As 2016 begins we are once again in a distinct season of change… Reflecting on the past year, and as with a few of my friends, trying to figure out how make sense of a new life without someone we love. For me, each year seems sweeter despite a huge loss, yet I can certainly feel the pain my friends now freshly experience. It seems appropriate to repost something I wrote a few years ago…
It is a season for change. Not the sort of change to fear or avoid, but rather the sort of change to embrace. I am glad that this is the last day of 2013. I am eager for the arrival of 2014, with it’s new opportunities and new connections, and certainly new challenges. Devoting time and energy to people and projects that are high on my priority list is where I begin in the new year. And I am looking forward to the two big moons in January (the 1st and 30th), believing that this will make January a special and meaningful month to celebrate. So, time for a new year, a new month, a new season, a new and more fulfilling chapter of life to explore.
First I will sleep more sweetly. Then connect more with old friends. Always the family is important… And of course I plan to dance more (if only we can all get over the endless onslaught of sickness in our house!). But it is a new year soon! I am hopeful.
With the updates and changes to my website I have opted for some of the same and much that is simpler, at least for now. There are a few more adjustments I want to make, but they will work themselves out. This is not something to fret about, novel concept for me as I usually fret too much about details not being in order! However I am committed to not letting too many details keep me from appreciating and enjoying those things that really are much higher on my “very important” list…
My desire to keep a blog was sparked back in the summer of 2009 as I lost a teaching position at a local university due to budget cuts. I had been there for 12 years. As many well know, being cast aside is not a pleasant experience, no matter what the reason. It hurt, yet I understood, and I think the blog became a way for me to share so many of the teaching materials I had gathered over my 12 years in academic education. If I couldn’t be paid to teach college students, no one could stop me from sharing what I knew with all those individuals, families, couples, and children who might benefit and maybe couldn’t afford to go back to school to learn what I have stored in my head and in volumes of notes, floppy disks, flash drives, and CDs. If nobody had any money due to job loss and cuts, I may as well make myself feel better by passing along what I believed in my heart was helpful information. And thankfully I had my therapy practice in place and could move forward to build on that.
Late in 2009 I lost my brother suddenly to suicide, having lost my mother-in-law earlier that year. 2009 was not a good year at all… But my brother’s death gave me another opportunity to redesign my blog to integrate some aspects of the wonderful person he was. I had a great need to honor him and celebrate his life. He was the inspiration to my name change and tag line. And some of my favorite photos were taken during our last sail on his beloved boat Autonomy (compliments of one of his good sailing buddies who passed them on to our family months later). So I kept writing, more about death and dying, and grief and loss.
But my writing style has been random, sometimes sharing material from my teaching days, sometimes reflecting on the experience of losing my brother and how loss haunts us, sometimes exploring down the path of becoming new parents and raising small children as my granddaughters entered my life, and always concerns about the complexities of relationships with others rippled through my posts. I suspect I may continue to do more of the same, but I am feeling a pull to be less of an educator and more of myself — feeling the need to “claim my voice” as a colleague occasionally suggests. I want 2014 to be a year of openness and authenticity.
May your 2014 be a new year filled with hope and new promise that is right for the changes you navigate in your own life… May your 2016 be a season of healing and hope… Happy New Year!