I’d hoped to spend New Years Eve enjoying food and music with friends.  Feeling unwell and needing a bit of quiet after having grandchildren here while they were off from school, I decided instead to break in a new pair of walking/hiking shoes and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. A friend and I went for a long walk/hike around Mt Saviour Monastery, something we like to do as often as possible. The fresh air was invigorating and we enjoyed being able to walk where it is usually too snowy and icy to do so this time of year.  That evening, still bothered by an earache and queasy stomach, I went to be early.

New Years Day, ear was better, stomach better.  Normally I would be preparing for a brunch or early dinner with family, but this year the guild’s usual 1st Saturday of each month meeting fell on New Years Day and surprisingly members chose to meet anyway.  I was so busy talking to everyone that I forgot to get a head count, but members came and brought friends.  We were all surprised and delighted at the turn out and enjoyed the food and companionship very much.   Back when I was thinking of starting a guild, I didn’t imagine we’d spend a New Year Day together, but we have become a close knit group and I am grateful.  Our traditional surf and turf family dinner happened later in the evening and while not still 100%, I felt much better than I did the day before.  I very much enjoyed our steak and lobster dinner along with a craisin, current & walnut topped Brie En Croute and a little champagne. It was a good day.

Jan 2 …  Up at 4am.. for some reason waking up between 4 and 5 has become the norm for me this past year. I try to use the time to catch up on reading and writing. Today it was 4am. I cleared out my mailbox, starting my yearly tradition of decluttering.  The move this year forced me to get an early start on the physical part of clearing out what I no longer use or need, making for a more comfortable home and studio, but I still have more to do and tidying up computer files, mailboxes is part of that process. As I do this, I am looking back at 2010… the good and the not so good.

What are some of the things I learned in the past year?
– All that I have is enough. Moving from a large house to a house that is more of a cottage was a monumental task. Sorting, selling, gifting, packing and moving so many things was overwhelming. I found a great sense of freedom in letting material things go.  And even though everything I kept fits into this home, I continue to let go of things that someone else can use more than I can.
– To be open to change.  There have been so many changes, too many to mention. I learned to go with the changes and not hang on to old ways simply because they are familiar.
– Cherish old relationships…  friends and family..  they won’t be here forever.
– Embrace new ones.  I like the saying by Wavy Gravy.  “ We are all bozos on the same bus” It reminds me that someone who may appear to be very different from me, often is not that different at all.  And that the most unlikely person will sometimes become a good friend.
– Pet the pets.  We are everything to them especially in their old age. No matter how time consuming their care is, they need our attention. We lost our 10 year old dog Tara to cancer.  I am grateful she got to explore the new house, new garden and had a easier time of getting around without stairs.
– Sometimes the best thing to do when overwhelmed, overworked or in a stressful situation is to retreat, and then come back with a clear head.
– Singing is good, so is dancing.  Do it often, don’t worry about who is listening or watching. This I am teaching the grandkids.  We often sing and dance when they visit.
– I like to write.  I don’t consider myself a good writer but I have enjoyed writing the Hand of the Palm memoirs and sharing them with family and friends.
– “Everything that has a beginning has an ending.  Make your peace with that and all will be well”- Buddha

A post by a friend inspired me to think about 11 things for 2011 that I want/need to work on.  Not really New Years resolutions as some of the things I work on daily and will continue to do so long after 2011 is over.  These are in no particular order, just as they come to mind

11 for 11

Be still, listen
Eliminate  “if only I had”  from my thoughts
Get my house in order
Not to be the thing that holds me back
Love more
Be patient with old ones
Deal with it now
Get back to work
Find the message in the book of Numbers.
Embrace family & friends, new community
Start a new garden

May Peace be with you all Now and throughout the New Year

Christmas Day photo.

Village houses displayed downstairs fireplace

Grandson attaching the advent tags unto the 24 tiny mittens strung on the upstairs fireplace.

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