As we near the end of another year and I look back on the 365 days that just passed, I am astounded at everything I set out to accomplish and did. It was a busy, full year with so many wonderful high moments and some terribly low ones as well, just to balance everything out. I am grateful for every experience; I learned and took away something important from each event. I know that the hard learned lessons toward the end of this year only mean better, more open roads lie ahead.
I made some positive lifestyle choices at the start of 2013, after we returned from our fantastic holiday in Maui. Becoming vegan, exercising more regularly, painting more and making time for myself were all things I focused on: all things I needed and continue to work into my busy life. I’m much happier and healthier these days.
Mid 2013, our eldest daughter finished high school (with honours) and started college in the Fall. This Christmas, after a successful first semester, she decided her heart is just not in the program she is pursuing so she applied to University a few days ago. She’ll use the coming months to work and travel. This was a surprise to us, but we support her decision whole-heartedly: better to pursue your passion.
My younger daughter also applied to University a few days ago. After 9 years, she also made the decision to put her competitive horse riding passion on the back burner so that she could focus on her studies. This was a very hard and very mature decision for her to make since she put so much time, money and effort into the sport. It was equally hard for me as I was her groom and cheering section the past many years and watched her grow and blossom as a competitive rider. I’m not going to lie: I cried when we packed up her gear and left the barn earlier in the week. I guess the upside is that we have fantastic memories, especially from this last year.
I guess the hardest change this year happened 2 weeks ago when my father passed away. He had been fighting cancer these past 5 years and had steadily declined. He was lucky to have had the 5 years with my mother as we never thought he’d make it this far. My father was really my stepfather who adopted my sister and I when I was 7 years old and he was really the only father we ever knew. But we were not close. In fact, he was very hard on my sister and I and when our step brothers were born, 6 years later, the gap between him and us really grew. It’s a very complicated and emotional story that has left me quite confused as I sort through a plethora of feelings and deal with his death. All these feelings are overshadowed by a great deal of sympathy towards my mother, who is struggling daily with the loss of her other half.
Ultimately, these closing of doors has had me deeply pondering my existence, the choices I make and our finite existence. I have been looking to many philosophers and teachings for answers and direction and searching deeply within myself. At times, I have felt very alone and completely lost and have found much comfort in the heart felt notes, short letters and messages from the people around me. My friends and students have been so supportive and kind and have really comforted me. I have come to realize that I cannot control everything and sometimes I just have to lie back and let things flow and take care of themselves. They will because they have to and that’s okay. I really have to learn to let go and trust the universe.
I have a lot of plans for 2014 but in keeping with the whole new letting-go concept, I will simply throw them out there into the universe and trust that they will take shape. Happy New Year my friends.