Ah yes, 2014 is the year of the horse. I was born in the year of the horse, so this should be a productive 12 months.
According to the Chinese: “2014 is the Year of the Wood Horse, bringing with it plenty of positive vibes. The horse is regarded as an intelligent and reliable animal that supposedly helps men achieve success and victory most especially in battle. The horse is the seventh sign in the Chinese zodiac, looked upon with favor by many Chinese who equate the animal with elegance, power, energy, stability and perseverance” (The Philippine Star). 2013 was the Year of the Snake. I should have known.
I was going to start in on the typical resolutions, but then I gave it some real, serious thought. Will I resolve to be grateful? Hell, I'm ALREADY grateful. In the last two years I once again faced Death and told it to wait outside. (I've done this at other points in my life, as well. My Karmic waiting room should be chuck full of Reapers by now).
I'm grateful for my life, my family, my friends, my doctors, the fact that I still have my left leg... Nothing new.
Am I going to try and be more aware, more open to learning from experience? Yeah, sure. But again...not new. Then, I started to dig deeper until I hit a reality from which I often shy away. What I really need to do this year is...love myself.
Me and mine were not raised with this concept. We were to put ourselves last . Our Mum lived by this principle, good, solid, Irish Catholic that she was. She would keep going through sickness, injury, grief, and upset. It was like a thorny crown of glory, reminiscent of the caricature of old fashion nuns. (“Today I polished the chapel on my knees, kneeling in cactus.” “Oh? Well I said 40 rosaries while balancing one footed on a bed of nails..”).
I never understood why it was nobler to drag yourself through your duties while barking sick, rather than lie down, heal, and get on with it. But we did. It's deeply ingrained. To love yourself was wrong, selfish, vainglorious. In many ways, a sin.
I lived that way for nearly 60 years, but I'm ready now. I need to change. So, in that regard, I do have a few goals for this Year of the Horse, beyond the usual:
I will remain my authentic self. “ In existentialism, authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one's own personality, spirit, or character, despite external pressures; the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself.” I will continue to do what my heart tells me is right, despite the opinion of others.
Recognized when I am being devalued. I'm a fan of talking things out, airing differences, and coming to a resolution. This is hard when the other party responses with crickets and tumbleweeds. When this happens, I will value myself enough to move away and carry on.
Be kinder to my physical self. This is a big one! It includes healthier foods, reduction of this:
and more this:
Yeah. I have become enslaved. I am limiting my computer time to no later than 10pm. If you have a sudden brilliant idea, or a pithy comment on Facebook, I'll read it the next day. (BTW: there are a ton of you up too late as well. You answer my messages at 3am!)
So, that's it: simple but massive. I have to look at myself in a whole new way and – love me; finally accept the truth that...
There was a little Xmas present aired on BBC which didn't show in the States. In case you missed it, I present “Many Happy Returns”
And so it begins, a brandy-new year. Enjoy, get out there, and knock 'em dead!