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Questions to End a Year

Amy Featured

I slept later this morning that normal, and when I woke to find the room already light, I was dismayed. I had missed two or more beautiful and quiet hours of the last day of the year, and I really wanted to not have missed them. I need all the hours in this day I can get as I try and fit in the bits and pieces, even while I know I probably won’t get to certain things, make certain decisions, or follow all the philosophical threads I might wish. These threads and pathways of thought tease from the corners of my mind as I go about, on the surface, with my morning. There is sadness lurking, too. I hadn’t counted on that, but there are changes that have left me feeling sad (bereft is the word) as I look at closed doors and hurts that are too fresh to fully hold. I find myself worried on this December 31 that I will roll into a New Year on the wrong page and with the wrong mindset and tarnish the shiny of the New Year.

You only get one shot at December 31 each year. What does it take to make it the day you really want (and maybe need)?

Over the last two weeks, I have called up countless articles about end of the year traditions and reflections. Most of these pieces revolve around lists of questions to help you reflect on the year that was… a way of summarizing the year, taking in the big picture, pulling out the major milestones and events. All of these pieces are similar in concept and have similar questions. Some are long (30+ questions) and some are shorter (10ish). Some are philosophical in bent and some are concrete. I started writing down some of the questions I was seeing… with the goal of making my own list of end-of-year questions. Not that the world really needs another end-of-the-year list… but I wanted to see if I could find a good blend of questions to hold and keep and use and share.

As I read (this morning) through the index card of questions I’ve culled, I could see that some of the ones that are {most} tantalizing… are too hard. Some of the ones that may seem most compelling ideologically are the ones that would freeze me in practice. I didn’t see that when I wrote them down, but this morning, I saw that clearly.

My goal this morning is to work on my list of questions — with sub-goals of making the list short enough to be doable (even on the last day) and questions that are easy to answer (so that they invite answers).

And then, of course, I need to write my answers…. in limited time… in and around the day-to-day of family and general “to do” items for the day… and without letting myself topple.

I wish I had beautiful pieces of art and full-color inspiration to share today, but I am realizing that often all I have are words. Somewhere along the way, I stopped posting words because of a voice that says “you have to have images to ‘keep up'”… I think that was a mistake.

I can’t compete or keep up. I can only be me.

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