This morning I found solace in doing chores around the house. I even hand-washed dishes, despite having a dishwasher. Life is so often out of control, I guess this is the one thing I felt I could be in control of. That and my actual response to the things that are out of my control, of course.
It’s 5 days into a new year and I have been trying to sit down and begin blogging again since the first day. Five days in and I’m still sick. Five days in and behold! nothing has changed much from life 6 days ago. Just the year. There has been no magical shift of the perfect time to write an essay or work on my book. I have to keep snatching it where it happens, whether that’s 4:00 in the morning or 1:00 in the afternoon on a snow day.
As each year passes, I realize I don’t have time for perfect plans or routines etched in stone. I can certainly have a semblance of a plan and schedule, but there are no guarantees. Illness arrives, or a work schedule changes, or your children grow up and move out and have children, so now you’re angling for time with each of them, sometimes taking the small moments how ever they come. It’s all fluid.
I think every year teaches us that. We have plans and goals and resolutions, and then life changes. We have to bend, else we will surely break.
In 2016, I said goodbye to my sweet elderly puppy, Challenge, so long to my small town living (hopefully not forever), and I let go of my photography business for good (prints still for sale). But I said hello to gifts hidden in the loss, as well as to a granddaughter. So many look at years as a complete loss if something bad happened, but there is so much to be gained from every piece. I have learned more of who I am and how I can be the best version of me by staying in the game, even on the hardest days.
There will always be hard things and beautiful things, plans that don’t work, and priorities that trump previous priorities. I’m learning every day to just lean in, to push myself when I can, to give myself grace on other days. So, it’s 5 days in and I’m finally sitting down to blog, and it’s a blog about nothing new, really, but it’s the practice of art, of writing in public, and I’m going to be ok with its imperfectness just as I am ok with the imperfectness of this life.
I claim that 2017 will be my best year yet, but what do I really know? I am not in control. But I can continue to control the actions I take and the attitude I have. So, Happy New Year and Onward, my friends.