Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Fare thee well, 2013

And so the year ends and another begins.

What did 2013 mean for me?  I can't remember most of it; it's gone, and hopefully left me a better being.

What do I hope for from 2014?  That everyone out there finds the meaning of true love - the love that comes with inner peace; with that acceptance of self that, in my generation at least, was guilt-tripped out of us; and that stems from looking outwards.  That is my meaning of true love; without it, giving love to others is worthless - why would someone give a gift to someone else if they rejected its inherent value?

Success and failure are just two sides of action.  If I have failed, it means that I've tried; and I reject the idea that to try but not succeed, is failure.  It's not.  Doing nothing, saying nothing, passing by and not trying to give of oneself - that's the only true failure I can think of.

2013 was a mixed year.  It's had its lows and even lowers; but it has cemented so many relationships, brought my friends so many new family members, human and otherwise; and some of my friends have lost family or friends, human or otherwise.  The pain and the joy are likewise two sides of the same coin - they mean that love has been shared.    To think of someone, positively or negatively, is to bestow a gift on them - the time and effort to generate that thought.

And so another year is born.  Long live the New Year, its hopes and dreams, its fears and torments, its strengths and its weaknesses.  My hope just for me is that I have the wisdom to shape it for good, and to resist those forces inside and outside that would shape it in any other way.

May 2014 bless you with love, whoever you are and wherever you may be.

Monday, 16 December 2013

It's the end of a decade... Abba

Today is my last Monday as a forty-something.  I'm as excited as a child that on Thursday I face the next 10 years even more liberated and liberating.  But I've been reflecting on the year, and the decade, and thought it time to blog again.

When I turned 40 in 2003, Great Chief White Hair took me for a day out in London.  Young Master was then 4 1/2 and it was a school day, so he didn't come with us.  We flew on the London Eye, had a very posh dinner in the very posh restaurant in the OXO Tower, and went to see a theatre performance of The Hobbit which had a cast of about 5 people.  It was a magical day.

Shortly after that, my GP told me that after 40 my body would break down - how right he was!

2003 was also the year that I bought my first computer.  My father's daughter, I've always loved electronic gadgets, and I often think of him when I'm tapping away at the screen, remembering the hours he used to spend teaching himself to program his first computer.  He taught me how to use MS-DOS to get it to tell the time - but I never mastered anything more technical than that.  All I remember now is "if A = B, run like hell" or something.  Taking my own machine out of its many boxes, plugging it all in, and expecting it to explode as I put the wrong plug in the wrong socket - so exciting.  Of all the life-changing events that happened in this decade, getting a computer was probably one of the most subtle.  It should have had fanfares and drum-rolls or something.

I could do a year-by-year documentary, but I'm not going to.  Although the scales would probably still tip towards the good rather than the bad, it's been.... an interesting decade.  I'm still making the same mistakes, but I've learned far more about who I am, and about the amazing men I share my life with, than in any other period of my life. 

So what about 2013?  It's been another interesting year.  By interesting I mean that it's had good and bad but it's never been boring.  I am somewhat more debilitated now than I was at the start of the year, but then I have degenerative problems so that's to be expected.  But I've been blessed with the love and support and friendship of so many wonderful people. 

This year I lost a cousin who meant the world to me.  I couldn't go to his funeral, couldn't even express my sympathy for my cousins in words.  He had lost his teenage daughter in January, and the loss within his own family is unimaginable.  I remember Paul as one of my only childhood playmates, when my cousins used to visit with my grandmother; I remember the time she won the pools - but he'd lost the ticket.  I remember visiting Nanna Annie and Paul roaring up on his motorbike...

It's been a difficult year in many ways.  Some of it will carry forward to next year; some of it can be thankfully left behind without a backwards glance.  But it's also been a huge year.  A year of love, laughter, peace and fulfillment.  What more can I ask?