“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” Henry David Thoreau
We are on the eve of a new year. And even with all the events of this past year, I am hopeful that this will be a good year….no I am confident it will be as I will endeavor to make this a good year, a better year. It is the beginning of a very new journey for me as I say goodbye to a part of my life that has been with me for over 30 years. I am leaving the world of public education; more of a vocation than a job. But it is time to retire. And with this way of life also goes a schedule that I could rely on, a comfortable way of living, a predictable way of life.
As I say goodbye there is a bit of me still uncertain if I can do this. When people ask me if I am really retiring, I say for now I have not changed my mind. I am still on schedule for August 1st. And what is retirement really, but the act of retiring from one’s work. It can also mean seclusion or retreating but I have no intention of doing that. I am thinking that retirement will be more of a beginning for me. The origin of a new action, a commencement… more like I have finally graduated from school and I am off to start my life or begin again to reinvent myself.
The difference though is that I have no plan. I have some ideas, but no real direction yet. And I am OK with this lack of goals. After all it is a new adventure, and going with the flow is so much more fun. To not have to have my schedule regulated for me or attend meetings or drive in the snow when I don’t want to or deal with ever increasing stress…no I am so OK with leaving these behind.
Of course spending a year without a plan in mind will take some getting used to. My whole life has been highly goal oriented especially with my profession. So what will it be like walking down this new path being in the moment and just going with the flow? I will see what catches my eye or my interest. And shift as my interest shifts. Explore life for fun, enjoyment, education and whatever joy it brings.
Can you imagine waking up and doing whatever you feel like at the moment? My fear is that I may do nothing for a while, but you know that is OK too, and I bet very freeing. I may sit in a chair and watch the world go by, or wander around my garden with camera in hand just smelling the flowers. I intend to watch the sunrise daily to catch those first beams of light as they make the garden glow.
I am told that living without a fixed goal or destination is more about the journey and I believe that. As Leo Babauta (the guru of this idea of no goals) has said:
You learn to be flexible instead of set. You learn to be good at change and uncertainty, instead of fearing it.
This sounds so enticing to me, and how I have envisioned my life to be especially when I was tired, worn out and wanted a change. I’ll keep you posted once I start on this path August 1st.
“My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been before.” Diane Arbus
So as I prepare for this new year and this new phase of my life, I am thinking about how I can celebrate the New Year. And I have decided to forgo all the goal setting and resolutions in favor of a “one word” mantra to help me focus the year. It wasn’t hard to figure out what that word would be either. I easily settled on…..
I have been wanting to practice gratitude more. To openly speak it, write it down and know it. But I let life and long hours at work get in the way of it. But as it is time for me to make some necessary changes in my life, I think it important to know intimately what I am already grateful for….the life I have, the very breath of life.
And in this world today we need to practice gratitude even more. To invite it into our lives especially when we need it most. I have read that when we do this we experience more joy in our lives. So when I am sick, worn out and dealing with bad news I am learning to turn to gratitude. I am finding the best way to do this is to write it down. Whether in a paper journal, an online journal or an app like Random Gratitude Journal, it is important to officially acknowledge the gratitude.
Feel free to jump in and write about your gratitude and share it from time to time too. And of course I will be sharing lots more about the garden and my life’s lessons learned there. I am so excited to begin this new year. Whatever it brings, I know I will learn and grow from those experiences.
If you had to pick one word to use as your mantra for the New Year, what would it be?
“My will shall shape my future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man’s doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me. Or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility. Win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny.” Elaine Maxwell
Wishing Everyone a Happy, Healthy, Blessed New Year in 2013!!
Next up on the blog: Monday will be my first post of 2013. I will usher the new year in with a new poem and garden journal entry. In the coming months I will continue my Garden Book Reviews and my Simply the Best series while adding some Wildflower Tales. I have a special post coming on the 18th that I will talk more about next week. I hope you will join me.
I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.
I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my current post now.
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