2014: A Cup of (Dare I Say it?) Wisdom

Here we are. Another year has gotten behind us.

Each December 31, I find I’ve procrastinated writing an end of the year post, and this year is no different. The New Year has already begun for most of the planet’s population. And the planet keeps on spinning round the sun.

With this title, I claim to have experienced a year in which I earned some wisdom. Along the way, I must have, but sitting and writing it down with only a couple of hours until the world spins past some imaginary cosmological clock, I forget. Completing a Master’s Degree in English this year, one would think I’ve mastered something about phrasing my thoughts with pith and punch. Not so much. Writing lost its glow for awhile, along with many other loves in my life.

Wisdom comes from the little bits of daily life with as much veracity as those big change-your-life moments. We only attend to the big moments, though. The small bits of daily life pass by and we take little notice because the big moments are allowed to crowd them out.

With my focus on the big things, like that MA in English, I lost sight of the daily rewards. Interests and hobbies were replaced with research and bleary-eyed reading and note-taking. Now that the BIG achievement I worked toward for so long has come and gone this year, I’ve looked around the spaces I occupy and I find I’ve neglected many of the small bits.

And just where does the cup of wisdom come in? It’s always hindsight. We achieve goals and find that appreciation for the small moments that make life so precious has fallen aside.

I want more small moments. I’ve missed the quiet, contemplative moments in which I wonder at the strength and beauty of nature, the kindness of a stranger, and the feel of rain on my cheek. My life became busy and hectic and too full of the concerns of my career to be bothered with those things I once found wondrous. Weekend mornings of outdoor cafe writing, photography for the joy of it, and watching clouds drift across the mountain sky in the summer are among the small moments of which I lost track in 2014.

I want wonder in 2015. No resolutions, no looking back at what I didn’t do in 2014 or any other year. Wisdom is much more difficult in practice than in theory.

As 2014 yawns its farewell, I ponder these simple statements about living (with a nod to Thoreau*):

  • Live deliberately.*
  • Question everything.
  • Choose wisely.*
  • Practice simplicity.*
  • Encourage kindness.
  • Welcome love. And friendship.
  • Laugh heartily.
  • Saunter daily.
  • Be content.*

Perhaps in 2015, I will become wise enough to put these thoughts into daily practice.

In the coming year, may you find prosperity in all things that nourish you in body, mind, and soul.

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