And so ends another trip around the sun. Right off the bat my knee-jerk reaction is to go over the wins and losses of 2011, and there were several biggies. A handful of which would probably drive me to tears.
Instead, I think on a Tarot reading I received at Earthfest 2010. Tarot, like any other form of divination, is far from an absolute. Timelines and details end in grey areas, and you still have the freewill to change your path if you so choose. Honestly, I don't remember much from this reading, but I do remember one line spoken by the reader. "A year from now, you'll hardly recognize yourself."
Did I have some life-altering "a-ha moment," as our dear friend Oprah has called it? Did I have a near-death experience or witness some massive trauma destined to change me forever? Nope. Shoot, I hardly lost the weight I was hoping to. The change was internal and gradual. Those who spend the most time with me have probably barely noticed. But that's OK. I'm not in it for the glory or pats on the back. That is a good portion of what has changed.
Sure, I appreciate a compliment or recognition for a job well done. But it's no longer what I strive for. I believe the quote goes, "Character is doing the right thing when nobody is looking." I work hard at my job, certainly not for the pay or recognition, as I get little of either. It's simply the way it should be. I love talking a little extra with my customers at the door. I love chatting with the kids that shadow their mom or dad, or giving treats to the dogs. It makes people smile. Sometimes it gets me a bigger tip, and it's appreciated. Which leads me to the other transformation in my life.
I. Am. Grateful. We are taught from toddlerhood to be polite. Say "Thank you," share, and compliment a job well done. These are important lessons that I'm teaching my soon to be four-year-old every day. But we then forget to be thankful for what we already have, whether it is what we have worked for, or the Universe simply let land on our lap. We forget to find beauty in the everyday.
Gratitude has been a subject that has been popping up around me quite a bit in the past few months. I started making a habit of thanking the Universe for little things; witnessing a shooting star, a good night of making more tips than expected, staying healthy while others around me get the traditional winter sickies, etc. But it seems every time gratitude slips away, some little comment made by a friend, or a program on NPR, as it were, brings me right back.
I haven't yet decided the details, but I'm determined to participate in some kind of Gratitude Project. I know the new year frequently gets people into the rarely-successful New Year's Resolution mindset, and perhaps the Project may be a brain child of that mindset. But this is something I've loosely kicked around for a few weeks.
With school, work, and a few family situations on the horizon, I've got some bumpy roads ahead. To be certain, I am grateful for the family and community I am surrounded by that will see me through this. But I'd like to give myself some simple goal to keep the gratitude in the front of my brain. It will come. I am grateful for this change, and I trust it to keep me on my path, wherever it may take me. Namaste.