January 1, 2016 – thoughts of the new year

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Sunrise over Paynes Prairie, Jan 1, 2009

Several years ago (somewhere in the early 2000s – but I can’t find the exact year), I started getting up early on New Year’s Day and go out to see the sunrise with friends, mostly from my local writing group. Most years we went to the Baughman Center, on the UF campus, looking out over Lake Alice as the sun started made it’s first trip up in the new year. One year we mixed it up by going to Paynes Prairie, a local state park.

The years have ranged from cold and crisp, to humid and warm. More often than not the sky was overcast, and we watched the brightening of the sky without seeing the sun itself. We chat a little, sometimes sharing goals or aspirations for the new year, but mostly stand in companionable silence as the new day starts.

This was the first year in over a decade where I did not get up for New Year’s Day sunrise.

I’m still processing how I feel about that decision. There is some sense of loss in it, a tradition broken. Sleeping in instead of upholding a tradition. There was a bit of worry, that I am in denial about the changing of the year. And there is a bit of a sense of freedom, of acknowledging that I am not eternally bound by the choices I made years ago.

As 2016 starts, I am completing the “Unravelling the Year Ahead, 2016.” I had meant to complete it prior to midnight yesterday, I didn’t. This morning after sleeping in as long as my hungry cat would let me, I made a cup of tea, and headed out to the back patio to sit, and ponder 2015. I am still reviewing the year past, and don’t know what the pages for 2016 have looked like, but I am enjoying the process.

Sunrise 2011 – Version 3

Sunrise at Lake Alice, Baughman Center – Jan 1, 2011

Baughman Center, Jan 1, 2011

Baughman Center, UF – Jan 1, 2011

One thing I do know about 2016, I want to be more intentional with what I consume, and where I dedicate my resources. Consumption covers not only what I eat, but what media I take in, and what people I interact with over the year. Resources include my energy, my time, my money and the space I maintain. I feel that better awareness of that flow – what I am taking in, and where I am spending, will help me have a better understanding of myself. By eliminating the impulse spending of time and money, habitual consumption, and the unexamined retention of things I have accumulated over the years I hope to be more satisfied with my choices, because with intention I can be more cognizant that is what they are – choices.

My first choice was to take a break from the Unravelling workbook, and sit down to write a post. To let go of the guilt I feel from letting this blog languish in the past months, and to address how I feel about the change of the calendar. I’m not sure I’ll be setting resolutions or goals, per se, but I think that the intentionality I plan to bring to the new year will be more rewarding, and will, in the long run, lead me down the path that such resolutions and goals have failed guide me down in the past.

Good morning, 2016, and may you, my readers, find a path you are happy with for the upcoming year.

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