I like the idea of cleaning and organizing at the end of the year. When I lived in Korea and later in San Francisco when I pastored a Chinese Church, I learned about the tradition in those cultures of thoroughly cleaning house before the beginning of the New Year. I've intended to do it for many years myself, but this is the first year that I actually made space in my life to do it. It has given me a sense of anticipation about the coming year that I like. It helps me feel that I am approaching the new year with more intention about receiving the new things that it has to offer. I guess there's nothing magic about the change in the year, since it is important to me to daily work to be open to the newness the day offers, but the process of cleaning and organizing has helped make me ready in a way I've not experienced before. I like it.
As the year closes, I find myself reflecting on all that the current year brought to me. I have a lot to be grateful for:
- A new faith tradition that has nurtured the sense of freedom that I've needed to reconnect with God;
- Friendships that continue to develop and grow;
- The trip to No. California and Yosemite, which helped me become more fully aware of the importance of place and nature for my spiritual experience;
- The foxes that took up residence alongside the river across the street from where I live, creatures that made this place feel magical and beautiful to me, who reminded me that much about my life right now is "in between times;"
- The gift of a new level of honesty with my mom about who I am when I came out to her, though I'm learning that coming out is not a one-time experience, even with the same people in my life. Choosing to live with integrity with my family is a continual challenge;
- A group of women who are willing to help me work on the difficult things I'm trying to face, while also reminding me of all the good things I've accomplished in the past few years;
- A cat who is so much fun to watch play and who freely offers her affection (she's resting on my chest as I type, occasionally reaching up to lick my nose);
- The experience of losing out on the job I hoped would be mine and finding that the person who got it has been such a bright spot in my life since she came this summer;
- The joy of running again and seeing my body change in the process, of accomplishing more as a runner than I thought possible in such a short amount of time.