There is a Zen proverb that says:
It takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow.
2013 was full of sunshine and rain. I’ve written about some of the events in past blog posts, and as I’ve re-read some of them, I have to say I’ve never had a year so full of the sadness and joy that life can bring. The year began with my divorce and publication of The Red Kimono — both “final” on the same day. When I moved out, I found myself living alone for the first time in my life–a bit of an adjustment to say the least. It was a blessing that my book came out when it did, because its marketing provided a distraction from this life change.
A few quotes that helped:
- No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again. — Buddha
- Forget the times of your distress, but never forget what they taught you. — Herbert Gesser
- The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. — Eckhart Tolle
- It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and proceed. — Ram Dass
But promoting The Red Kimono–which included travel and lots of research–not only distracted me from feeling alone, it also distracted me from my writing. The uncertainty of knowing what to share and what not to share, blocked my ability to write–it still does sometimes.
- Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence. — Osho
- Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it. — Buddha
In May, I learned that my son, Adam, and his wife, Emily, would be having a baby in December. That joyful news was soon followed by their asking if I’d like to watch the baby during the first year when Emily went back to work. OF COURSE! I screamed inside, as I imagined doing cartwheels. It would mean relocating to Dallas, but I thought it would be a good time to move. And so, I began plans to pack up a life that had been good and happy in Fayetteville and start anew in Dallas.
- True change is within; leave the outside as it is. — Dalai Lama
- Things do not change; we change. — Thoreau
May through November was a whirlwind:
- May: Conference Chair for OWFI. President of OWL for the biggest meeting of the year.
- May through October: Traveled to California, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri for speaking and book signing events.
- October and November: These were the craziest two months of the year, with finalizing plans for OWL’s 30th Anniversary Banquet and meeting, preparing to turn over the reins to a new President, finding an apartment in Dallas, packing and finally, moving.
It was hard to leave the community of writers and friends I’d made in the last ten years–some of the best friends I’ve ever had.
And then came December–the most joyous month of all, with the birth of my grandson, Thomas David. Many people have told me there’s no greater joy in the world than that of a grandchild, and now I’m experiencing it.
So, 2013 has been a year of rain and sunshine. Endings and beginnings. 2014 may also have its share of ups and downs, that’s just life. But, it is starting out magically with this new little life called Tommy.
And, there’s another bit of magic to start off the year…if it weren’t for that wicked editor making me question how much to say or not say.
What the heck. It’s a new year and I’m just going to come out with it. There is a new man in my life. A writer. An artist. A friend. It’s been a blessing to share so much.
So, 2014 will be a year of change and with change can come uncertainty, fear, anxiety, excitement, anticipation.
- Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry–all forms of fear–are caused by too much future and not enough presence. — Eckhart Tolle
- If you know where you are going, then you are dead. Life runs in a mechanical way. Life should be a flow, from the known to the unknown. — Osho
- Be happy in the moment–that’s enough. Each moment is all we need–not more. — Mother Teresa
Ten thousand flowers in Spring.
The moon in Autumn.
A cool breeze in Summer.
Snow in Winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded
by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.
Though I have several goals for 2014–writing goals, health goals, relationship goals–I’m only going to make one resolution. I will live each day so that each night, I can tell myself I did what I could to make this the best season of my life.
Happy New Year to you, dear friend. Miss you like crazy.
Thank you, Pam. I’ve been teary-eyed off and on missing you all, too. Still, I believe 2014 will be a great year. 🙂
Jan, your first thought of “It takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow” pretty much says a lot. Tons. It is so true.
Congrats on Tommy! It was nice to meet you in Little Tokyo, too, albeit I had two ten year old girls and a twelve year old boy tugging at me. 🙂 Talk with you soon!
Hi Koji. Yes, it was great to make a new friend in you this year! I enjoy following your blog, and I hope we’ll stay in touch and see each other again, maybe at the 2014 Tanabata Festival! Happy New Year!
Beautiful Jan. May 2014 be your year of peace, fulfillment, love, over the top laughter, and many trips to Fayetteville. 🙂 I can’t help being selfish, I miss you sooooooooo MUCH!
Yes, Linda, many trips to Fayetteville. I treasure you and refuse to go cold turkey. 🙂 Much love to you and your family and Happy New Year! ❤
You are missed, but celebrated for all of the amazing changes in your life! Happy New Beginnings! XO
Thank you, Sharon. 🙂 So many exciting changes–thank you for helping me to celebrate! Happy New Year to you and your family!
Best wishes for a Happy New Year, Jan. And be sure and follow the zen advice I sent you, especially #8 🙂
Russell, your zen advice was perfect. And you’re right, no parachuting for me. 🙂 Happy New Year to you and your family!
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So excited for you, Jan 🙂
Thank you, Madison. It looks like you’re having a wonderful new life, too! Happy New Year to you and Rob!
Beautiful post, Jan! And what a handsome little grandson. Best wishes to you in 2014.
Thank you, Dianna! Best wishes for much happiness in the new year to you and Don!
What a great blog post and wonderful way to highlight 2013 and bring in 2014. I’m excited for your new beginnings and can’t wait to see you, meet little Tommy, and meet that new man. Congrats on many levels. Now, come back to the Midwest!!! 🙂
Thank you, Beth. I can’t wait for you to meet Tommy, too! I’ll be back for the February OWL meeting, but I think you’re going to miss it?? But we need to plan a get together. 🙂
Jan, I enjoyed meeting you in Branson. I’m sorry to hear about your divorce but I pray that 2014 will be filled with many blessings for you. I hope to make it to OWL in February, but we’ll see. All the best.
It was great to meet you, Janet. You were every bit as warm in person as you are online and I hope to see you again soon in the future, Happy New Year!