For me 2013 has been a huge year of change, introspection, spiritual and personal growth. Some days I feel like I am moving forward in my journey toward becoming a better person and other days I’m reminded just how far I have to go. The start of a new year, for me and many others, always offers a nice time to reflect on the moments we have been given in the past 12 months. The challenges we have been presented, the regrets we have endured and the victories we have celebrated. An opportunity to be grateful for the gifts we are granted and to allow ourselves to feel entirely overwhelmed by the beauty of being alive. Here are some of my gifts and challenges I’d like to share with you.
My significant other, is truly a gift. He is the very best of humanity, kind-hearted, passionate, talented, ambitious, forgiving and always striving for the best. I couldn’t be luckier to have him as part of my life. This year I have seen him succeed daily in every aspect of his life and am exceedingly proud. He managed somehow to juggle opening two new businesses, owning and running another two stores, handling a bunch of ratbag staff members, maintaining a fantastic physique, putting up with a demanding and emotional girlfriend, along with being a loving friend, brother, son and boyfriend. I don’t think I will ever understand how he does it and stays so well rounded. As to our relationship we have certainly had our challenges but we have overcome, building a strong bond between us. We spent a long three months apart as he travelled the globe discovering the wonders of the world and bringing them back to me with thought and sweetness in the form of photos, beautiful gifts and key chains. Absence does after all make the heart grow fonder and now whether we be together or apart my affection for him grows daily.
Anyone who knows me knows that my family mean everything to me and I am extraordinarily proud of them (I tend to brag). So bear with me while I indulge in a few proud daughter and sister moments of 2013.
My mum, is quite simply the kindest and most generously loving person in the world. Sadly, her mum, my Grandma was diagnosed with dementia and this year has been a huge challenge with the disorder taking memories quickly and mercilessly. The feeling of losing someone right before your eyes and not knowing how to stop it or how to make it better is heart breaking. I find myself looking away because it’s too painful to see someone I love so dearly fading and flickering like a candle nearing the end of the wick. Our family’s hearts break in synchrony as we struggle between holding on and letting go. My Grandad, my mum and her siblings have been absolute pillars of strength, coming together and supporting each other. Bravely watching, making the hard decisions, holding on and letting go.
My dad is incredible, he can do anything, really! He’s a fisherman, a handyman, a mechanic and a chef but what made me proud of him the most this year wasn’t any of that. It was when he threw his tools down when he was working far away from home and said “I’m not happy and I want to go home”. Dad always said to us “do whatever makes you happy and if you’re not happy, don’t do it!” it was such a uplifting moment to see him practising what he preached to us and I’m so proud of him for making what would have been, no doubt, a tough decision.
My sister is in a single word, awesome! She has an amazing life and an amazing partner. She does so much and from time to time runs herself into the ground by putting so much, too much, onto her plate (although in reality I don’t think she would have it any other way). She has taken on a massive workload at her job and is absolutely excelling in her field. This year she completed a half iron man, it was a enormous challenge and one which she rose to superbly. My heart almost burst with pride in my chest when she crossed the finish line, what an awesome achievement!
My career, this year I left a company that I worked with for 2+ years. Biggest risk and best decision I’ve made job wise so far in my life. The people I work for now are truly fantastic. They are supportive encouraging and have a deep respect for good employees, as I have a deep respect for a good employer. I’ve started studying again, at the moment it is somewhat half hearted, my brains are a little dusty, another thing to work on in the new year. On that topic, I’d also like to read more intellectual material be it books, articles, blogs or something else entirely. Got any good brain scratching reads? Please let me know in the comments, I’ll read just about anything!
My health, I’ve managed to strike a fine balance. I’ve dropped sugar completely after months of pouncing on and off the wagon. I’ve found a happy, sustainable, healthy weight range for my body and mind. I’ve found an exercise routine that I sincerely enjoy. Although I do admit I need to add back in just a dash of weights training, if only to please my gorgeous muscular boyfriend. I still eat too quickly, but sometimes I’m just really hungry! It does help if I put my fork down between mouthfuls. Still a few things to work on again next year. Emotionally, things are certainly getting better to, the regular practice of meditation has been thoroughly clarifying. Sure, the insecurities and the ego are still very much present, but I have a certain awareness now. No resentment or bitterness, just a knowing, an accepting of the quirks and a willingness to change. I discovered a lot about my ego, the control it has over my actions, my decisions. Some days I feel like I have it all in check, other days I feel like I’m so far from spiritual surrender and enlightenment I’m further back then I was at the beginning. Like I said in my very first post (Grateful and Complex) my only problems are in my hand, I am okay with this, it could be far worse. In the words of Abe Lincoln, “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back” and I so I will walk on, falling, crawling, picking myself up and sprinting but always with a certain surety in my gait.
I’m not sure what challenges 2014 has in store for me, I do feel however that I am on a good path, the right path. Life feels to me like a piece of classical music joyous and heartbreaking. Pulling me to and fro, rising and falling. Sometimes softly filling my heart with light. Other times reaching thundering crescendos that burn through my body and fill me with raw emotion. Bearing my heart, bringing me to my knees. Constantly in motion, drawing forward passion, happiness and sadness. After each breath taking moment, I’m left with a certain truth and satisfaction, that is, I am most certainly human and most certainly alive.
Happy New Year