And what we knew, that life is gone and it’s hard without you…*

*Lyrics from Lavender Diamond‘s song I Don’t Recall from their 2012 album Incorruptible Heart. This song captures the melancholy, introspection, and grief that this time of year brings up in many of us. It’s not all Black Friday tramplings, and Cyber Monday identity thefts, you know. Some of us care about more than that. 😉 Ok, and I miss the doggie.

January, 2011. Snowstorm, streetlight, and a little bit of bundling up.

The diminishing sunlight, the chilling temperatures, the influx of cold and flu season, the pressure of holiday hoopla, the inevitable changing of the calendar (and in my case, aging, as my birthday falls in late November) all makes for a reflective and challenging time of year. It’s when we all take stock of who we are, what we’ve done, what we haven’t, and why. It’s when we try to express our love for our friends and family in impossibly small increments of time, with gifts that cannot measure the gratitude we have for each other, with traditions that sometimes don’t mean much, but feel supremely important in our near hibernative states (let’s not forget that cold and flu season is gearing up, too). With all this pressure to look forward and backward simultaneously, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and a bit, well, unprepared.

That’s why I’m making a list. Not of gifts, not of groceries, not of resolutions, but of simple tasks to keep my brain (and spirit) moving forward. Not selling the house this year was a time-consuming setback, more emotionally than anything, but I’m refusing to let that keep me down. My list will include minor upkeep on the house, mini-projects to keep my creativity flowing, and simple tasks (like hanging art, changing paint colors, or clearing out junk drawers) to remind me that even when the big things don’t go as you’d hoped, you can still accomplish little things that will bring you joy. I’m after you, joy. You can’t escape me. I’ll grab ahold of you whether you like it or not.

You see, ’tis the season, and all, for making the things you love a priority in your life. It’s not about getting stuff, or showing stuff off, or even giving stuff – it’s about reflecting on your life, and expressing your true heart. In my case, I’m taking this end of year to reflect on my value to myself, on my desire to follow my art (not my heart) and keep seeking more creativity and awareness. I am choosing to discard the negative, and focus on the positive. After all, what you focus on expands.

I wish you all a splendid final month in 2012. I can’t believe this year is nearly over. I wish for you to have joy, peace, harmony, and positivity. And, well, maybe a twinkly fairy light or two. Or a thousand. Whatever. And whichever holiday you personally celebrate (if any) around this time of year, I hope yours is one that helps you see and know your best self.

Happy December, everyone! xoxo