First of all, it's a blue moon tonight. The moon will not actually be blue, but there will be a second full moon in one calendar month. I think it will be about 8 years before this happens again. Here in southwestern BC the weather forecast is for rain, so we probably won't see it. Anyway, here's where to look for it in case the clouds part. It's also the closest full moon to the Winter Solstice so it can be called the long night moon in the Northern Hemisphere.
Tonight our family will celebrate in our own neighbourhood. Fiona will have a friend over for an evening of cooking and celebrating at home. Andrew, Alex and I will cross the street to our neighbours Karen's and Wayne's place to party with friends from the neighbourhood. This has been our tradition for several years. It is so beautiful to have friends on our own street with whom we can have so much fun, and share the lives of our growing up families. We'll eat some yummy food, have a few drinks and have a dreadful/wonderful white elephant gift exchange. I wonder what we'll come home with?
I've been thinking about New Year's resolutions. I haven't heard so much about them this year, which I think is healthy. Rather than focusing on January 1, I think it's healthier to make changes and improvements as they occur to us. Setting a universal date for change encourages procrastination, and sets us up for failure because I think this is a time of year when many people have low levels of energy and courage. I bet if we all made June 1 resolutions, a lot more of them would stick.
Anyway, I have made a few changes this year: one that has been unplanned but awesome has been to spend more time at home. I have enjoyed fewer nights out and more time with my family than I have for many years. This seems to fit as we are in transition with Alex and Fiona entering young adulthood and becoming less dependent on Andy and me for everyday stuff, but more so for communication, empathy and support in more subtle and sophisticated ways. Parenting is less schedule-able. I want to be here for the moments that occur spontaneously, and I'm aware that the closeness of all of us together in one house won't last that much longer.
I have also taken a big leap in healthy living. I am eating less and exercising more. I began this in May (see what I mean about resolution time?) when we decided to take an anniversary trip to Mexico in August. By August I felt great in my bathing suit, but I kept going. Now I'm down a couple of clothing sizes and hooked into a routine of whole food eating and frequent exercising that has improved my energy and all-over wellness. This book helped. My friend Linda at work also helped - encouraging me to get down to the gym at lunch, and helping me set a new weight training program. My bus pass also helped. I started busing to work almost every day, then walking home. When autumn came, Andrew helped. He bought me full rain gear for my early birthday present. So I'm walking home from work, rain or shine. It takes about an hour, and it's the best thing I've done for body, mind and spirit.
Speaking of spirit, I've had an awesome year in my faith community. I took the opportunity to lead the worship service a couple of times when our minister was on break. A few of us in the congregation do this. It was scary at first, but what an experience! I also participated in a faith formation group - about 8 people who met weekly to read scripture, pray, and discuss the place our faith and church have in today's world. It was transformative. We have also run the mat program again this fall at our church, and I've started taking care of preparing the elements for our monthly communion service. Worship and service are one. This is very much the case where I worship.
So now I'm thinking about 2010, and what might change or improve in the coming year. Of immediate interest to me is my neck and shoulders. I know that sounds pretty concrete after talking about family, community, spirit, holistic wellness. But maybe it's time for something specific. I'm going to keep going to regular massage appointments and try to actually do the stretching exercises in between. I want more relaxed shoulders. I want better balance between the muscles of my upper back and my chest. I want to feel more flexible, pliable and neutral at rest. At this moment, my shoulders resemble a kevlar vest winched up by invisible threads to my ears. I want them to warm and relax. I think I can do that. I won't wait until June. No excuses. Next massage appointment is Thursday morning.
Enjoy your New Year's Eve. Be easy with yourself about resolutions. Be generous with yourself about recognition of accomplishments you have made this year.
question - will we see the long night moon?
mompoet - happy new year!