Ring It In

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“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been” 

-Rainer Maria Rilke

I hope you all had a safe and wonderful Christmas! Lily and I had a wonderful time visiting my sister (Lily’s mom) and niece (Lily’s sister) in Kalamazoo. It was a long drive, but well worth it, with a relatively lazy but relaxing few days being in the company of loved ones. I hope you were able to share some quality time with those you love and hold dear!

It has been a year, has it not? A year full of trials and struggles, battles lost and won, great success and grand failure. These dualities in life are real, but as humans I find that it’s so much easier to look back and see the things that went wrong rather than all that went right. I constantly struggle to keep my focus on the present, where good and bad and all that lies between are merely choices that can be made based on the way we are perceiving our current environment and situations, but it’s not easy. This day and age, there is so much minutia that can distract us, draw our attention away from what’s real and tangible and right in front of us, and send us down paths of worry, anxiety, self-doubt, and insecurity. It’s during these holiday seasons, no matter what your beliefs revolving around them may be, where we are able to close out a calendar year by focusing on the things that matter and make us uniquely human: family, friends, giving, and sharing. As we prepare to begin a new year, a point in time that really is no different than any point in time other than it being the way we have chosen to track the Earth’s orbit around the life-sustaining Sun, we also materialize a starting point, a new beginning, a point in time where we can decide to start improving on where we were this time last year, last month, last week, and mark it on the calendar, tick off the days to reaffirm our choices, or just leave it as another day and stay right where you are. It’s hard to find meaning or purpose or motivation in life, it’s far easier to let life happen. I’ve benefited immensely by shifting the way I think about life from that of a linear plane of causality to that of a cyclical reality of processes, and in doing so have found great meaning and fulfillment in the process of trying to become the best me that I can. And it’s hard, and it takes practice and discipline and experimentation and focus, but it’s so assuring to realize and understand that there is not end point, no concrete destination where everything will be as it should be according to our imagination and idealism. I think the thing to do is to set high standards for yourself, standards higher than can actually be reached in a lifetime, and find joy and serenity in the process of striving to reach those heights. Make the choice to let 2017 be the best year you’ve yet to live, and realize that making the choice is the achievement, and the journey is the meaning. Happy New Year!

Both markets will be open tomorrow from 9am til noon, hope to see you there!

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