January 5, 2020: A Precious Life
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life ?-Mary Oliver
January 1st, 2020 turned the page not only to a new year, but a new decade, inspiring thoughts about the kind of life story we want to live. Like an archaelogist, or time traveler, examining the clues of the previous year, or in this case, decade can give us invaluable time to think back about what went well, what didn’t, and what do we hope to have happen now? When we take the time to deeply think about our lives, it weaves together a poignant story of our blessings, dreams, fears, hopes,, failures, successes and regrets.. Taking this time to reflect also clearly illustrates the choices we have made and how many dreams we followed through on.
Questions inevitably follow: Have these choices reflected who I really am or want to be? Am I moving forward, or stuck in situations where the only yield is bitterness and regret. What could I have done differently? What do I want to happen now? And most importantly, as Mary Oliver asks in my favorite poem The Summer Day*, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” These kind of reflections encourage us to make goals and resolutions for the incoming year and to think about possible changes in how we live our daily, precious lives.
As a child, time seemed to move more slowly, but as an adult, the moments seem to fly by, with a day becoming a blink of eye. But how we choose to spend our time impacts the decisions on which dreams, personal goals and values we hope to bring alive and support.
“Decisions are the frequent fabric of our daily design.”-Don Yaeger
Time can be impacted by a range of factors from day to day from responsibilities, to unexpected challenges that leave us wondering “how can we find time to add anything else on our plates?” But if we look clearly at how we spend each day, we can search for opportunities that will more effectively lead us in a healthy, fulfilling, and meaningful direction.
When I reflect on the previous year, I am filled with gratitude for the blessings of family, friendships, health and the ability to work successfully as an artist. I also recognized how I wasted opportunities to fully embrace life, by absorbing the negative emotions created by unnecessary frustrations and needless worries that never came to fruition.
“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.”-John C. Maxwell
I can change both of those behaviors.
My biggest frustrations usually came from my own lack of organization, like the inability to find car keys in a rush out the door. I can become more organized. Taking the time to once again, clear out the clutter and pay attention to where I put things will help ease the panic of lost items. The worry habit is one I’m working on with the help of daily exercise and meditation. https://dreamscapejewelry.com/december-1-2019-breaking-the-worry-habit/
When I reread my “dreamscape” from 2019, https://dreamscapejewelry.com/december-20-2018-what-is-your-dreamscape/ one goal was to paint more. During the Spring I took classes which allowed me to paint weekly. But once show season began, that committed time went by the wayside. I always lamented that “I never had the time”, yet if I am honest about it, it was that I didn’t make time for it. I chose other activities instead.
Within our dreams and aspirations we find our opportunities-Sugar Ray Leonard
Having time this week at our camp in northern Maine reinforced how much I love photographing nature and painting with watercolors. Both activities bring me joy, as does spending time with my grandchildren, family and friends. So it’s now up to me to think about how what changes I can make to allow these activities to happen.
When I look at how fast this year/decade has passed, I am committed to making time for the activities and people that bring joy and satisfaction. I intend to worry less about the future and celebrate the present. I plan to spend more time outside in nature, paint more, pursue photography, commit time for friends and family, and ultimately design my life to be calmer and flow more peacefully. These are worthy endeavors to incorporate into a meaningful life.
Being mindful of how I spend my time, opens the door to opportunities and the beautiful gifts that life gives us.
In this new year/decade, what life story do you want to write? How do you want to spend your precious gift of life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver