This is it! The end of the year review. How incredible, to be completing my fourth year of daily blog posts, and a phenomenal year that focused on two things: making life a little more tender and art a little more robust.
I began this year with the light bulb as my symbol, and inspiration as my word. Instead of a song, I had a quote, from the late Alan Rickman. “If only life could be a little more tender and art a little more robust.” I took Alan’s words to heart. Not a day passed that I didn’t think about that quote. It became my inspiration and my daily activities were guided by those two invitations.
With my creativity on overdrive, I thought I would have many more art more robust posts, than life more tender. However, that was not the case. When I checked today, I had used the Art a Little More Robust byline 169 times…and Life a Little More Tender, 170. When my blog shifted to a travel blog, I created a third category that I posted in 26 times. I could not have pre-planned that if I had tried. This year has shown me, once again, what happens when I keep my heart open, let go of outcomes, and stay in the Flow, as guided by the Divine.
Here are highlights from this most beautiful of years:
I did, indeed, express my creativity in myriad ways. I enjoyed gardening projects, writing, repurposing old items into new ones, creating vignettes, cooking…and I sketched more than I have in years. I love creative play, and my daily question, to the Divine, was How shall we play today?
I was always given an answer, although it was often an answer or an activity that I would not have dreamed up myself. Those unexpected invitations to play in bigger ways grew my faith and trust, increased my artistic abilities, and enlarged my life.
Making life a little more tender took many forms as well. It was easy for me to celebrate my family members, and engage my grandchildren in fun and crazy activities. The awareness of creating tenderness in the lives of people beyond my close circle of family and friends greatly enlarged my territory and my ability to impact others in a positive way.
I took part in organized events such as Red Nose Day, Giving Tuesday, Random Acts of Kindness Week, Together Rising, and letter writing campaigns that offered encouragement to others. There were opportunities for me to walk alongside people, to go above and beyond with clients, to listen when someone needed a sympathetic ear, or to share from my heart, when the hurting needed to hear that they mattered, and that they were appreciated, and loved.
A crucial part of making life more tender this year was caring for myself as I continued my healing journey. There were creative elements as well, as I tried new recipes and came up with ways to playfully challenge myself, as with the 30 Day Walking Challenge.
Embracing a plant based lifestyle is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I have healed from years of chronic pain and a host of other disorders, increased my energy, vitality and overall wellbeing, and found another platform from which to share and encourage others.
When my left knee twisted on me, shortening my 30 Day Walking Challenge to 27 days, and throwing me back into pain, I had the opportunity to practice the greatest of self care and self love. I had to call upon all that I knew, health wise, and be patient. I had to forgive my knee, release my fears that I would not heal, and trust. I did heal. And my trust in the Divine and myself deepened greatly.
My greatest adventures in 2017 involved travel. My bohemian spirit exulted in the freedom to explore other counties and experience new places, people and cultures.
My grandson Dayan, daughter Elissa and I traveled to Italy at the end of May. This trip was my grandson’s graduation present. Italy was his chosen destination. His mom and I are so grateful that we got to experience this country with him.
Italy was beautiful, full of old world charm, and medieval villages, and incredible art. The Italians were just as beautiful and charming. I fell in love with Italy and her people. This was an adventure I will never forget. And it created within me a hunger for more travel experiences.
So I took a second big trip in late August, traveling this time to Ireland, Scotland and England with my mom, sisters and niece.
These travel experiences deserved a category all their own, causing me to merge my subtitles together to create a new one…Life a Little More Robust. What fun adventures I had with my family, exploring Dublin, Ireland, the whole country of Scotland, and London, England.
We have roots in these countries. Our ancestors lived and worked and died in these villages and castles and farms. There was such a sense of going home, and reconnection, even while we met new people and rode the double decker tour buses and tried new foods.
I am smitten with traveling. I can’t wait to see where I will journey to next.
This has been such an amazing year that I am reluctant tonight, as the minutes tick away, to let it go. My life has shifted these past four years, increasingly so as I began to write about my experiences. This year will go down in my memory as one of the best of my life.
And yet…let it go I must. I cannot walk into my future, and all the goodness and richness that it holds, while gazing back at the past. I am tremendously thankful for those who have walked beside me this year…my ever adventurous family members, my friends, new acquaintances, and the inspirational Mr. Rickman. I am grateful for the Divine, and the playful guidance I received through synchronicities, signs, wonders and gentle whispers.
My heart overflows with love and gratitude.
In a few hours I will bid 2017 goodbye. I may shed a tear as I sing Auld Lang Syne. It won’t be sorrow that brings the tears, but deep appreciation for all that I learned this year and great joy for my life and my journey.
And then, as a new year dawns, I will open wide my arms and my heart, and welcome 2018 with eager anticipation and excitement.
A new adventure begins…