Wednesday, December 31, 2014

And now let us welcome a new year

Well, that blog break lasted a bit longer than I meant for it to.

As I'm sure you could tell there toward the start of the "break," I got a bit worn down by my own repetitiveness on the weekly gratitude lists, and work and life and life and work continued to march on in such a way as to nip at my creative heels, undermining my extracurricular writing, reading, reflecting, etc. And I let it, so that's on me. But each time I thought about getting back into writing more regularly, I would hear my internal voice say "meh" and  kept on the path of least resistance.

There were real and true plans to pick it back up at my birthday, paying subtle homage to the fact that the blog began back at my birthday six years ago. But Oct. 29 came and went, and here we are, post-holidays and on the cusp of a new year. Perfect time to get off my butt and back to writing, right?

I have mullings about this past year, and plans for the coming year, and these few days of really precious quiet time with the guys have been so helpful. My brain feels reset to a more balanced place. So, for the moment, I'll take it and move forward with optimism that I can structure my life to accommodate the other, important areas of my life that require a little time and energy to caretake.

So where am I at with the One Little Word idea? Oh, it's still a thing. There were a few early word choices vying for my attention, all reflective of my desire to focus on what's most important and not just what's urgent. For a moment or two, the word "filter" was at the top of my mind, but that's a completely utilitarian word, zippo on the romance factor. Filter led the way to "mindful," but hasn't that word been worked and reworked the past decade? That alone doesn't make it a bad word, but it wasn't quite what I was going for. And then I arrived at Presence, and stayed.

Presence is something that I have always needed more of in my life, even before smartphones and constant media inputs fragmented our brains. OK, my brain. But it's true. Listening, processing one thing at a time, not multitasking the heck out of every situation to try and get more done, slowing down just a touch and reminding myself of what's really necessary... for me, all of this fits under the umbrella of Presence.

Wish me luck, both on the Presence and the blogging. Time will tell on both of them, of course. But I see that they are rather related, too. A bit of Presence (I swear I won't cap it forever, just for this one post. Really.) will go a long way toward giving me the mental space I know I need to to even allow inspiration in.

I found the above image via Pinterest, and love the whole list--but was of course very interested in "Give the Present of Presence." :)

In case you need a recap, I couldn't help but review my blog posts about resolutions over the years:

2009 resolutions and my report on how I did.

Starting to simplify the goals process in 2010

2011: the first year I really picked a word (Focus).

2012: Grace, with the recap/follow up post)1

2013: Light

2014: Pray

Which brings us to 2015: Presence.

One site that is consistently my go-to for all things thoughtful is On Being. There are two specific posts that I've seen/listened to/read in this week of peacefulness that have relevance to 2014 (Pray) and 2015 (Presence):

Thomas Merton's Prayer That Anyone Can Pray.

"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."

Gordon Hempton's The Last Quiet Places: Silence and the Presence of Everything

There are many audio opportunities with this post, and I so enjoyed taking in his recordings of the natural world. If you can't find me, I might be out in a field, listening to the silence.

I hope that 2014 was a good year for you. And if it wasn't a good year, I am glad for you that it's over. I know a great many people who had life challenges this year, from health troubles and careers failing through to marriage and relationship issues. The beauty of a new year is the old refrain about turning the chapter to a new page and starting over; even if it was a good year, that's an idea that resonates with me.


  1. Welcome back to the world of bloggers. We have missed you. Am looking forward to many cups of tea and rays of sunshine through 2015.

    What a lovely word... Presence. I too have not always given my full attention to important matters and like the idea of putting more into giving myself to the situation at hand.

    Also when I am with a person I am really trying more to give them my full presence. I haven't always given people the due I should. Great word. It jogs my brain and heart with a resounded clap/whack.

    Thanks! Love to you and yours as we start a new year.

  2. Lovely words, lovely friend. Here's to 2015. It will need your Presence.


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