Twenty ten has a nice ring to it. I've heard several people say, "This is MY year! Good things are going to happen in twenty ten!" The number is attractive to look at... 2010... it rolls off the tongue... it's hopeful and happy like a sunny day.
I've had a hard time jumping into the new year. A mire of thoughts, goals and disappointments have temporarily bound me. But... Here comes the sun. Doot 'n doo doo. Here comes the sun. And I say... it's all right...
I'm choosing to focus on two very important "Ef" words this year.
Photo courtesy of Google Images.
My grandmother died August 20, 2009. I continue to miss her. I periodically watch video just to hear her voice and experience her as fully as I can. There weren't many things left after Mamaw died. She had a desk and some bedroom furniture that fit nicely in her room at the assisted living facility. My dad said I was welcome to it.
The furniture wasn't valuable, but it was solid. I don't know the history behind the desk, other than she'd always had it. The bedroom furniture was purchased in 1939, the year my grandparents were married. They weren't rich people, but they had enough money to replace furniture if they needed to. Their belief: If something was functional and well-maintained, why would a person spend money to replace it? Wasteful! Mamaw painted furniture, rearranged it, sewed curtains out of sheets, made new covers for throw pillows, and her home always looked up-to-date, pretty and clean. Papaw transplanted bushes, borrowed starts from neighbor's perennials and their landscapes were lovely.
Chris and I aren't flashy spenders and I don't think we're blatantly wasteful, but I wouldn't want the "Green Police" raiding our home and surveilling our spending habits.
A portion of "frugality" defined per Wikipedia:
Common strategies of frugality include the reduction of waste curbing costly habits, suppressing instant gratification by means of fiscal self-restraint, seeking efficiency, avoiding traps, defying expensive social norms, embracing cost-free options, using barter, and staying well-informed about local circumstances and both market and product/service realities.
We're not striving to be spokespeople for frugal living, but we both want to simplify without losing the spirit of generosity or the joy of occasional self-indulgence. We want to do better.
Relationships have been a big topic for me over the past few years. My desire to connect with people from my past, the confusion and disappointment I've experienced when someone has rejected me, the expectations I have of my family and friends, and the sadness and anger I feel as I try to understand that many people don't share my eagerness, or even worse... my memories. I assume I've made a person or two feel the same way, and if they were to ever reveal themselves to me, I would sincerely and humbly apologize and search for the memories that were important to them. If nothing else, I would listen and be thankful that I was a part of someone's recall... their personal tapestry.
My mother is in her 60s and has lost some dear friends over the past ten years. Until recently, I never really thought about how that would feel. I take for granted that T, Amy, Em and others will always be there when I call. I don't want to have regrets.
Chris and the boys are my natural priority in life. This goes without saying for any partner or parent. But the importance and value of friends... including the friends we're related to [my brother, my grandmother, my mother], and the friendships from our past, are at risk of slipping away due to busy, over-scheduled lives. There are new friendships waiting to be nurtured and discovered, and I sincerely want and need to tend to some of them.
I've learned the hard way [jumping in too fast, revealing too much too soon] that the kinds of friendships that are worthy of the following two quotes are rare [which is unfortunate, really], often take years to develop and/or fall into the category of crossing paths with a kindred spirit.
A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, in "Friendship" in Essays, First series (1841)
Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is your board and your fireside. For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, 1923
Twenty ten is here in all it's sunshiny glory. I'm finally ready to embrace it with a few personal goals, and intentions of improving frugality and friendships, inspired by a person who modeled both words for me, and managed to do so while smiling -- displaying hope and happiness. [I'm blowing you a kiss, Mamaw.]
I know she would sing this with me.