As I wrapped a few remaining gifts last night and signed a few more cards I came across the Christmas card I purchased for my grandparents. I cried. I hadn’t perceived when I purchased the card just before Thanksgiving that my grandparents would in less than a month become grandparent. I had known the diagnosis, the first, second, and third opinion. I remember when they were first told her cancer was back with a vengeance. Yet and still I couldn’t imagine the reality of Christmas being four days away and her not being here to sing Ave Maria, set up the Christmas village in the bay window in the living room, call me pumpkin as she shows off the new gifts my grandfather purchased for her, or eat breakfast with her and my grandfather over the holiday break at the Springfield Diner.
Tears briskly wiped away I continued wrapping and started to think about the year that has been 2015. If you would have told me a year ago I’d move back across the country, live in a little town that only my grandfather and a gentleman friend ever heard of and take a job that’s thwarted me into the reality of my passion and pursuing it by all means necessary, that my grandmother would be diagnosed with cancer in May and dead in December, I wouldn’t make nearly as much as I thought selling my house, or that my younger brother still wouldn’t be talking to me and the same folks who dismissed his behavior and treatment of me would suddenly grow silent and distant, or that I’d get to speak at the Black Girl Project conference in New York, I would have laughed so hard in your face I would have peed on myself. My current reality is one I was not able to fully perceive in my then current situation. Emphasis on fully perceive.
You see I was capable of perceiving that my reality this year around this time would be better than what it was a year ago. It not being so was simply not an option. The details of that difference I had not dreamed, conceived, truly hoped for-fully perceived. When we perceive a thing, it’s important to take time to conceive that thing, to fully perceive it. If not you end up in different but not necessarily in better.
I wouldn’t allow my mind to continue to do a full year in review. The year is not over which means that I still have time to conceive some of what I perceived as different months ago. I still have time this year to do, get, and be better, not just other than. You still have time to conceive and create some of those things you perceived would be different for you this year. Maybe there won’t be a house, spouse, child, or promotion. It’s tough when we perceive being and doing well as connected to people or things we cannot control. However, when we envision being and doing well as connected to who we are apart from things and people, we notice that which we can still create in order to make what we envision a reality. There is still time for you to start a workout routine. There is still time for you to learn how to cook (even if it’s an amazing veggie and Swiss omelet). There’s still time for you to draft the business plan, complete the online application for the dream job posting you saw online two weeks ago or for the school you’ve been wanting to go back to. There’s still time to cancel the date with the person you know is no good for you, to stop smoking, to not restock the cabinets with the foods your doctor shared are a part of your high blood pressure issues. There’s still time for you to forgive yourself, to love yourself, to enjoy yourself.
We are at the start of the very last full week of 2015. You can see this as the end or the beginning. Whichever you perceive it to be may you also conceive it to be an opportunity to be, do, and LIVE well.