The holidays are over, at least for most of us, and it’s time to get back to the daily grind. I suppose those New Year’s Resolutions are supposed to help with that. All those good intentions with the opportunity to put them into play. I don’t bother with them anymore. They seem to just lead to great disappointment when, by February, I’ve forgotten them completely.
There are still leftovers in the fridge. The last of the sweets are around the house. The decorations get packed up this coming weekend. It’s cold, and dark, and a little bit sad to see all the sparkle go away. Resolutions don’t do it for me, but this is the time of year when I lean heavily on Daily
Daily Practice can mean a lot of things. A diet requires daily practice, as does an exercise program (or physical therapy). Most spiritual systems encourage some sort of daily practice. Writing, learning a new language, honing a skill all good candidates for daily practice. And I’ve done them all, at least for a while.
When it’s dark, and a little depressing I use daily practice to “prime the pump”. I find some very small thing that’s easy to do, even if I have to quick do it before I go to bed because I’ve forgotten or put it off all day. Then I just commit to doing it.
Lately my daily practice has been making the bed. This is not a hardship. I have a duvet (and right now an extra blanket/bedspread). There are no hospital corners involved. All it takes is a quick tidy. I can do it in less than a minute. There is no excuse not to make my bed. I just never did it before.
This one small thing doesn’t seem like a spiritual practice. It doesn’t look like much of anything, but it makes a huge difference in my day. Every time I walk into my room and see my bed made it makes me smile. It makes me feel special, like I care about myself. It makes me want to be better at all the other things that need doing.
It does exactly what I’m looking for from Daily Practice at this time of year. It gets me started on the right foot. It sets me up for a productive day. It primes the pump.
It seems early to consider things like New Years resolutions. (I don’t really work well with those anyway.) Still I seem to be getting lots of push from the Universe to review the past year and think about dreams, wishes and goals for the next. My women’s business group is working on creating our vision statements for 2014. Our Yule ritual planners have asked us to consider where we’ve been in this past year and what our hopes are for the next. Even visiting with old friends at the funeral last week and digging through the holiday ornaments put me in that reminiscent state of mind.
Luckily having a blog gives me a handy record of the past year. My first post in 2013 was about the family egg nog challenge. This year our “secret ingredient” is sugar. I have desert, which seems easy at first until you start thinking about having an impact after a full meal where every course features sugar in some form. All I’ll say is that this year I’m playing to win.
Then in February I took a trip to sunny California. Given our early sub-zero temperatures I’m looking forward to giving a workshop presentation at Pantheacon this year. March was Paganicon where Orion and I hosted the con suite. This year I’m seriously considering proposing a new workshop (that will likely cause much controversy – my middle name.) It’s good that I’m planning so many presentations since I’m really hoping my second book “When Gods Come Knocking: A Continuing Exploration of Relationship with the Divine” will be released (through Immanion Press) early in the year.
April and May were all about welcoming spring. I didn’t garden last year and I really hope to do at least a little in 2014. I also hope I’ll manage to get my taxes in early for a change. In June this year we had that big storm. I expect a little (metaphorical) storminess about that time in 2014 as well. Karina is turning 21 (my baby is all grown up!) and I’m planning to have bariatric surgery. My big wish for 2014 is to get my health back on track and that surgery will go a long way towards making it happen. My weight is aggravating my back problems to the point where some kind of surgery seems necessary. This one will potentially address more than one problem.
July and August were about adventures in camping. I’ll be recovering so it’s hard to say what will be possible in 2014, but I remember doing a lot of similar post-surgery travels in my 30’s so anything is possible. As we moved into the fall I got caught up in a rush of busy. I can hope for more of the same in 2014. Hopefully I’ll find some time out amidst the crazy. Maybe I’ll be editing my third book by then.
That will pretty much bring us around again to the holiday season. My wishes for next year are that my family will stay happy and healthy – and that I will myself on that bandwagon. I hope my writing influence expands out into the world and finds its audience. I also hope that my readers will find my work inspirational and affirming. I hope that I can do my part to make the world I live in a kind place and that we can live in beauty and bounty.
Thank you all for being with me this year. I hope you will continue to read, comment and share in the next.