2014: Measuring the Moments

A friend and I were discussing our last blog posts of the year. I shot out an off-hand remark “Perhaps I’ll just end the year with lemon sex and silliness. It would be different” at least, I *think* that was the content of it. It was the gist, anyway; that I might allow the last hours of 2014 to fade without attempting to imbue them with anything more vital than high-jinks and a (probably) reasonable recipe for a vegan fruit tart.

However we try to deny it, or diminish it into ‘just another day’, there is a poignancy about the changing of the year, and a reason why so many people mark the occasion with a summary; with acknowledgement of the challenges and triumphs of the last year; with their hopes and intentions for the new year; with purpose.

How Do You Measure Success

What that reason is, I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps it is that we, as societal creatures, need the supporting structure of a collective acknowledgement of certain events – the meta-equivalent of a place to hang our hats. In allowing, nay, in encouraging, particular dates or festivities to take on meaning, we generate points in the emotional landscape of our lives around which the rest might be measured.

(Also worth noting, we probably take time to compare how we feel we’re doing against how we think other people are doing – whether we measure up to our perception of their successes (which is a whole can of worms I won’t open now, but you can imagine – it’s huge (and yes, the punchline is ‘worms everywhere’))).

Irrespective, a time of engagement is not to be passed up, especially if it contains an inherent opportunity for explaining, sharing, or otherwise proliferating any of those (hackneyed? not yet, surely!) phrases I love to trot out – “Together we’re stronger”, “We all belong to each other”, and my favourite; “#SilverLinings”. The more readers I can encourage to take on the spirit of each of these and run with them, weaving threads of compassion, social conscience and friendship, like gold and silver, through the tapestries of their lives, the better.

There are so many ways to measure success, and to determine what portion of it has belonged to oneself in the past year. As I look back, it is simpler to identify which of the oft-used measurements which have been distinctly UNhelpful to me – ‘success’ in terms of finances, academia, physical beauty or strength, or the ability to reproduce and raise a family – as opposed to those by which I can consider myself to have done well.

How, then, should I reflect? By what yardstick might I determine whether or not I should enter 2015 with my head held high, striding forward, eyes shining with determination and the knowledge of a year well-lived; or furtively, having swept the debris of 2014’s ructions firmly under that midnight carpet, hoping to be afforded a line in the sand beyond which to start afresh?

The lows, I will keep private. Perhaps you were there for them, picking up the pieces. Maybe you were part of the problem. It might have been that you noticed some awful way I was behaving and pointed it out to me. There is always the possibility that there was something I never shared, finding it too repugnant to broadcast. You know already that I am a firm believer in self-editing, sharing only as much Truth as I want you to know (and this another reason I should never be allowed near any pedestals). It is sufficient for you to know the lows exist; they have been varied, plentiful, awful, and they have had significant impact.

The highs, though…ah, for me there is only one way to measure them – with love.

Love; by which I would prefer to be known.

Love; which casts out fear and pain and loneliness and hatred.

Love; which brings healing and compassion and warmth and joy.

Love; which is the epitome of every Kairos moment, and it is with those that I shall review my year – those shining moments of transcendence, which far outstrip any other experiences, like breathtaking peaks above the fog of the everyday.

I can’t remember the chronology perfectly, and really it doesn’t matter – the moments themselves are more important than their timeframes.

Moment: Receiving a massive, unexpected package from the postman, whilst still in my pyjamas one morning, and opening it to discover an EXPLOSION of glitter and sparkles, and a confusing muddle of wrappings surrounding a GIANT ‘Thank You’ card, which (it transpired) had been all around the world, and had been written in by each of my (at that time) Ten Things of Thankful co-hosts. It is still on my mantelpiece now.

