Friday, December 18, 2009

A top 9 list

If you've been reading this blog for awhile you know I like lists. Lists help me think in a more organized fashion, something I often need help with. This time of year lists are everywhere. They're inescapable. The artificial close of the year drives the media to produce Top 10 lists on a near-infinite variety of topics.

I wanted to write a top-ten list for 2009, but I kept stumbling. The last couple of months have been hard, so it's challenging to think of the top ten books/moments/films/creative endeavors/etc for the past year. What I keep coming back to are the things that I didn't enjoy about 2009 and would like to do differently next year.

I don't believe in dwelling on past crappy stuff; it gives it too much power and energy in your current life. I certainly don't manage to do this all the time and recognize that sometimes your old stuff just keeps getting in the way, but naming it and then moving on can provide a path forward. In that spirit, I was going to present my top ten list of things I can avoid in 2010.

Writing this list was unexpectedly hard. While 2009 was tough I learned so much that I found it challenging to really come up with stuff I regret about the year. So this led me to the following, which I think is ultimately much more important. Try it yourself, you might be surprised.

Top 9 unexpected gifts of 2009
  1. The written word. I have returned to writing this year with a passion I thought I had lost. In no small part I have this blog to thank for it.
  2. The importance of self-care has been borne home quite dramatically. I really, really get it now. I'm working on it, though the question remains - how do I take better care of myself without stressing over it?
  3. Silence. Sometimes being confronted with myself, with the ticking clock, with the hum of the world is the best possible thing.
  4. The grace of a good death.
  5. The purity of grief. The understanding that love yields grief and is worth it.
  6. The intricacies and meditations of small tasks - chopping, sorting, digging, walking.
  7.  Discovering that I am more capable than I feared. Remembering that fear is feeling like any other.
  8. Remembering that I can make better choices. Making a bad choice and taking note of it so I can do better next time. Beckett had it right, though he may not agree with my context.*
  9. Completion and knowing when to let go, whether a life, an art project, or a list.
I hope your year was full of gifts and that the coming year give you light, creativity and joy. May you notice the gifts when they are offered.
    *Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    (c)2009 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

    1 comment:

    1. I love the list! I especially love that it only goes to 9. Why do we put the extra pressure on ourselves to make it 10?
      Way to go, Laura!


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