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Plenty Woman Newsletter
January 18, 2017
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I'm upstairs in what we call the tower room.

It's not really a tower but the only room on the top floor of our building that feels like a tower when you’re in it, and which we’re lucky enough to have as part of our apartment.

I can see the Griffith Observatory. I can see the real tower that our street (High Tower Drive) is named for. I can see the giant white cross on the hill, the origin of which I’ve been told more than once but never remember.

I can also see the house behind us still being worked on from the fire there a couple of years back. I can see the broken fence across the street, on the other side of which I suspect is a good 10-foot drop. And since the tower room extends beyond our roof line, I can see the tattered screens and old camping gear out there we’ve been meaning to throw out for months.

It’s this description of things I found myself writing when trying to figure out how to express my view on the New Year. There’s what I love seeing and there’s what drives me crazy, and like it or not, I’m stuck with both (with the exception of our junk on the roof; there is no excuse).

*****

I love the sound of 2017. Actually, it’s more the look I love; something about that seven on the end. It also adds up to a one. I don’t know much about numerology, but ones are good. I know that. "A 1-year is a time of new beginnings," writes Richard Cavendish in The Black Arts, "because 1 is the first of the numbers and 'leads' all the rest."

My resolutions are going pretty well, mostly because they’re easy and not making my anxiety (at failing to do them) worse. I also use a little trick: easing into resolutions well before January 1. Except one of them I still haven’t started for reasons that shouldn’t surprise you. (You can read about it – and other resolutions maybe you’d like to try – in a guest post I wrote for my friend Jenna’s blog, Outrageously Wonderful.)

Andy’s health continues to improve. He has two more months of this autoimmune treatment then we’ll take a break from it and see how he does.

*****

I’m discouraged at how far apart my family and I are on the outcome of the election and the presidency going forward. As we discovered at Christmas, it has everything to do with where we get our news. I don’t trust their sources and they don’t trust mine.

As much as I’m determined to do better this year, it doesn’t feel like enough. Even when I make a big leap, I see once I get there how much more needs to be done. It’s never ending, it’s maddening, and it’s in everything – the cleaning; the reading; the writing; the exercising; the website maintenance, social media, and SEO.

A work change is coming soon. I’ll either have a lot more money with a lot less time, or a lot less money with a lot more time. I don’t know which is causing me the most anxiety – not knowing what’s going to happen or not knowing which of the two I want most.

*****

Wondering how I might reconcile all this, I took a deep breath and looked all around. Not at the view outside, but at what’s in here with me.

I’ve got Mozart playing on the turntable. I’ve got a little tea left in my favorite orange owl cup. I’ve got a lazy cat sleeping beside me. In here, it’s simple. Everything within an arm’s reach is something I love and something I can control (cat excepted but accepted).

I’ll take this to mean a similar refocusing can help in 2017. Maybe you’ll join me in this? When feeling conflicted about what’s “out there” in the New Year, let’s focus on the things closest to home. I don’t mean to isolate (as naturally as that comes to me) or to turn a blind eye, but we have to stay centered. Deep breaths will help. And meditation. I wrote a new one, by the way – Paint by Touch.

Happy New Year,

Meredith

P.S. As always, thank you for reading what I write. It feels good knowing you’re there and that you care what I have to say. I hope you know I feel the same way about you. If you ever want to share about anything, I hope you’ll send me an email or Facebook message, or comment on a post. I’m here to listen to you, too.

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