Friday, 6 January 2012

All Change

The earth has tilted back towards light, there are snowdrops in the churchyard and the indoor jungle that is my porch bursts into abundant life.
Blackbirds are fighting in the garden about food and potential nesting sites and, presumably, sex. The place is full of birdsong in the mild air. Even in the darkness of evening there is a robin proclaiming his rights.
It feels like a fresh start, this year more than any other I can remember.

I do not do New Year Resolutions, knowing perfectly well that in my own case they don't last until Epiphany. This year there are things I will not do, which include not clambering unaided and unsupervised on the pergola and the shed roof, not treating myself to a chain-saw, not even a small lady-sized one, and (hopefully) not trapping myself in the attic in an otherwise empty house.
Additionally, I will try not to work until I'm dotty with exhaustion, not to watch day-time television, and not to eat anything made of wheat.

There are reasons for this.
In a wonderful coming-together of events coinciding with a new year, all of us, both sons, both their partners and even I have new jobs. Mine is modest but important to me, theirs are exciting and important to other people.
We don't read horoscopes. My older son tells me it's bad luck to do so, but if we had done we would probably have seen the stars lining up in auspicious patterns in the last few weeks. I hope all other Capricorns have had a similarly cheerful start to the year.

Fresh starts are invigorating.
In the depths of the old year I had a rather frightening health scare. It pulled me up very short indeed and made me take stock of many aspects of my life. It made me sort out the paperwork and tidy my knicker drawer.
It makes me appreciate who is really important to me, and to make sure I tell them so - one way or other. It's not easy, in a very English way, to tell people that you love them, so sometimes the approach in oblique and laced with humour - but I think they know.
It makes me appreciate more than ever my home and garden, and the peace and freedom that are there as well as the hard work that both take to maintain. The balance of peace and work is important and the danger is in overdoing the work so that it's hard to appreciate the peace. I must do better, but that is a vague sort of ambition and not a Resolution.
I value the ability to think and work from silence, and this becomes more powerful with time. What, in the early stages of widowhood, could seem like emptiness, now feels full of potential. I never know what I'm going to think or write next!

It makes me appreciate those who read here, and who are kind enough to leave a comments.
So, somewhat belated Happy New Year to you all.


gz said...

and a Good New Year to you too!

Jane said...

Happy New Year, Judith. I'll try to pop round soon - currently up to our necks in hosp appts, health visitors etc. for you know who!

marigold jam said...

I'm with you on so many of the sentiments you post here! It is sensible to know one's limitations and not to put oneself in danger by attempting things which are beyond our capabilities these days especially if living alone! I am glad that your year has got off to a good start and hope that it will continue s0o for you - I am not a Capricorn so cannot say if it is the same for others!

Relatively Retiring said...

gz, Jane and Marigold; thank you for your comments, and Marigold, I hope it's good for all the zodiac signs!

Fire Bird said...

very glad the health scare was only that and that your year has begun well. So has mine and I'm not even a Capricorn!

Relatively Retiring said...

Firebird: that's good news. Probably proves my son's point about reading horoscopes!

Isabelle said...

Glad you're ok and your knicker drawer is ready for inspection. Happy New Year.

The Elephant's Child said...

As a fellow Capricorn I love your list. I aim to let the people I love know that I do, and to push myself rather than drive myself. And to continue to take pleasure in the little things - my garden, the birds, the cats, because to me they are indeed big things.
Happy New Year (and birthday) to you too.

Zhoen said...

Write your heart out. And stay away from chainsaws and eaves. I'll be reading.

Relatively Retiring said...

Isabelle: nice tidy drawers are a cause for celebration!

Elephant's Child: Happy Birthday to you. I like what you say about pushing rather than driving.

Zhoen: thank you - the lure of the chainsaw lingers on, but I must resist! The writing lure never wavers, now additionally fuelled by some of the wonderful writing and drawing materials I've been given.

Leslee said...

Wonderful to start out the year feeling so fresh and raring to go! That's got to be a good sign. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

I like what you said about valuing the ability to think and work from silence and seeing emptiness as potential instead. As a fellow Capricorn I wish you continued good health and cheerfulness!

Relatively Retiring said...

Leslee: thank you, and I wish you the best of all possible new starts.
Big Sky Mo: greetings, fellow Capricorn. Silence can be a rare commodity in every-day life, and I value it more every day.

Molly said...

Boy! I seem to have a lot of catching up to do! Sorry to hear about the health scare but glad that's all it was. I love the New Year. I charge in full of optimism and determination. I'm reconciled to the fact that I might not keep my resolutions, but for me it's kind of a mental house cleaning ritual!
I wish you health and lots of fruitful silence...there is such a shortage of it in our world today.