For the first time in the last 14 days I have my house all to myself. This year’s Christmas break for the kids was packed full of visiting family, Aaron home for more than half of those days, and a tonsillectomy for Oliver: incurring another 7 days straight of being homebound, but not alone.
I’ve had quiet in those 14 days, but not solitude. And it’s like a present to feel complete spaciousness right this second.
I’m an introvert but that’s not what this is about – it’s about the quiet. The last few years as the New Year dawns I’m anxious for a new beginning. Something to mark the time spent as past and look forward to the future to come. I needed a certain ending to the year behind me. I needed space from time spent. I skipped out on NYE parties to spend time alone in the bath writing about the year to come and I truly needed the silence to feel the weight of the days behind me so I could freely embark on the ones ahead of me.
This year has been so different. Like years in the past, I chose a word for the year ahead of me but this year I think the word chose me. A few days before NYE I was thinking about 2014 and what 2015 might hold and I just felt the transition from being stretched to savoring.
That’s my word this year. I’m not going into this calendar year with a vision of what I might be at the end of it: no “Lose 20 pounds”, no “Get toned”, no “Be more organized” resolutions or even goals on my mind. They don’t even sound appealing. This year I’m ok with what I’ve already begun.
I hope to keep running, but it’ll be ok if hiking or walking takes over. I hope to keep my yoga practice up, but it’ll be ok if swimming feels more free in the summertime. I hope to persevere, not quit. I hope to try new things, not always task myself to just try harder.
This year – and all the years after: I just want to savor what I have. Not constantly wish for what I want, or grasp at what I lose.
I’ve heard people talk about the age they always feel – as if we get stuck, mentally, at an age where we really felt alive. And every number after that is just a lovely addition to the current state we’re in. 36, 19, 50, 47 … the number varies from person to person. Just like people who can recall the best meal they’ve ever had: I don’t quite have those markers yet that I think qualify. Best Meals Ever seem to be shared events with full tables or wild, captivating stories of foreign travel and strangers becoming friends over exotic foods or street fare.
My teens were a blur, my twenties more-so. But I remember being seven and the best meal I ever had was toast with melted mozzarella cheese on top. We lived in a rental in Texas (I was probably 4), I was sitting at the kitchen table. My mom used the toaster oven to melt the cheese and the room was a sort of yellow glow the way 80’s kitchens with bad lighting were back then. The oil on the melted cheese was glistening and every bite I took there were strings of cheese from my mouth to my toast – building little bridges in the air for the moment to walk carefully from my eyes to my heart.
If you asked me today what age I feel: I would have to say older than I am now but not too old to forget seven.
Happy New Year!
2015 might be the beginning of something, but it’s ok if it proves to be just a collection of 365 days. Each of them an opportunity to savor something new.