a year of funerals and hope

It’s been such an odd year. So many changes. So many surprises.  So much hard work rewarded.  Way too many deaths.

My heart is heavy, but optimistic–but still kind of stunned.

I don’t think I’ve ever attended so many funerals.

I guess death feels odd to me now.  When you lose all the significant people in your life by the age of 26, the meaning of death changes completely.  A part of you starts believing nothing can hurt you anymore.  That you’ve lost all you can lose, and it can only get better.  There’s an isolation that takes over your life, and in an odd way, it protects you from the brutal parts of living.  At least for a while.

I’ve learned that death comes no matter what.  There is no scorecard.  No referee telling God you’ve had enough tragedy–that it’s not fair.  When you lose most of your family, you find new ways of having family.  Your definitions broaden.  You stop seeing the walls people see.  You stop being so picky.  You just love people for who they are, for as long as you have them.  In the ways you have them.

Of course, that also means that–when death shows up–it often shows up especially tragically.  Like when a young woman dies too early.  Like when a mother goes after fighting for three years, against all odds.  Like when a man just falls over after a perfectly normal health exam.

This year has been hard.

I’ve felt more driven to change my life this year, too, even before these things began.  Inspired by my friends’ fights against harsh reality.  Inspired by my own inner search for peace and knowledge.  Reminded again and again that I’m the one driving, and time is fading fast.  Reminded time and time again to be softer and brave.  To reach out though it’s thankless–though I don’t want to–to try just because I still can.  I won’t have any more regrets if I can help it.  Not ever.  No more.  I’m determined to be the woman they believed I could be.  The woman I still am.

###

Blog challenge: Goals for the next 30 days

  • Work/school: 
    • Make my monthly goal and earn my bonuses.
    • Continue to be a leader in my company & tackle all my new projects.
    • Be especially vigilant about that whole balance thing.
    • Sign up for spring course. Start application materials.
    • Reach out to places I’d like to volunteer with in SF.
  • Health:
    • Swim at least 3-4 times a week.
    • Lift weights 2-3 times a week.
    • Yoga every day.
    • Drink 10 glasses of water a day.
    • Increase intake of fruits, veggies, and fiber.
    • Be better about taking probiotics, supplements, and fish oil (esp).
    • Meditate daily.
    • Sleep 8 hours a day.
    • Reach out to prospective healers in SF.
    • Get back to therapy and acupuncture. Make appointments for October.
    • Make dentist & derm appointments for October.
    • Read more Buddhist books.
    • Watch something funny at least 1x a day.
    • Dance 1x a day.
    • Reconnect with someone at least 2x a week.
    • Write at least once a week.
    • Continue spaciousness project.
    • Make more time for photography.
    • Roadtrips.
  • Home:
    • Continue packing and decluttering.
    • Get rid of things I don’t need–give to charities.
    • Assist with apartment hunting.
  • Relationships:
    • Speak up when I’m upset.
    • Be kinder.
    • Check-in more in ways that are less time-intensive.
    • Practice more random acts of love.
    • Do work on trust issues, with a therapist and independently.

🙂

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