Sunday Letter, Dec 27th: Going into the New Year with Intentions...Good Intentions
In the midst of the season it is hard to remember that it is even Sunday. Christmas has passed and I am preparing for winter and a new year.
It is time to move into whatever the new year brings. Other years I have mused a lot about what I hoped to do and what might come. This year is different. I am going into the year knowing fully that there is no way of predicting or planning what might be.
It seems funny now that I once thought I had more control.
This past year surprised me in so many ways.
In these dark mornings as we go into 2021 I am left to wonder what I should focus on in the coming year. Do you wonder the same thing. Have you made resolutions in the past or chosen a word to guide you?
I always enter the New Year with hope and intention. I always set out to be better than I used to be. Gradually over time it has worked some.
I know that I am kinder and gentler than I was as a younger woman. I believe I am wiser than I once was. Most of the time I am more grateful.
And still I fail and I have set backs (earlier this morning being one of them). That's no reason though to give up, instead it is reason to keep on. After a little set back, where I have proven to be an arsehole I look at all the inspirational books around my studio and I think, "Deanne, those books aren't doing you much good."
Then I think about what I read in them and I remind myself of the words of good souls like Maya Angelou or Fredrick Beuchner and I remember that all any of us are ever doing is trying. I think of Thomas Merton and Henry Nouwen saying that getting close to God, the real work of a life, is always done in community. It is done in family. It is done with each other when we are not at our best. It is done with love and forgiveness. And it isn't easy.
Then I am grateful for what this reading has taught me and I am reminded that these words are easy to live by when you are alone with your book, or in your studio doing exactly what you want. It is in community when we need them most.
So for that reason I try.
I try as one year rolls into the next to add another little layer to this life I have been given. I do it with hope, with intention, and with a renewed belief in myself that though I have failed before, I have the opportunity to try again. With the belief that I can be better.
I think of my words for the past three years, savour, strengthen and inspire, and I think that even in a difficult year I was able to do ok with these. I struggle with them still. They are important words and it is too much for me to live up to them all the time. But if I carry them with me, if I keep them in my pocket, perhaps I'll slow down enough to take in what matters and become better for it.
Savouring means paying attention to everyday life.
Strengthen means to get better at what you do, and what you are.
Inspire means to give but also to receive what is needed to create beauty everyday.
Over the last few days I have thought about a new word for 2021. I know some of you, as you hook your rugs, are contemplating the same things.
This is why I love the New Year. It is such a hopeful time. A time to think I could be better. It brings with it a promise that is followed by a deep winter that gives us time to restore ourselves.
So I never neglect this chance to become more fully myself. Over the years I have used resolutions and words sometimes to change my life and sometimes to grow a little. This year I'll go forward with the words of the last three years, and I'll add grace to those because I need it. We all need it. I'll put that word in my pocket with the others and I'll keep trying, knowing that others are trying too.
I hope that you go into this New Year with your own words, thoughts, and resolutions, and that you do well with them, thinking of them as you hook your beautiful rugs.
Thank you for reading, and I am glad we get this bit of time together. It certainly helps me to talk things through with you. Thanks for reading,
- Angela Davis