Happy New Year, everyone. Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh (Great health and every good blessing to you)!
We had a quiet Hogmanay, and my husband and I welcomed in the new year together after a busy day of cleaning and getting the house in order. After some offerings and prayer I went off to bed not too long after some chatting with friends and family, and then in the morning I did some more formal ritual with blessings, prayer and offerings, sweeping the old year out and welcoming in the new year, and saining the house. I'd hoped to have done a lot of that before I went to bed, but physically I wasn't up to it then. It got done, at least.
I'd anticipated that laying the old year to rest would be something I was more than happy to do; it wasn't a terrible year, as such, but there are some things that I'm more than happy to leave behind - threads of stress and worries that I hope aren't carried on into this new year. More than anything, for me personally, the last year has been dominated by my having to adjust to chronic pain issues - learning how to live with it, finding medications that actually help, accepting my limitations and the fact that I'm unlikely to ever get better. Not great. On reflection, though, I can't say that things are all that bad...
In my prayers and blessings, I've felt a little conflicted about wishing for health for my family and myself (such as in this blessing), since I have this chronic pain thing that isn't ever going to go away...Considering the fact that there are days when I can't even walk, I can't say I'm a picture of physical health to begin with, and wishing for health when I'm not and never will be is something that seems odd to me; wishing for something that can never be again. Then again, all in all I know things could be a lot worse for myself; there are far - far - worse afflictions that I could be suffering from. It's something that I found myself mulling over as I meditated before bedtime on New Year's Eve: There are plenty of other health problems that I can be grateful that I don't have, and all in all what I do have is something I can live with. It got me thinking that while the chronic pain stuff has changed a lot in my life over the past year or so, it's something that I am going to adjust to eventually. I'm getting there, I think, and eventually maybe I'll get to the point where it won't be something I will have to keep harping on about here(!) as I figure stuff out.
Whatever changes it might have brought in my life, there are some things that haven't changed, and these are the things that are the most important. My kids are happy and thriving, I have family and friends that have been a great support to me, I have a roof over my head, and love in my life. Life can be a stress or a struggle at times, but most of all I have pretty much everything I need; the simple, fundamental things in life. It makes me feel incredibly lucky, and humbled, too.
There are other changes that have happened in the last year - solidifying good friendships, making new ones and finding spiritual fellowship; moving forward with my writing and research, finding more confidence in what I do, and so on. Not everything went the way that I'd hoped in the last year, though, and there are some things that might give me pause when I think about them. In particular, I'm saddened by the fact that I've been unable to visit my family and friends for over a year now - and not just because of my health problems. I'm thankful that some were able to visit me instead, even so.
Looking back and looking forward, I have a lot to be thankful for. Sometimes change can be difficult and painful, but I suppose looking on the bright side I've learned a lot, even from the negative stuff...I can't say what the future might bring, but having laid the last year to rest that's where my mind turns to now; I'm not one for making resolutions so really my only intention for the future is to keep plugging away at everything. Keep writing, keep adjusting, keep doing. And hoping that this year will be an improvement on the last.