The busiest time of the year, then comes the calm...

It's at times like these - when the list of things to do takes up far more room than even usual - that I often find myself most introspective, most in need of seeking clarity. It may also be the cold medicine, I can't be too sure. But whatever the reason, I am compelled to stop everything and go with a stream-of-consciousness rarely found even in my own blog. I'm in the middle of a memory that sprang from the years when I kept a written journal religiously. I've even written of this day before, although maybe not in a blog. I was in college and the cliche sounding night was stormy and I had candles and incense and red wine and my journal. I wrote from a place that was very very far from the surface of my everyday life. On that lone night in an overzealous semester I felt completely connected to myself, to my place in the world, to my belief that things would be okay regardless of surface appearances. I wrote all my feelings and hopes and with a fervor even rare for my youthful angst, I wrote through so many of the barriers most writers know too well. On the phone with Cindi later the next night, I tried to tell only her a little about the specialness of that feeling. She surprised me at how she latched on to my explanation and "got it." 

"It sounds a lot like that night on my parents' porch." Her voice was reflecting back to me a little of the giddiness I felt in trying to let someone else in on my little experience. "Remember the night we sat there and it was probably one in the morning and it was foggy and the trees looked like they were in a scary movie?" I remembered exactly and she was so dead on. We were in a time when buying cigarettes felt a little cool, and cheap wine, which we were barely old enough to buy, and we were drinking it from pewter goblets on her parents' huge front porch, sitting in boxers and sweats, while they slept and didn't know we were even out there. We had just watched an odd little movie that left us fidgety. And so we sat on that porch and smoked our stinky cigarettes and talked about things that felt deep to us then. The conversation touched on everything we were aware of in those days and went on for hours. We went to bed in the early hours so very content with our lives and the futures of which we hadn't even begun to conceive, but which excited us nonetheless.

And so years later when I had returned to college and was connecting with my "inner self" through my journal, she understood how I felt because on that old night we had both felt it. It's been more than ten years and last night I was suddenly remembering the same two nights. No fog and no rain and no candles or wine, I cuddled with my pillow, settling in for a really cozy rest. Right smack in the middle of still-buying-presents and keeping up with clients and planning trips and rescheduling the traditional plans to make room for my brother's finally-scheduled surgery and my sister's need not to travel at this stage in her pregnancy and now on top of this, a cold, the memories and anticipation blended and came at me in strange but welcome waves.

When I got really quiet, my mind wasn't quiet at all. I thought of how gargantuan 2005 has been, of so many unexpected occurrences and choices. How there was no way I would have imagined some of the year's happenings, had I even tried, and how next year could end up being even "bigger." And how I need the next year to only be bigger in a good way, not in a "more of the same," kind of way because I think I've approached the neighborhood of "that's a little too much."

So the "what now?" thoughts followed those memories and instead of feeling the stress many of my friends are naturally projecting, I continue to feel a remarkable calm. There isn't any way to ever accomplish the things I set out for myself and so I finally want to release some of them. I seem to become far too attached to some of the ideals I set out for me. Things that have defined me. Career-wise and personally, my needs are taking shape and moving me in a direction I still don't really understand. I think I'm grasping a bit of it and I know somehow that it doesn't matter if I know what's coming because perhaps we aren't ready to "get it" all at once.

I'm excited about 2006. About the places I want to go and the new experiences I intend to create for myself. I'm pretty sure there will be a lot more jewelry design in my future. And if things evolve the way I imagine them now, my blog readers are going to have the choice of seeing so many new designs I'm imagining right now. I once worried that the ideas would stop coming until I realize that if we embrace the creative sparks they'll actually breed new ones and before long we might not be able to keep up with them.

So after writing what might be best left inside a journal kept secretly in my bedroom, I'll bravely hit save then return to that endless list. I need to see if I can't finish my Christmas shopping and call that one client and check my surely-now-overstuffed post office box, and take time to rest and drink some more Throat Coat tea (mmmmmmm) and check off another day in a quickly waning year...