As the year ends . . . how many articles and writings are beginning with this right now? Just this morning I saw a few. Really its just one day inexorably moving into another one, a simple feat done as it’s been accomplished since our world began in its present form. Still, the need to change one number when you write out a check does give me a certain pause. (Not the least because my brain needs to catch up to the revolving times).
When I think of the things I envisioned would happen this past year just a scant 365 days ago, the reality has proved so much different. I try really hard to differentiate between projecting and planning. For instance, I am planning to go to California to hold my first grandchild and spend time with the family I love most in the world. But Life has a way of tilting even the most solid plans and shake them into razor whipped ribbons.
This past year I moved and then began plans to move again, to California. The California plans didn’t work out for now. I am planning for a move in a couple of years, eons from now. But within my current home, I am making friends with wonderful people, am safe and secure, and even have had people offer to walk my cat (on his leash) when I didn’t feel up to it. That wouldn’t have happened if I had moved.
By all rights, I shouldn’t be alive right now. I nearly died a few years back, was given up for dead if not for my son’s tenacity and insistence. Afterward, I had dementia for a year due to a drug reaction. I had to wear a colostomy bag for a year. All these prepared me for the work I do now and the compassion I feel for those in similar circumstances. I’ve learned acceptance and rational hope. I’ve watched people die and I’ve seen people fight their way back from the edge. How can you plan those things in the beginning of a new year?
So this year I am scattering my expectations to the four winds. As the icy chill of the air blows outside, I will bury my preconceptions under the snow so when Springtime comes, as it tends to do, I can laugh at the fantasies I built my life on and cherish the realities I have been given. For even if I don’t understand why they are happening, or don’t see them as fair, I Do know I will always learn from the realities that grace my path and grow stronger (hopefully) as a result.
May all your expectations bring fruit to bear that is fragrant, luscious and life-giving. And may changes shatter your preconceptions and awaken untravelled realms within and without you. Happy New Year.