“She’s gone”, I thought. I wrote in her eulogy that we each had to figure out who we are in the world without her, but now that is the reality I have to actually live.
As we head into another year, that is everyone’s reality, in the sense of rediscovering who we really are in this moment. Yet in the absence of something major changing, many of us slip back into old routines despite promises to ourselves to the contrary.
Generally that is down to the day to day servitude, the things we feel obligated to, and they are powerful distractions.
This year though, with mum’s passing, circumstances around me have shifted and I am forced to ask who I am now. After a year spent contemplating her illness as I walked along the beach many a day, now I shall contemplate her loss and all that means.
Being in the UK to say goodbye to mum has also meant catching up with lots of family and friends that I haven’t seen in over a decade. It’s been a long absence for a girl with a large and close extended family. That said, emigrating to the other side of the world is never a decision I’ve regretted, I love the life I’ve created there, and the person I’ve become.
But, there are also things about my roots that I find I miss too. For example, sitting in the Kings Theater in Glasgow, watching Elaine C Smith and Johnny Mac in pantomime, I rediscovered the joy of the West of Scotland humour (think Billy Connolly). Perhaps when you know where your humour is, you know where your heart is, or at least the way to it.
And so I wonder what will unfold when I head back to the southern hemisphere, taking the best of this trip and the worst of it with me.
Where one door closes another opens. I know this from experience time and again. The way the universe delivers serendipities and coincidences, things unfolding in ways you can never imagine save for looking back upon them.
It’s another precipice of change.
Despite the circumstances, I am curious to see what unfolds next, eager to understand what awaits in this life’s journey.
This is not a new year I can talk to those who will determinedly pursue changes amid a stagnant daily routine, though I have done in the past. This is a year marked for me by endings and beginnings, which I accept with hope and mixed emotions.
True to the journey I’ve been on so far, I will remain concerned with who I am becoming now and in what way I can be of help in order to feel the warm glow of happiness that emanates when I’m in tune with all of that.
Whether you are facing major changes in your life, or things are just humming along, making a commitment to figuring who you are in this moment – now (not the you of yesteryear) – will be one of the best commitments you ever make.
The kind of self awareness we need to develop in order to do that requires us to take a much broader perspective of the present moment. It requires us to live in the moment rather than to be swept along by it, to become aware of what we are thinking and feeling and how that is affecting the life that is unfolding around us.
Making a commitment to figuring out who you are now, regardless of what unfolds for you in 2018, can only help you to deal with the worst of whatever the year has to offer in a more healthy way, and to receive the best of whatever the year has to offer in a way that can really fill your cup.
Talking of which, raise your glass, here’s to you in 2018, whoever you are now.
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