Moment: Opening an email from my wonderful co-Bard to discover that she had responded to my ‘friendly valentine’ in kind, with a hardwired heart drawn on her hand, for me. (Kinda-twinned moment: discovering that I was only the fourth person ever to write her a poem…)

Moment: Mandi teaching me how to send my voice to friends (and hear theirs) on my phone. My mind was BLOWN. We immediately spent an evening sending our accents back and forth, and singing one another songs from My Fair Lady. It made so many friendships immediately more tangible and added a wonderful dimension. It still does.

Moment: Having run my work van out of battery by accidentally leaving the fan on, I spent a hungry, embarrassed few hours waiting for the breakdown man to come and rescue me. Or rather, I would have spent a hungry, embarrassed few hours waiting, but for the fact that Sunset was around to chat, and we spent the most glorious afternoon nattering back and forth on WhatsApp, singing and joking and laughing and talking about all things under the sun. I loved it.

Moment: Waking in the night next to a slightly poorly Neff, comforting him, snuggling him closer, singing to him, stroking his hair and both drifting softly back to sleep.

Moment: Being the Person for my Soulie on the day of her Dad’s funeral, after he suddenly and unexpectedly died. In spite of my own shock and sadness (this being a man who I had known nearly half my life – not closely, but he was always around) I held her and offered tissues and made her laugh. Most importantly I was able to look after her two children while she attended to family. I was there. I was present. It mattered HUGELY, because she does.

Moment: Relaxing in Husby’s arms on our picnic blanket at the beach, under the stars, still salty from my swim in the warm sea, eating some kind of birthday cake, and knowing that I was the right person, in the right place, at the right time, and that everything was right with my world.

Moment: Taking turns with Niece and Neff to try on ridiculous wax lips sent to me by Samara and her son, as part of a Halloween/autumn-cheery-uppy glitterbomb, all giggling and laughing and being snuggled together on the sofa.

Moment: My ‘forever’ friend, who didn’t tell me she was pregnant, bringing her baby daughter to church, and me seeing her and neither of us really knowing what to do or how to handle it, but meeting up at the end and hugging and talking and it all being alright. And her daughter being gorgeous, and me being okay.

Moment: #KissingtheFrog and spending the night chatting through deep thoughts, lovely things, utter inconsequentials, and all things under the stars with Sandy

Moment: Somewhere on a bridge over the motorway, after much confusion and hilarity, meeting Christine for the first time In Real, after so long being friends in the Blogosphere. Then spending HOURS AND HOURS of Real, together.

Moment: Holding Niece and Neff’s hands tighter than tight, standing in the murky, cold ocean on holiday, as we all wondered what the hell that HUGE SWIRL OF WATER JUST AHEAD OF US belonged to, then starting in wonder and amazement as a seal popped its head out of the water to have a good, long look at us from dewy, gorgeous eyes.

Moment: Each time someone valued my writing and my idea enough to buy into the #KickCancersAss campaign by ‘paying’ for my words with a donation to a cancer charity of their choice.

Moment: Showing my Mum and WonderAunty the Kitty on my Christmas tree, and the Beth Painting on my wall, and the #Jessica mug in my Kitchen, and the Sevenly tops in my chest of drawers.

Moment: When Niece took my face in her hands and told me in a *sadvoice* that she wanted to live with me and see me every day (as we were parting ways from our holiday).

Moment: When I received a big box in the mail, and it was an Armchair Tour of All the Vacations, from Beth, who had collected important, meaningful souvenirs and fascinating information about each place she’d visited with her family over summer, and then sent them all to me, because she’s amazing and she wanted to show me some of the parts of the world which were important to her.

Moment: Any time my Goddaughter yells my name and flings herself into my arms for a hug.

Moments: Glitterbombs, videos, photos – love; Vidchats, emails, collaborations – love; Long chats’ late nights, letters in Real – love; Family, friends, acceptance – love; Laughter, hugging, talking forever – love; Silliness, deep thoughts, shared awe – love; Photographs, poetry, flights of fantasy – love…

…and learning, slowly, as I acknowledge more and more, in my conscious, my sub-conscious, my conscience, and my behaviour, that LOVE truly is the greatest of all things: that it can inspire us to reach into the world of someone we care about, and give them a *twinkllysparklyperfect* Kairos-moment gift, just by allowing ourselves to become vulnerable and show them how much we love them.

