September is the new January, no? The kids are back in school. The weather is more conducive to getting things done. I always have a desire to turn the page.
Last year was about getting rid of things that did not work. The gift of my botched eye and poor health was that it gave me lots of time to think about what was not working for me. I was stuck in a culture of acquire and achieve which, frankly, I’ve been over since my 20s when I was blessed to hit a lot of those goals. I spent a year trying a ‘when in Rome’ attitude hanging out at my local Nordstrom and Starbucks, but it’s really not me. I’ve spent the summer reconnecting with what is me: galleries and the ocean and reading. And it’s been good.
Career-wise, I’ve always been quite lucky and things have fallen in my lap. I’m one of the few writers I know who is approached to write pieces. Ditto for job opportunities as a few interesting positions have come my way through word of mouth. On the one hand: #blessed. But on the other hand, I’ve not been as deliberate in choosing things as I should have been. Serendipity is not a replacement for visioning and planning, I’ve learned. So this year, I gently closed some of those doors, which always takes a leap of faith when you don’t have something else lined up. I will focus on my writing until I figure out what else I want to pursue.
This was a big year for sorting through friendships. I’m not a big believer in the whole retrograde thing, but when things are planetarily wacky, it seems as good a time as any to clean house. Last year, I weeded out a lot of toxic elements. Now, my plans are to connect more deeply with kindred spirits, which means, again, being less passive and reaching out to those I like. As a deep introvert, it’s out of my comfort zone but I know it’s the season I’m in.
This summer was a season of preparation for the coming year. I spent my downtime doing a lot of reading and re-reading: Cheryl Richardson, Pema Chödrön, Daphne Rose Kingma, Debbie Ford, Anne Lamott. I unsubscribed from a lot of fashion blogs and subscribed to a lot more spiritual ones.
I detached myself from formal religion in favour of a looser spirituality that works better for me. I’m a God girl and a Jesus girl and a Holy Mother girl, but I’m also drawn to aspects of Buddhism. And the scandals that rocked both the evangelical and Catholic worlds cemented my views on Big Church. I’m very drawn to Christian mysticism. I’ll always been drawn to stained glass and candles and will likely attend services with friends and family to maintain a sense of spiritual community, but if I don’t find a landing place, that’s OK. I’m probably reengage with Christian Meditation, which I used to do regularly as part of a group.
This year, I need to focus on eating healthy, getting fit, and balancing my hormones, as I need to head into some scheduled surgery in good shape.
I’m also embracing minimalism (well, as minimalist as I can get!) This article by Lesh Karan (via A Considered Life) is fabulous if you are looking to disconnect from the wheel of consumption. I’ll still always be looking for (and writing about) the Holy Grail french girl red lip stain and one more winter coat, but I plan to stop shopping as entertainment simply because I’m bored.
All in all, I’m looking forward to turning the page.
Do you consider September a new start?
Do you plan to shift what you are doing this year?