slow start

A little rest for our weary souls.

Happy New Year.

That’s right…. I said it… Happy New Year. Twenty days late I am wishing you the Happiest of Happy New Year’s.

To say that we have had a slow start to this new year around here would be the understatement of the century. You see, I am one of those that embraces the new year ritual.  I sharpen pencils. I clear desks. I freshen linens and throw out anything I don’t use. I come out of the pen like a bucking bronco ready to take on any challenge in my way, defiantly staring it down like a stubborn and determined little girl. While I despise the ritual and obligation of New Year’s Eve, the promise of a clean slate of the new year makes me as giddy as a snow day in the south.

But it seems mother nature or God or karma or Buddha had something else in mind for me this year. We have been sick since the beginning of the year. And not just “sick.” We have been in-the-bed-for-12-days kind of sick. We have been can’t-lift-your-head-off-the-pillow-for-5-minutes kind of sick. That sick that you only get 4 or 5 times in your life where you aren’t sure how you will ever recover and you can’t quite remember what it feels like to be well.

While this may sound dramatic to the reader who isn’t familiar with me or my sleeping habits or general wellness level, rest assured it’s not my way of getting attention. I am a light sleeper in the best of times. And I have a frenetic energy that somehow keeps me productive for the better part of the day. So this change comes as a slight shock to my determination and annual New Year’s resolve to be a better person. I feel like a horse that has been ready, revved up and perfectly trained for this day for months. Ready to go at the starting gate, I was left behind when the gates opened, my reigns tied tightly to something I can’t break free from – no matter how hard I may try. I can’t help but feel left behind and overwhelmed with all the catching up I have to do now.

So while I have been laying here tied down to my illness and to my thoughts and to the life I feel has trapped me into this so-called race in the first place, I have been thinking and planning and scribbling and looking and reframing what this race meant to me. (Extra time on your hands will do that to you.) Maybe I am running the wrong race. Maybe it’s time for me to run a different direction and at my own pace. Maybe it’s time for a new path or even simply a different approach. After all, I don’t need the sound of the starting gun to put me on the track to winning the life I dreamed for myself. All I need is a little time to break free from watching the same people running the same direction trying to win the same things year after year.

Winning – or even placing – in life’s grandest competition is what we are trained to do from birth. House. Kids. Car. Boat. Vacations. It all adds up to a pretty life on Facebook, doesn’t it? But that’s not what I want. I want joy and fulfillment and to keep a roof over the head of myself and my little guy and our pets. It’s as simple as that. No other life will do for me. Simple. Joyful. And most importantly, lived.

While this slow start has been frustrating, I can finally see how much it has been needed. I needed to see the race for what it was and not where I was placing in it or where my finishing time would end. So don’t mind me. I am just going to rest here a while and find my new path. And I will do it all at my own pace.


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