If I look back at 2014 and measure my life in hearts, Kairos moments and love…then, my dears, it has been a bigger, bolder, stronger-together success than I could ever in a million years have thought possible.

And if you were part of that success, then from my knees, overwhelmed with a tidal-wave of gratitude and happiness, thank you.

I love you.

Hardwired Heart

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50 thoughts on “2014: Measuring the Moments

  1. You have me in tears. What a perfectly complete summary. And the most important thing ever, in any moment and any situation and any scenario, is love. In spite of any of the sad or the bad, there was always love. “In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” That quote, my dear, sums up the Lizzi that I know. You put so much good out there, so much love and support. And no, I’m not putting you up on a pedestal. I know you have your faults and your flaws as we all do. I don’t care. What matters is what you continue to give to everyone who crosses paths with you. The things you do with intention. You spread a lot of good and I’m so glad to hear of all of these moments that it came back to you. (I don’t even know if this comment makes sense, I’m beyond tired from a barking puppy the last few nights and reading this has me all emotional)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bless your boots, my dear. You’re very sweet to me. I’m sorry you’re so tired! I hope you got some good rest, and the puppy left you alone for a night!

      The most important thing is definitely love. And I TRY. I’m glad when I succeed 🙂

      Awh you made me all *glowy*

      Like

  2. What a way to end 2014, Lizzi!! The closing was perfect…and you are loved, as well, friend.

    2015 has blown its way in and I can only hope and pray that our triumphs will be more than in years past and that we will love bigger and deeper…every day…every moment.

    Thank you for being part of My moments last year.
    I hope you will be laced through those to come, as well.

    With heart & hope,
    Dani

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope so, too. I think I found my word for 2015…(back on MamaMick’s post – it just arrived in my head and made sense) so I MIGHT write about that soon, but it matters. To me, anyway.

      You’ve been a sudden, unexpected delight, my friend, and I hope there will be more and more getting to know you in 2015, as we see whether our hopes come anywhere close to being realised, or whether other, unanticipated good things happen instead 🙂

      I’m glad you liked this, and glad to be part of your world 🙂

      Like

      • Sometimes those things that just arrive in head or upon heart are the most authentic. And I think you should write about it because I’m sure it’ll matter to your readers and perhaps send them down the heart path to finding their own.

        I must tell you, I have high hopes for 2015. Not hopes that everything will go the way I want…I’m far too grown up in Soul to believe that. But I think things will go the way I Need, whether I realize it or not.

        There have been many whispers of heart consciousness this last week, Lizzi, and I am cherishing them all, even those that scare me. And you are among them. Seers are among them. Those with depth of heart are among them. So thank you, for the buds on our tree of Friendship. May they bloom.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Amen to that! I have no ‘feel’ for 2015 at the moment, other than my trip to Murica, which is going to be AWESOME and I’m very excited about. I HOPE it’s a good year, for me and for everyone! We could all use it!

          Interesting to hear about your whispers of consciousness. I’ll read your email in a moment. I think I was meant to write to you and didn’t! Eeek! I look forward to learning more of what’s been on your mind 🙂

          Like

  3. Ahhh, that’s a big one. Good for you if it felt good. I get it, you know. And a good year in those moments (nevermind the others at present). Love you too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are you drunk on cold meds? 😉

      Glad you liked this, and parts of the year felt good, parts felt AWESOME, and yeah – never mind the other bits, right? Roll on the rest of 2015, especially the September-y part ❤

      Like

  4. Aww, I love how you remember all these little moments in 2014. That’s what makes a year worth living, rather than the big exciting things that rarely happen, I think 🙂 I was also thinking about why people make a big deal of December 31st/January 1st and I like your ideas. Fresh starts are just exciting to me! I’m new here, subscribing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow, thanks Lexi. That’s awesome.

