Advice Wanted and Unwanted
“Dreaming-In” the New Year
“Geez, your life is complicated.”
That comment struck me out of the blue. It hadn’t occurred to me that my life would look complex to someone else. It seemed entirely natural to me.
I was speaking with a well-meaning member of my extended family, so I figured I’d better examine the thought to see if it had merit.
He was thinking the simple life is to just work a job so you can come home at a given time and do whatever you want with the rest of your day. Granted, that sounds simple, but having kids immediately throws complexity into that equation. Add pets, and life doesn’t count as simple for most people, I’d say.
Photo: Some of our buddies on the farm
In fairness, I run a landscape design business, which is automatically a complicating factor. Running any business is complicated. And I have a farm. That’s the part that confounded my relative. He couldn’t understand why I wanted to raise plants and animals when I already had so much else going on.
You know, fair enough. It’s something to consider – does that add enough joy to my life to make it worthwhile?
It reminded me of something I ran across in a conversation recently:
Every discussion is an opportunity to discover something that changes your whole approach to life for the better.
I love that perspective, and I’m trying to keep it in mind as I dream forward toward 2024.
It doesn’t mean you have to let everyone around you dictate what you do, just remain open to seeing things from another perspective.
Have you had one of those moments when you realized there was a whole other possibility available to you in life that you hadn’t considered before?
This time of year brings out those kind of moments for me. Not because of the whole “New Years resolution” thing. I think it’s more of the inherent inward-looking nature of this time of the year. It gets dark early; we tend to stay home more. It lends itself to introspection and contemplating what we really want out of life.
As we head into the New Years holiday, I hope everyone has a chance to get some contemplative time to consider new perspectives.
Maybe 2024 be a happy and healthy year for everyone!
Nature through the senses
A great scent for this time of year can be jasmine. I’m always going to prefer live plants, which aren’t hard to get in flower this time of year at a greenhouse or through mail order, but the essential oil works, too. Research has shown that the scent of jasmine can help make us more alert and alleviate depression.
The best sight at New Years is seeing the friends and family you love all around you, and that’s really good for your well-being, too. Let this holiday support you with a sense of community!
Church bells traditionally “ring in” the new year, and if you’re near a church you’ll be covered. We’ll ring a little bell ourselves, since we’re a few miles from the nearest church. (One of my dogs is afraid of fireworks, so I hope we *won’t* hear any of those this year.)
Another Celtic tradition at New Years is to leave food outside the door of your house. It was meant as a gift to the fairies so they would be nice to you throughout the year, and a lot of people choose to use a slice of bread and butter for the tradition. I’d be nice to you, too, if you gave me a slice of bread and butter, so I can see it. I’ll be baking a fresh loaf of bread this weekend.
I’m thinking we’re going to start making a bonfire part of our New Years tradition at the Cutshaw house. It’s an old tradition in a lot of parts of the world, including Celtic cultures, and it seems so much more fun to me than sitting around the tv waiting for the ball to drop. We’ll light a big bonfire and celebrate the returning light in the new year!