It’s a New Year Every Day

Niece at Winter Festival Ice Rink at Navy Pier, Chicago

Yesterday was a really tough day. Somehow whatever remaining expectations I was clutching to, especially around getting a job, slapped me in the face, and I cried from the sting. Things simply weren’t going my way, and I’d had enough. I thought I was taking all the right steps, putting myself out there, doing what needed to be done, but time & time again, opportunities slipped through my fingers.

When this happens, I know I’m not in “the flow” of the Universe. I know that I’m resisting something, or trying to control something, or simply engaged in a “death grip on reality”, like an old friend shared once. Finally, the tears began to flow, and I stomped my foot like my 4-year-old niece, and shook my fist at God & said, “It isn’t fair!”.

Nothing happened.

But I sure felt better!

More & more as the days pass by here in Chicago, acknowledging what’s hard seems to be the only way through this emotional rat’s maze. If I pretend it’s not so bad, or try to see the silver lining too much, the reality of the hardness snaps back at me like a towel whip from a 9th grader in the school locker room. Yeah, that bad.

Despite moping all day, I took that frustration & began to catalogue some videos last night. Hooray! While brushing my teeth I told myself, “Well, tomorrow’s another day. I can try anew then.” Sure enough, I woke up on time for a 9AM hot yoga class, followed by a half-hour of mediation. The instructor, and owner of the studio, asked me if I was ready to leave 2011 behind. “Hell yes!”, I said.

During the mediation, the thought came to me: our calendar is a man-made system. A New Year can start at any time. I can be ready to leave behind all sorts of things on any given day. I don’t need a calendar to tell me when to shed my load. It’s a daily, even hourly, choice! That doesn’t mean I won’t take advantage of the space for reflection our calendar creates for us. However, it was a humble reminder that my teeth brushing advice was on track.

After the meditaiton, the yoga studio owner, who knew my jobless situation, offered me a work study so I could still take classes. After chatting some more, and telling him about my film project, he exclaimed that he was looking to make a film for the studio to put on the website! We talked some more, and I will do his video in exchange for free yoga classes for the next few months. What a serendipitous moment!

I truly believe that getting grumpy, turning my frustration into positive action,  and embracing today as a new day was what opened the channel for this new opportunity. Both the owner & myself can serve each other in a gracious way using barter or trade, which simultaneously serves the Homewood community.

Letting Go of 2011

Here are the top 10 things I’m glad to let go of in 2011.

  1. My brother’s death
  2. My old job
  3. The Bay Area
  4. Focussing on the negative
  5. Hiding from my feelings
  6. Fear
  7. My past
  8. All the injuries plaqueing my physical body
  9. Self-judgement
  10. Arrogance towards others

Welcoming 2012

Here are the top 10 things I wish for all of us in the new year.

  1. The end to my mom’s suffering, and the suffering of all those ill with diseases.
  2. Full funding of everyone’s cool, artsy, amazing & delightful projects.
  3. A shift in values that will end the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and begin the Gross National Happiness (GNP) as the primary indicator of a healthy nation.
  4. Love
  5. Food
  6. Shelter
  7. Incredible, supportive, inspiring, gifted, & dynamic friends like the ones I already have! (That means YOU!)
  8. Abundance
  9. A hug & kiss from a 4 year old kid
  10. Generosity

Best wishes in the 2012 New Year!

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2 Responses to It’s a New Year Every Day

  1. Jon says:

    For some reasons every since I was probably 10 years old I couldn’t understand how people can be so happy in last hours of the year – for me it was just a painfully reminder of the time going by, getting older and closer to the end …
    I still find myself in these moments wondering – what is this new year going to bring? Accidents? loosing my job? Illness? … death? Am I going to be around in a year from now?
    When I look back ten years ago, my life is completely turned around – I live not only in a different country, but a different continent, I speak a different language, I am married with a different woman and I have a job I could not possibly even think of …. and I am a lot happier ….
    Life is always a mixture of good and bad, and today the best part was playing with two little girls, seeing their smile and pure joy and happiness … a hug and a kiss from a 4 years old is is priceless and can make ones day a lot brighter. Life is worth living and enjoying …

    Happy New Year and best wishes Marissa, and everyone else!!

    • marissa says:

      Thanks for visiting & your comment, Jon! Life is really amazing & worth living, for sure. I’m glad to read that your life has totally changed, but you are very happy. Especially glad that you have two little girls to play with! Little kids are the best! It’s great that you can reflect on your life 10 years ago & see a wonderful transformation for yourself. Thanks for sharing this story with all of us, and for embracing life in a whole new way!

      All the best to you & your family, Jon!

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