I will begin this Holiday Letter as I did the one a year ago. There is a beauty in consistency that my scattered – always wanting something new – way of thinking finds very hard to embrace. But I am growing. Trying to appreciate the beauty of something once done, repeated . . .
Then I will be off to the races.
‘Tis the season
to be a lot of things
To some this is the season that speaks of their belief in God and their way of life. So many important holidays converge at this time of year. To some it’s about family and togetherness. More than a few see the holidays and all of their attendant trappings as nothing more than a corporate bamboozle that has co-opted religious beliefs to put retailers in the black. To others it is just a mountain of work, hassle and unending expectations.
But I am not going to talk about any of that here.
I am going to talk about what I do every year at this time:
I start a new Academic Year
in the pursuit of
It is my personal field of study.
You can’t get a degree in it because, by definition, as soon as you stop pursuing it you fail.
The weird thing about majoring in Measurably Better is that you often don’t know which courses you’ve signed up for until they’re over.
This Years Courses:
The Comfort of Others 211
I have taken this course before, on a number of occasions. I am a woman who never has a lot of friends. Solitude always entices, and all too often, envelops me. I have a hard time maintaining friendships because I am so comfortable being alone. I get friends because I genuinely like most people but I often lose them through neglect.
This year I am taking this course yet again but this time it is a little different. Usually this course finds me. I get adopted by some one who sees through my reticence and has enough fortitude not to allow me to give in to my lesser self a.k.a. Loner Lynn.
This year, however, I made an affirmative decision to take this course. The textbook is the same: Basic Principles of Getting Out of the House but this year I am using The Vivian Edition.
I saw her in a crowd and I told her to give me her contact information and put it in my purse. She is the kind of friend who doesn’t expect you to be anything other than what you are but is also just as likely to call you on your nonsense when she thinks you are doing the wrong thing. Gotta love it. Most definitely love her.
A Great attitude. Excellent Class Participation.
Don’t Wait Until You are Irate 201
As you may recall I took the beginners’ course last year. In 2010, I took a more advanced class. In the 101 class, I identified the nature of the problem. This year in 201 I am doing something about it.
For those unfamiliar with My Patch of Land Theory, I will describe it as follows: I had a very long fuse with an extraordinarily big BOOM waiting at the end. It was not working for me. I would wait too long to express my displeasure and once I did it was such a ridiculous scene. And while I did manage to back up a few people who were taking advantage of my good nature (which is not always a bad thing) usually at the end of the day I do believe I would get dismissed as a hysterical babe.
Now, I have learned to speak sooner and calmer. And though I find the snail’s pace of this kind of change challenging I am able to handle it fairly well because of the next course it seems I took.
C+ The student does not yet fully grasp the concepts taught in this course but there has been some noticeable if inconsistent improvement.
I make a point of not rushing. Regularly during the day I say. “Stop. Are you being deliberate?” For those of you Working the Rules with me this is Rule 10(A).
Patience is an all day thing. It is not something you can decide to be. You have to work on becoming that way by keeping an eye out for when you aren’t and make a deliberate decision to do otherwise – right then – at that moment. The idea is to string enough of those moments together to change the character of your days.
D+ Student has no natural aptitude for the material and has made minimal, yet perceptible, progress.
So that’s that for me.
What about you?
I hope that The You, you are today has grown somewhat from The You that was here last year.
I hope you found respites of calm in whatever rough waters you have traveled.
I hope that whatever struggles you have had this past year abate a bit in the next.
And as I said before:
Whatever your aspirations are
I hope next year brings you
Much of what you want
All of what you need
And some joy you didn’t expect.