In these weeks leading up to the new year—during the holidays and covid surge—I’ve found myself saying, “I’m hanging by a thread.” And friends have reminded me that one thread is better than no threads at all.
It’s true. I’ve witnessed spiders suspended in air by a single thread. I’ve seen them descend to the ground gracefully with that same thread and use it as a first step to rebuilding webs. (Spiders teach me a lot!)
As we welcome the new year, I’m reminding myself that I am supported. If I’m hanging by a thread, then I have a thread! And, in truth, I have many more than one. I remember them when I shift my attention toward noticing and naming.
So, what are those threads?
With a lot of gratitude, my new year reflections focus on threads of grounding, connection, and inspiration. Here are a few ways I’m ending 2021 and beginning 2022:
- Revisiting my commitments and learning in community—with colleagues who’ve been sharing insights through this week’s workshops on writing and living out commitment statements. I’m setting intentions to worry less and trust more, noticing again that I need to get out of my own way, follow intuitive and divine guidance, release attachments to what happens, and reorient toward the work I’m called to do.
- Continuing to learn so much from reading. Current books include Rafia Zakaria’s Against White Feminism, Akwaeke Emezi’s The Death of Vivek Oji, and Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn. Some recent favorites include Octavia E. Butler’s Wild Seed, Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half, and Clint Smith’s Counting Descent. And I’m only beginning but so excited about The Creative Interventions Toolkit: A Practice Guide to Stop Interpersonal Violence.
- Working on anxiety, which has been interrupting sleep, as my dreams have shifted from being in crowded spaces without masks to having covid and spreading it to others (yikes!). I’m in a regular cycle of the three steps encouraged by my counselor: (1) feel the feels, (2) distract, and (3) self-sooth. This means I’m also taking a lot of Epsom salt baths and prioritizing self-parenting.
- Learning new recipes for whole food plant based (WFPB) baking. Some recent favorites include quiche, key lime pie, and blueberry scones (all adapted to be oil-free and refined-sugar-free in addition to vegan and gluten-free). This year I’ve finally faced sugar addiction and detangled myself from food patterns that have made perimenopause too tricky. I hope to write more about this in the new year, but let me say for now how grateful I am to be in a new rhythm with food, where sugar-free and oil-free cooking feels possible. And I’m valuing more and more reasons to be vegan.
- Finally (after several years) updating my SelectedWorks page so that my publications are compiled in one place and publicly accessible. I’m acknowledging that, somehow, I’m still working on project backlogs, even if slowly. I’m smiling as I plod along.
- Spending time on trails, where hiking brings many life lessons and where walking meditations reconnect me with myself. I’m noticing how threads work in nature—from spider webs to tree branches to tendrils of light. Change is constant and leads to new life, reminding me to embrace what’s possible. I resolve to do more visioning along these trails, opening myself to what’s possible while grieving all that hurts.
- Crafting. Coloring, creating cards, crocheting, and even cutting my partner’s hair. (Yep, we’re almost two years into home haircuts, and I’m embracing this as a creative craft, too.) I typically feel drawn toward crafting during the winter, and this winter I’m remembering that crafting is literally about working with threads. I’m grateful for the tangible threads of color, yarn, and hair that remind me of threads of grounding, connection, and inspiration.
While these are some of the active threads holding me together, there are many more. People, by name. Curiosities, by question. Longings, by desire.
May you similarly identify threads for making it through the continuing and cumulating pandemic. And if you similarly feel like you’re hanging by a thread, may that thread be supportive.
Truly: many good wishes—for the new year and beyond.
To continue reading, check out “Contemplative Practices for Setting Intentions and Welcoming the New Year” and “Grief and Gratitude: Reflections on a 3-Year Anniversary.”