New Year Means Living in the Present
The New Year. It means different things to all of us. Time to reflect on the past; time to reflect on the future; time to make new resolutions; or some may choose not to recognize it at all, trying to live their lives only in the present.
Since we’re at the end of the first decade of the “new” (is it still new now that it’s 10 year old?) century, pundits are choosing to reflect not only on the year, but 10 years.
Time Magazine called it “The Decade from Hell.”
In many ways, it could be seen as such with terrorist attacks, two major wars, an almost catastrophic financial meltdown. But I’m sure if we looked, we could find a lot that went right with this decade too.
For me, personally, it certainly was a decade of upset, a lot of grief, and challenges. This was the decade my mother turned “old” and needed my care. At the beginning of the decade, we lost my brother and toward the end, my mother. We also said goodbye to our beloved Doxie, Hershey, and two cats that had been with us most of our marriage. We also lost two of Dale’s beloved aunts and an uncle who was a strong male influence in his life while he growing up. We’ve each had a major medical challenge (the first in our lives), and certainly, we’re still living through the effects of this horrible economy.
I hate to sound like a cliché, but it’s true that we wouldn’t be the people we are without the “downs” that come with the “ups.” Each step we take on the path of our lives leads us to the next adventure, or prepares us for the next challenge. If we had never rescued Hershey, we couldn’t have known first hand the special bond a rescued dog can bring into our lives and if we hadn’t lost her after she lived a good life with us, it wouldn’t have opened up room in our home and hearts for Dakota and Sade.
My brother’s death was tragic and of course, if I could have him back, I would, but his end led me on a journey of my own and helped me on my own path. Among other things, I wouldn’t have met some of the amazing people I did while writing “No Immediate Threat: The story of an American Veteran,” the story of his life. The same goes for my mother, whose death propelled us into moving to our Little House, which has brought us endless surprises, from making me aware of The Small House Movement to meeting the great people (including my readers here) involved in it. Even the economic and financial challenges have presented us with opportunities to learn and grow.
So, as I reflected on the past yesterday, and did the little rituals of cleansing (thanks readers!) by clearing some of the old year’s clutter in file cabinets, pantries and closets, and we did our ritual toast, my mind was in the present while hoping for a happy future.
Happy New Year, Dear Friends of Living Large!