Quote of Inspiration

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Atilla and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015: Retreat

Confederate Retreat at Gettysburg

I thought about starting a new blog.  I think that every year.  I have 'themes' I attach to years, and my theme this year isn't about figs or lists or things to do as much as it is about what not to do.

My theme this year is retreat.

My husband thinks that sounds weak, but that is how a man would feel who has spend the last 20 years of his life in the military.

I think of retreat in the sense of quietly, calmly and intentionally pulling back.  I think of retreat as assessing.

I am coming up on 40 this year.  It feels like something is happening.

I want this year to be intentional.  I feel the years starting to pass very quickly, and in an attempt to have all things and be all things I've gotten a little lost in the madness of it all.  What would happen if, instead of adding more, I took some of it away?  What if I retreat, step back, look and listen?

I know.  This is so cheesy it could be a Facebook update.

I want to continue working on this list, because I've been amazed at what has come from intentionally pursuing 'things,' even when I didn't want to do it and even after I thought the 'thing' had become passé.  But I want to continue in a less half-hazard way.  I suppose I want to begin doing less with more intention.  Focusing.  Having a priority.

To that end, I have a list of 21 resolutions/goals for this year.

I know.

What is simple or intentional about that?  Is that retreat?  Or is that just madness and noise all over again?

I guess I'll see.

I'll post about each resolution, and I hope to make significant, sustainable changes this year.  I've learned, through pursing this list, that some of what I think will be very meaningful and life-changing isn't.  And the smallest, most random thing can mean more than I imagined.

To that end, I begin 2015, quietly, thoughtfully, taking a step back and trying to see the bigger picture.

Happy 2015.

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