i thought the best way to begin the year i turn 50 is with a list of all things im grateful for... up to now.
1. my health. it's occured to me that i have reached a marvelous plateau in my life - everything still works, and nothing's falling apart yet. things may take longer to get better - the elbow injury i got in mixed martial arts class in june sidelined me all year and totally frustrated my plans to get back into Shape - but for the most part, my physical body and all its myriad abilities is one blessing i have always endeavored to appreciate. my intention this year is to Pay More Attention and to tend to my body's needs with the attitude of loving-kindness - not because i'm afraid i might get sick, but because i understand how finite, how fragile andhow precious this state of being really is.
2. my Beloved. what should i do if i really want to succeed as a writer, i remember someone asking at a workshop once. marry someone who believes in your talent the way you do, the presenter answered at once. i remember joining in the general snicker that swept through the audience. i certainly didn't do that the first time (and neither had most of the audience) but who says mistakes can't be rectified? it isn't always easy being married to someone who's a cross between SuperBoy and Gomez Addams, but the passion, inspiration and support that Beloved has always given to my writing continues to dazzle me. for his presence - thirteen years now - in my life, i will be forever grateful. my intention this year is to continue to nurture our relationship by... Paying Attention.
3. my children. healthy, oppositional, independent, stubborn, intelligent... they are everything i want them to be. my intention for them this year... is to Pay Close Attention. 'nuff said.
4. my grandmother's death. i'm actually starting to miss the old bird. she's been gone long enough now that if she were alive i'd be starting to think i should be visiting her. this is the first christmas without her, without the burden of trying to cajole her into a good time. whenever i start to miss her, all i have to do is remember how mean she was and i feel a lot better she's gone. but she was a Force To Be Reckoned With... and she taught me many things without realizing it... like how not to live. she helped me realize that while most of us come to this world to shine our Light, there seem to be some who come to show their Shadow. and maybe these, ive wondered on more occasion, are the truly Great ones... who come to be hated and reviled, who come to show the depths of the darkness that dwells within us all. and so while i am grateful for her lessons, i am still thankful for her death. i have a sense of getting out of school - it took me nearly fifty years (and i like to think im smart) - and maybe i still don't fully understand the Lesson... but for me, this particular grade is finally over.
5. my friends. i've never had a lot of friends - im not a terribly sociable person. there's one Gentle Reader of this blog who's been gamely inviting me to things for YEARS. i think one day im going to have to surprise her and actually show up. prying me out of my house on a cold dark night is increasingly rare and on warm ones, well, i like to listen to the peepers sing. but through the darkest hours of my life, i've always been blessed to have friends, good friends, true friends, the kind you cherish, walking by my side. my intention for this year going forward is to Pay More Attention - to follow up with phone calls and emails immediately, not set it aside in my head - im terribly absentminded and if i think about doing something, sometimes that means i think i've done it. if you think its bad for friendships, you should see the havoc it wreaks around things like billpaying.
6. the life i have managed to create. when i was in high school, an english teacher asked us to write a vision statement of where we thought we'd be in 30 years. i live beside the shores of a scottish loch, surrounded by woods and hills and countryside, i remember writing. there's hardly anyone for miles around... i have two dogs, three horses and the boy from the village brings me my mail every Thursday. thirty years later, i live beside two ponds in a latitude more northerly than where i was, with two dogs and three cars. there's no boy from the village, of course, but Beloved does bring home the mail when he remembers to get it. my intention this year is to Pay More Attention to the subtle interweavings between Desire, Intention and Manifestation.
i wish all my Gentle Readers a happy, healthy and harmonious 2009!
and furthermore, it would be really great if the war was over by this time next year. blessed be.