Categories
Self Care transition

What Treasures Await?

Last week, my nephew and I stopped at the local library for a contactless pickup of some things he’d placed on hold. He exited the lobby with a bag — a large paper grocery bag — full up with treasures, and he couldn’t have looked more excited!

From the backseat, he reached in and tallied his Christmas vacation spoils: the Scooby Doo videos, the Jurassic Park videos, the Captain Underpants book, and other classic 9-year-old contraband. He was giddy at the prospect of so much time and so much to explore!

I must confess, I am feeling likewise giddy at the prospect of 2021. It is giddy tempered by the sadness and grief we’ve all felt about 2020, but it’s a hopeful perspective nonetheless.

And while my bag of booty does not include cartoons and dinosaurs, there are plenty of treasures to yo-ho-ho about.

Just this morning, I signed up for my 9th annual Goodreads Reading Challenge with the promise to try to read 50 books. First up? Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.

You’ll find there’s a running theme here at the top of 2021. I’m all self-improvementy right now, all I’m OK, You’re OK but everything feels like it needs a little work. Everything feels like it needs a good shaking out, really, like it needs (or I need) to be unfurled and hung out on the line to flap in the fresh air for a while.

Do you know what I mean?

Here’s a funny story…

Every year for years, I’ve kept a Vision Board here in my office. It’s included all of the things I hoped to accomplish or dreamed about. Cut out photos, postcards of dream vacations, words and sayings — all compiled to help me manifest my vision. And every morning, I’ve turned on the light, lit incense, and said a little prayer…for years…until it became rote. Rote, uninspired, spirit-less.

My vision had become spirit-less.

So last January when my friend Judith suggested I take everything off the bulletin board, I was only momentarily stunned. Stunned, then inspired.

In retrospect, I think that blank Vision Board and its lack of expectations is what saved me in 2020, what kept me sane and above water while the waves of quarantine, isolation, loss, and detachment crashed over our heads.

But it’s 2021, a gorgeous blank page at the beginning of a new chapter!

In preparation, I bought some colored pens and a new journal. Collaged its cover with purples and reds and gold leaf!

I’ve consulted the angels, petitioned the runes, and created a simple list of self-care intentions.

I am journaling now with kindred spirit Susannah Conway, unraveling my year in a series of questions and writing prompts.

I’m taking an online workshop called Finish Strong, Start Stronger, hosted by the lovely and loving Emily Fletcher.

I’m meditating on the one Word that will guide and inspire me in 2021.

And I’m gathering special pieces for a new Vision Board, creating delicious treasures to seek out in the coming year.

There’s no pressure, no grand expectations or plans, just a beautiful bag of spoils to be had if I just reach in…

©2021, Jen Payne. Photo by Davis Bartus.

A GIFT FOR YOU…

Categories
Poetry transition Writing

Sun Rise

This morning, I watched the sun rise —

or rather, I watched myself move forward
forward uncontrollably into the sun

The owl went first, the one sitting on a branch across the marsh.
Then the giant maple, her arms outstretched and welcoming.

I seemed to step into the rising myself though I made no movement —
none that I could tell mechanically, despite the velocity of change.

The velocity of one thousand miles each hour, imperceivable —
imperceivable almost, except for the first bird who let out a gasp,

a tweeeeeet! as the she smashed into the first rays of light,
a joyful surprise at how quickly the change snuck up on her.

Or how quickly she snuck up on change — remember?
She, without a lifted feather of flight, raced forward to meet the sun.

The owl and the marsh and the maple went into the light, too,
a face-first dive into the oncoming rays, into the change of day.

How easily we forget this constant movement, this constant change
give up our own velocity and blame it on the sun rising,

roll over in bed to look out the window, tucked under illusions of security
think it rises to spite us, harumph at the inconveniences,

forget to marvel at the wild magic of it all, the whooosh! of day
the velocity of our lives careening without injury forward.

Poem and Photo ©2020, Jen Payne