Sunday, December 28, 2008

Turning The Page

Christmas Day, Doug and I spent a couple of hours initiating our 2009 calendars. Opening our new books to each month, we shared commitments we each had as well as opportunities we hope to take advantage of. Our minister speaks of this time as the "in between point", our "being pinned down between two places", the outgoing and incoming year. We are all figuratively and literally turning the page.

Those of us in the west turn the pages of a new calender on January 1. This date was part of reforms made by Julius Caesar, becoming known as the Julian calendar, and was maintained with the Gregorian calendar - the one we use today. In Caesar's time, the Romans worshiped Janus, deity of doors, doorways, gates, beginnings and endings. Janus symbolizes changes and transitions and is associated with resolutions. Janus is depicted as having two faces, able to see into the past with one face and into the future with the other. January emanates from his name.

In today's time, we do not offer Janus sacrificial honey to "ensure that the future would be sweet" with good fortune. Rev. Tudor does suggest we turn back through the pages of our calendars before heading into our new ones. Who were the people we met, what places have we been to, what has changed, what did we worry about, what did we hope for and how did things turn out?

What's most noticeable in my own calendar is how many more Pilates clients I have AND where I conduct business. There are accomplishments such as passing my profession's national certification and disappointments such as not as many visits with my daughter as in years past. There are bright spots such as our Valentine's celebration, the weekend I spent in Charleston with girlfriends and my activities as a Lululemon Athletica Ambassador. It is apparent that I am attuned to my health, indicated in the massage, check ups and routine visits to alternative health practitioners. This time last year, I was sure I would be a guest teacher at Cascina Papaveri, where they host Pilates and Cookery Vacations. Things didn't pan out.

Rev. Tudor asks that, upon looking back on where we've been, we give thought to what we will take with us and what we will leave behind as we proceed into the new year. When we take the time to remember and reflect on our recent past, we give our selves the chance to reevaluate things. After all, we are becoming more of who we already are, on the spiritual realm at least.

I bought my spanking new calendar a few weeks before Doug and I had our "meeting" on Christmas. I must reveal that fresh, untouched calendars are a bit invigorating to me. It reminds me of the same feelings I used to get just before the start of a school year when I got my supplies. You can just sense opportunity for making improvements and meeting challenges within the crisp, clean sheets of paper. A virgin calendar is filled with promise; places to go, ceremonies to participate in, events to be apart of, elaborate celebrations or simple gatherings to mark special occasions, good works to be done. My filled-to-the-brim calendar gets filed away; sometimes for record keeping, sometimes to come across in a year or several to revisit that time and place.

New years are like containers to Rev. Tudor. "...new container. The old one doesn't hold us any more." She encourages us to step into the open, unscheduled future that is fresh with opportunity. We are are at a touchstone. Dr. Phil has said: "Your life is either going to be better or worse this time next year. It will not be the same. You'll either be happier or unhappier, thinner or fatter, wealthier or poorer...". I'm thinking I'd better take a look back now before I proceed in turning the page.



"Are you doing today what you want to? Or, are you just doing the same thing as yesterday?"
- Dr Phil McGraw

“Things can always get worse or better. We are all moving on, letting go of what’s over.”
- Alexandra Stoddard

"Always have a place to go." - Robert Fritz

"Life is lived forward. Life is understood backwards." - Katie McGill
inspired by Søren Kierkegaard

"Go forward and be all that you can be." - Karen Tudor

"He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." - Luke 4:16-21

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