One of the bloggers I follow ( Jess J. ) had done a post on 10 things to ask yourself before 2015. I started but got sidetracked after 5. Here’s what I came up with. Maybe I’ll get around to answering 6-10 in another blog post.
1-) Are you happy with where you are in life right now? Yes. For the first time in a decade I love my job. I enjoy coming into work and find myself wanting to stay late or come in on days off. I’m married to a remarkable man, we have a cute house and dog. Our finances are healthy and we get to travel occasionally. My social life is vibrant and full and for the most part all my family members are doing ok health wise. There’s nothing to be unhappy about (except all the bad stuff that happens around the world).
2-) What am I passionate about and what am I doing to pursue it? I’m a Libra. My passion is equality and justice. Growing up I would always say “that’s not fair” and my father would always respond with “Life is not fair”. This pains me. Always has. It disrupts my spirit to see inequality and injustice in this world. Whether it’s brought on by war, crime, nature, health… I hate seeing people suffer. I wish there was something I could do on a global level to eradicate inequality and injustice but all I can do is seek equality and justice in my immediate life. I seek to balance my Libra scales by not tolerating people who create waves. If people in my circle exhibit behaviors that tip my scales I speak up & if that doesn’t work (and sometimes it doesn’t) I practice yoga which helps me “accept the things I cannot change”.
3-) Who or what things are weighing me down that I need to get rid of? How will I do it. Much like Jess J. I don’t feel weighed down. I’m an adult with no limitations except those I place on myself. If I want to travel, I can. If I want to learn a new language, I can. If I want to go back to school or switch my career, I can. I don’t feel tethered by or to anything. If something weighs me down in life I find it easy to rid myself of that weight
4-) What do I need to forgive myself for? For not doing more for family. I always feel guilty about not having done more when my mother was sick & for not helping out more when my grandmother was ill. The issue here is that I was only 10 when my mom was sick so what did I expect myself to do for her? When my grandmother was suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s I was in my late teens/early twenties. I wanted to quit my job/school and dedicate all my time to caring for her, but didn’t. I’m assuming my family wouldn’t have allowed that anyway. Just yesterday, I had a day off from work and couldn’t decide if I should drive an hour each way to visit my aunt who is in an assisted living facility recovering from a few surgeries. I decided not to and feel terrible for not going. I could have lifted her mood for an hour or two, but kept wondering if once I left she would be sad to be all alone again. The thing about all these scenarios that cause me internal feelings of guilt is that nobody has ever asked me or expected me to do more than I do. It’s a burden I place on myself. I struggle to find a way to be ok with how much or how little I can do for my family whom I love dearly.
5-) When did I feel the most alive this year? What was sacred about that moment? When thinking about this, what came to mind surprised me. I thought about 3 distinct moments that I feel were the most sacred for me this year and that I will cherish for years to come. All 3 moments have to do with my husband’s family.
- In the summer, my husband’s cousin was visiting in Beirut. One evening, after putting all the kids to bed, we found ourselves huddled into a small patio just talking, sharing stories, laughing and bonding. That moment was special to me because I come from a really tight-knit network of cousins and when we all get together the spouses who have married into our family don’t always feel part of the fabric of our family because the rest of us are so close, but in that patio, I realized how seamlessly my sister-in-law and I fit into this family we had married into.
- The second moment came during a family vacation in October. Up until that moment I had held on to a memory from my wedding when my brother-in-law (our best man) saw me dancing alone on the dance floor to a song I really liked and he came over and danced with me. It was such a sincere moment that I didn’t think could be topped but he managed to touch my heart again during our vacation when he lifted his glass and made a quiet toast that wasn’t meant for all to hear. Basically he called me “sis” and expressed how glad he was that we were family. Although I’m terrible at expressing my feelings, I’m sure he knows that the feeling is mutual.
- The third moment was when we went to visit my husband’s cousin to see their newborn twins. He mentioned how much he wants to ensure we are part of his children’s lives and how a couple months later we spent Christmas day together and at various points throughout the day I looked around and took little mental photographs of the special moments of my new extended family in my home, relaxed just being themselves and enjoying each others’ company.
These were the moments in 2014 that made me feel alive.