. What a privilege to have these days stretch out before me. Having lived on the cusp of demise so long, it buoys me up to think that the quality of these next three hundred and sixty-five days may be better. That I may enjoy improved health, more energy, and a brain that can grapple with the bigger questions.
Life has certainly been a big teacher for me. Lyme disease, left undiagnosed so long, has until recently left me rendered down to so few possibilities and functionalities.
This year, as I contemplate the advancing year and how I may best use it, I am able to be steered by my values. What’s important to me. What actions, philosophies and relationships matter to me.
There is great comfort in that. And that comfort has been won by so many years of early mornings, of quiet reflection, of painful self-examination and wordless wonderings.
I have whittled down all of those endless possibilities into a handful that have meaning for me. Later today I will sit with my journal and a pot of tea, and create a map for myself, steering me toward what matters, and away from what doesn’t.
How about you?
Do you ever gift yourself time for reflection? Do you actively make choices about the person you wish to become, and the life you desire to lead?
It’s not too late. You can start today.
There is something precious in honouring the finite choices of our life. There is power in choosing this thing over that thing. Our choices are how we shape ourselves. Making choices consciously is how we claim back our emotional and spiritual centre, turning life into a delicious adventure.
Your life, like mine, is a precious gift. I’m excited to be unwrapping the beginnings of another year.