Thoughts about the year that’s been

As is so often the case at the end of the year, I find myself today mulling over things, thinking about the year that’s just about to close and the new one that will begin when the clock hits twelve tonight. For me, 2012 has been a really tough but ultimately rewarding year.

I’ve moved house twice (once interstate), taught yoga full time, finished a Masters degree, begun new friendships and built on existing ones, spent time with my family, spent time alone, had some essays published, worked more on my larger writing project, tried my hand again at short fiction. I’ve said goodbye (for now) to some friends and hello to others. I’ve spent plenty of time outdoors, upside down, prone and supine. I’ve watched the plants in my various gardens grow and change and sometimes die. I’ve walked many, many kilometres. I’ve read a lot, cried a lot, laughed a lot. Friendships have been tested and, happily, survived. Ideas and hopes and dreams about life’s direction have shifted, sometimes subtly, other times massively. I’ve spent an awful lot of time practicing yoga. And cooking. And being surprised at myself and at life.

Honestly, if I think back to this time last year, I can hardly believe it was only a year ago. The year that will end tonight feels like two or three years squished into one.

I have a few bits and pieces lined up for 2013, but mostly I have no idea what’s in store for me, which is both exciting and absolutely terrifying. Life is pretty unsettled and confusing right now, but that’s not hugely surprising, given that it was only just over two months ago that I landed in Melbourne. I know I can expect a whole lot more uncertainty and probably some more shifts in perspective—but then that’s half the reason I wanted to make the move to Melbourne. As difficult as change can be, it’s also a really good way of noticing patterns in my thinking and behaviour (in yogic philosophy these are called samskaras, or ‘traces of deeds done in the past’) and giving myself a chance to figure out which of those patterns are useful and which are not. Letting go of the less useful patterns is an additional challenge, of course. Probably a life-long one.

It will be interesting (that word we use when we’re not sure whether something is good or bad or somewhere in between) to see how things unfold in the next few months. To see which patterns stay and which ones go.

Tonight I’ll be celebrating the year that’s been with a couple of dear friends. I’m looking forward to 2013, to getting on with whatever it is that the new year will bring. Happy new year.

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