Beginnings: 2015

“Beginnings can be delicate or explosive. They can start almost invisibly or arrive with a big bang. Beginnings hold the promise of new lessons to be learned, new territory to be explored, and old lessons to be recalled, practiced, and appreciated.”

These are the wickedly wise words of Melody Beattie from her book, “Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul”. They are strategically placed under the title of ‘Honour the Beginning’ and notated in her January 1st entry.

I cannot agree with her more. Beginnings do not necessarily have to start at the first of a New Year, but they are so metaphorically appropriate that I cannot help but be persuaded to have faith and hope in the New Year.

Last night I went to bed with the pessimistic attitude that this year will be no different; that it will be no better or worse than last year; and that things are not necessarily in my control.

Today though I am determined to take back control, with the understanding that all things are not within my power—that I have to let some things go (as in the immortal words of the movie Frozen hit tune “Let It Go”) and shake “it” off (thank you Taylor Swift)—“it” being my pessimistic forecast for the year.

In seven words, Melody sums up what the New Year holds. She says: “Beginnings hold ambiguity, promise, fear, and hope.” She has conjured up a recipe of ingredients, which if shaken (not stirred) foreshadow the year ahead. I will grasp promise and hold onto hope knowing that there will be trials ahead. Trials I have to face; trials I must wrangle with; and trials that will be won.

I am nothing if not pragmatic. I know that with wins there will be losses. With triumphs there will be failure. With success will come mistakes. But if you adhere to author Neil Gaiman’s philosophy, mistakes are our way of moving forward. His hope for the New Year is summed up in these words:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”

This New Year, I want to do something, and if in doing so I make mistakes, then I will look at them as the prelude to change. And I will start looking at change as not a bad thing—but something to celebrate; something to adjust to; and in that adjustment become more evolved. Growing is not something we should give up when we have reached our height—we should continue the growth to our very depths.

Staying static is the enemy. Letting it go, and shaking it off are good advice. Even if that advice comes from a runaway movie or pop star.

(Thanks to Cindy Guest Taylor, photosfromtheloonybin, for the Neil Gaiman quote.)

Do you have any advice for the New Year that may sound clichéd but is very sensible in its roots?

Published in: on January 1, 2015 at 7:04 pm  Comments (27)  
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Winter of Discontent

  “Now is the winter of our discontent.” ~ William Shakespeare

            We have hit record snowfall totals for the month of January, and almost broken the low temperature records. Small comfort in this deep freeze we have been caught in, but maybe we need a change of attitude and should try to embrace this cold snap.

            Luckily I do not have a job that entails working out in this weather, and when I do have to venture out I bundle up in layer upon layer. But, I do love the cold weather when I am inside looking out, with a cup of hot chocolate in my hand, a good book to read, and a warm throw over my legs. Unfortunately real life gets in the way and we cannot assume this position of comfort for long. Since we have no choice in the matter if we do not have a warm weather vacation in the offing we have to adjust as best we can.

            I found a few winter quotes—some inspiring, some hopeful, some funny, and others—well I think they were observed in a winter such as we are having now.  I like Robert Frost’s attitude, which lives up to his last name. He says: “You can’t get too much winter in the winter.” Now if I had said that people would have thought “duh”, or “yes you can”, but because it came from the pen of a great poet, we take note and ponder his wisdom.

            William Blake perhaps does not reflect how many of us feel but he does have a sunny way of looking at winter: “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” Okay Bill, I will enjoy this winter keeping in mind these words from Percy Shelley: “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” Hope obviously sprang eternal in Shelley’s human breast, adhering to Alexander Pope’s words that “Man never is, but always to be blessed.”

            Comedian and actor Billy Connolly wryly says: “There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter.” Being partially of Scottish origins, perhaps that is why I do not mind winter—I harken back to times in my ancestral home when I and Shirley MacLaine were living out one of our lives together there.  Hall of Famer, Bill Veeke also believes that there are only two seasons: baseball and winter.

            Dave Barry is clearly not a Canadian and his words bear this out: “The problem with winter sports is that – follow me closely here – they generally take place in the winter.” Dave, Dave, Dave – where would the Olympics be without the winter sports?

            Andrew Wyeth is rather poetic in his assessment of winter. He says: “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show”.

            And what would a column on quotes about winter be without a little input from that young sage, Taylor Swift who harmoniously states: “I love the scents of winter! For me, it’s all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce.” I feel a song coming on……Another musician, Bob Seger is inspired in the winter—he says that he writes 80% of his stuff in the cold months. “Give me some of that old time rock ‘n roll….music that will soothe the soul…..”

            A few more quotes that need no embellishment but may just sway you into thinking winter is not so bad:

1. Tom Allen says: “While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.”

2. “There are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need the money; the second that you have something to say that you think the world should know; the third is that you can’t think what to do with the long winter evenings.” ~Quentin Crisp

3. “Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” ~ Pietro Aretino

4. “Winter is not a season, it is an occupation.” ~ Sinclair Lewis

            I will leave you with two final comments on winter. They sum up how we all feel at one time or another. Robert Byne believes that: “Winter is nature’s way of saying ‘Up yours’”, while Anton Chekhov makes this very valid point: “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”

            So enjoy, be happy, and don’t throw snowballs at me when you see me!

 

All quotes from brainyquotes.com/keyword/winter