This month, I turned 53. It was an anti-climatic event. I quietly celebrated one more year. This year has been one of self-discovery, spiritual renewal, travel, and change. I wanted to openly share:
- I made a commitment to a celibate life. Not one without intimacy, but definitely one without sexual interactions. It is interesting that I had already been ‘celibate’ without really thinking about it. It has been years since I engaged in sex with another person. Making a conscious decision to continue to pursue this path has been freeing.
- I made a commitment to domestic travel. I have made good on that with trips to California, New Mexico, Arizona, New York, and a number of Florida trips. I have enjoyed meeting new people and visiting lots of different spots. Much of my travel has included art, outdoors and spiritual exercises. I have strengthened friendships and family relationships. Seeing new things has sparked my creativity.
- I made a commitment to my mental health. I have engaged a counselor, mediation and prayer, and actively monitoring negative influences. I have moved well away from traditional news outlets and really worked at not only knowing what’s happening in the world but also gaining a more in-depth understanding about the facts around the headlines. This has reduced my sense of stress about the state of politics, planet, and people. Our news seems determined to keep us in fear and division. I have decided to stop functioning from an attitude of fear and mistrust. It is incredible how much more peaceful life becomes when you choose to function from a place of curiosity and love.
- I made a commitment to exercising my creativity. Writing poetry and prose had taken a back seat to other parts of my life. Igniting those flames was cathartic. I have a strong group of authors, online and in person, who critique well and help me grow. I have been painting and sketching. I have put aside my self-doubt and fear of being judged by others to allow myself these expressions without censoring my art as “not good enough”. I have taken a few classes. Created new things. Chased the art muse. It is good and makes me happy. That means I am good enough. 🙂
- I made a spiritual commitment. To learn and grow and find a place where I fit. This included meditation, crystals, stones, grounding exercises, chanting, a fire walk, cards, prayer, and lots of reading from the Bible and from other sources. What did I find? God loves me. I found a Christian church that feels like home. I put aside my negative attitudes about religion and imperfect people. None of us are perfect. I don’t need to fit. I need to follow. I am not ever going to be all the things… and that is ok. God knows me, and I’m a hot mess. I will keep walking my path, focused on forgiveness and the grace of God. I have opted to commit to developing a personal relationship with God, religion aside. This will be part of my new year… to Live what I believe.
- I began, and continue, to take charge of my health. Cleaner eating, better sleeping, more exercise. This is another area I’ll continue in my next year.
- I took a new job, on my Birthday! I have spent 8.5 years with Raymond James. I take my new job on Nov 4. It has been a good run but I needed a change. It will be exciting.
That’s the short version … The people I’ve met, the stories, the joy… those all keep coming.