Change of Seasons

The end of the year brings about its own transition – the ending of a cycle (the year ahead), the ending of a season (and birth of spring), the start of new beginnings in the year ahead.

Running in Circles

A large part of the year end was about eagerly preparing my school books for the new year (yes, an absolute nerd); then it progressed to arranging the party or gathering to be at for the festive celebrations; then it was about rearranging and running around a lot for a whole bunch of “festive” stuff.

No wonder there wasn’t much I looked back on fondly, or *sheepish* even remembered.  There was a lot of chasing, and no center-ing; pacing & no pausing.  As I looked to live more purposefully, the direction it took me across a period of time to this year was that I had been running in circles, when really, it was about honouring the cycles.

Honouring the Cycles

The cycle of life ebbs and flows with the nature of life.  Cycles exist in a new season, new year, births, deaths, birthdays, anniversaries, recovery, change of jobs, change of homes, relationship loss, marriage, engagement, menopause, puberty, new projects or in fact, in every Monday and so on.

I want to honour my year end – not that it is about a grand celebration or extravagant settings.  To honour here, means three steps:

  • First, to pay respects to the cycle (year) past, celebrate the road walked. 
  • Next, to center and ground, to meditate and contemplate, then craft out what is a suitable vision ahead for the new cycle (year).
  • Finally, to count the blessings and express gratitude for what I already have and what is to come ahead.

I would like to have spread it across a week or two, block myself in some yoga spa retreat and hibernate from the world.  The truth is, my help is on her festive leave, I’m away from work but more tired out from chasing my kids, managing the housework and tending to my own errands on a full-time basis.

As this year begins the first time I purposefully engage in a mini-ritual to honour the cycle transition of the year end, it seems there really is no restrictions on: how long it needs to be done, having everything to work around me before I start, how big I set my visions to be, what I set my visions to be, having to do each step sequentially as long as all get done.

There are three more days to the year end – are you running in circles or honouring the cycles?  And big hint if you find yourself running in circles (it’s not rocket science), just stop.  And start any step in ‘honouring the cycle’ instead.

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One day wasted is one day too many

There was a time when I used to while Saturdays away. Perhaps it was more appropriate to say “mope”. Because Saturdays then meant that Sunday was just the next day – and the start of the week, Monday (some school of thoughts say Sundays are the start of the week but play along with me on this one), would be dreadfully close.

Looking back it was amazing the number of Saturdays I spent sulking away. One year had about 55 weeks, I saw few years went by with a flash, during which I had my first child. That’s a few hundred days down the drain, unappreciated, not lived for, irretrievable. Probably the main thing that breaks my heart is that my daughter’s first few years experienced a mom preoccupied with dreadful Saturday.

The interesting thing is I’m not always doing more stuff or less stuff these weekends. I sometimes end up doing the same stuff too. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve wasted too much time, and would just like to stop.

It took just one decision to switch. To appreciate Saturdays, enjoy them, live gratefully through them, so that I do not waste them. I’d probably put myself through less stress, despite having more to coordinate in my life.

The best part is I get to be someone who enjoys the weekend with my children and family.

The second best part, is that Sundays feel all the more enjoyable because you don’t feel guilty coming into the end of the weekend for having wasted another good day.

Make me a promise

How often did I break a promise to myself?

Definitely more than just-a-few-times.

If I made a list it will look like this:
• Times I told myself I’ll be on time (instead of being 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes late and so on…)
• Unfinished personal projects – whatever is it I wanted to do for myself, if left unfinished, is another promise not kept.
• Issues I don’t want to look at – a definite hiding place for many broken self-promises.

It’s no wonder I get worried when the weekend rolls around the corner. It weighs on me like another batch of broken promises to myself would. I didn’t look forward to the weekend or starting off on Monday again.

Fixing it, one promise at a time
Surprise, surprise. No magic bullet to turn all around. Just fixing one broken promise at a time. Finishing a small project. Closing off the lose ends. Freeing the energy tied up in managing everything.

There was no particular burst of energy or ah-ha moment. Though I noticed a much lighter presence and a more fulfilled day ahead. One day at a time, this translated to something worth looking forward to, instead of something I kept hiding from. Weekends held enjoyment and the impending Mondays held potential.

I never found out at which point Mondays didn’t feel so dreadful anymore. Who’d knew that keeping or finishing the promises to myself held so much….promise?

When all else fails, look at the small things

My friend called me the other day, going all along about how work was overwhelming, papers all over the desk, feedback from his supervisor that he just can’t get the paperwork right which means less confidence in handling him “bigger work”. He was getting more overwhelmed by the minute, sitting in the middle of a messy pile of paper at his work desk.

And it caught me. That, simply, it’s about the small things.

Just when you think you can’t breathe, it’s too much, start on the small things.

It’s the small things, one at a time, that builds the entire picture.

One paper at a time, leads to a decluttered desk.

One snark remark at time, leads to the distancing of relationships.

One smile at a time, leads to a child running to your arms because she knows it’s safe just as when she really needs it.

One blog post at a time, and a story is built.

One day at a time… And a life forms.

Whether that is a life of different days and experiences, or a life of just the same day over and over again, you get to choose.

Aren’t the small things amazing?