"It occurred to me, then, that I could and would create my own change"
New Year celebrations came and went and we entered the year 2012 without major upheavals (except for Republican Primary madness, shipwrecks, European economic downgrades, more Middle East revolts and gruesome Hollywood beheadings.) Generally, though, we’re OK.
It’s not like I was expecting the apocalypse, because I’ve done my homework, and I knew that the world was not going to come to an end at the beginning of this year, but I did find myself feeling like, “Well, OK, what next?” Because 2012 has been long talked about as a pivotal year on so many levels, I think I was in need of some kind of change.
It occurred to me, then, that I could and would create my own change. Why wait for the outer systems and elements to force me into it? What would I do? Since I retired from Santa Fe Community College a year ago, I have been looking around for something else that I wanted to do because I do like to work for a lot of different reasons, and the present economy requires that I continue to do that. I’m not a good secretary (would snarl, I think, and lack really advanced computer skills); I’m not a salesperson (don’t work a cash register or chat people up). I wouldn’t drive a taxicab (too many night hours) and I don’t have the skills for a graphic artist either. I kept looking for just the right thing, and jobs in Santa Fe are not that plentiful. I did want to land a part on ‘Breaking Bad’ – but that wasn’t in the cards.
Then I saw the job I really wanted, which incorporated my love of writing. I applied for it, and got it. That’s one big change for 2012: leaving retirement to go back to work.
Another gigantic change for me, and one that took a tremendous amount of thought, was that I decided to change my political affiliation. I have been a lifelong Democrat, coming from a family which lived, ate, breathed, supported, endorsed and benefitted from the Democrats. For over 40 years, I too, fought the good fight, supporting (almost) their every move. I have grown weary, however, from fighting for a political party which has changed over the years, and which I found flawed at times. No way was I ready to become a Republican either -- so I became an Independent, and I love not having to support a stand or cause that I don’t believe in. It’s been very freeing.
I also decided to change my look. I have leaned toward the ‘natural’ look for the last 40 years of my life and I was getting a bit bored with that. Hence, last week, I cut my hair and let Stacy, my newly-found hairdresser, streak it so blond that I looked like the girl from my college days (except a few other things had changed…). I was shocked when she took the towel off my head, but after a few days, I decided that I could have that blond hair.
Job, Political Party, hair, social relationships, hmmm … what else could I change? I digressed from (not left) the yoga studio I’ve gone to for the last 10 years, as I’m working on new discoveries. I started writing again and have a real project and a new bi-monthly writing partner. And I’m setting up a new filing system in an effort to organize my life in a more efficient way. I am somewhat unhooking myself from the emotions and needs of my children, which is (you have no idea) entirely new territory.
Perhaps when the Mayans chose to end their magnificent calendar in 2012, it was not because the world truly would come to an end. Perhaps they ended on this year because it is not the ‘end’ but merely a major shift, which is what I believe. Therefore, it might be time to ask ourselves what we could do differently, however big or small, to shift the way we do or see things, while these other major shifts are happening around us. I’m not suggesting that it is any kind of requirement for a positive new year, but I can only speak from experience in telling you that it has done me a hell of a lot of good.