      I’m glad you like these thoughts. I always seem to find that ‘people’ moments are so much more special and memorable than ‘place’ or ‘thing’ moments 🙂

      Like

  5. I love, love glitter! So glad to be back blogging and sharing once again the journey of 1000 friends – the people I’ve come to know and cherish, seeing them live their lives and do wonderful things. I’m grateful for you, dear Lizzi. Best wishes for a fantastic 2015!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awh I’m glad you liked it so much 🙂 That makes me happy I wrote it. And thanks for saying such lovely things. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, and may your cup run over with love and happiness 🙂

      Like

  6. Ah Lizzi, you are loved by so many. This was a beautiful post. I hope you come back to it any time you are feeling low and down on yourself.
    When I was going through the year for my photo post, I needed to pick a photo for our England trip. I was sooo close to putting one of you and me at the beach, but I could only put one. Seeing as how it was my anniversary trip, I decided it was best to put a photo with Bryan. It was a huge, massive, fantastic highlight of my year to have been able to give you a real life hug, to see your face and hear your voice. It makes me all the more excited for your trip to Indiana (OK, so you’ll be visiting other states, too, but I’m focusing mostly on Indiana.), and not just because you are going to mow my yard. 🙂 It’s going to be so fun!
    Just think, back when we met online, we knew next to nobody in the blogosphere. There most certainly wasn’t any glitter. And now LOOK! So many people. A wonderful community to surround you.
    Here’s to tons of glitter and love that multiplies exponentially in the coming year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I KNOW! We were like little, lost stars, floating around in space, and now we’ve found our gravity and built a galaxy around us, all of other, wonderful bloggers, and we all make it *twinklysparkly* together and I LOVE IT! Haven’t we come a long way! *happydances*

      I guess it’s reasonable that for your anniversary trip, you put a pic with your husband. I can allow that, but I was just SO excited to meet you. And in spite of everything (my overthinking – whatever) it was AWESOME and I can’t wait for September. It’s going to be WONDERFUL. And I’ll mow. Definitely 😀

      I have several posts I go back to. Perhaps this will be one 🙂

      In the meantime, YAY US! WE MET! WE DID IT! *grins*

      Here’s to 2015, and I am SUPER glad that you were a part of all of my 2014, and are here-er than ever, and In Real, too 🙂

      Like

    • It’s a funny old Blogosphere, isn’t it – we stumble across people we never ordinarily would, and somehow find ourselves friends and beginning to matter to one another 🙂 I’m glad I found you in it, Serins 🙂 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. While I’m not prone to putting people on pedestals, I do like to give credit where credit is due. Regardless of the lows you don’t specifically mention, the fact of the matter is that you bring much light and *sparklytwinklygoodness* to many people. I think, in fact, that it is because of the lows that you can bring hope to others. Everyone is human, everyone is going to have lows, but when someone can rise above the lows and find those silver linings, that brings hope.

    Love is key, and this post is a beautiful illustration of the power of love. You are wise beyond your years. Love you, too, Lizzi. Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OH!

      I hadn’t thought of it like that…

      So. Something about perseverence, character, and HOPE…and then it kinda makes more sense. I GET IT! Maybe 😀 Thank you 😀 😀 And love will stop that feeling like a responsibility (or an expectation) because if I can bring some kind of hope, then surely that’s a good thing. GOOD!

      Thank you, Kristi 😀 ❤ Gosh, I do like your perspective. And you. A whole lot 😀 I'm so glad you're part of my part of the Blogosphere.

      P.S. I like you for a whole lot of reasons MORE than just your perspective – I hope that's obvious! Just thought I'd make it clearer, seeing as I have apparently replied to you with a tangle 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhhh I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE 🙂

      You’re one of the twinkly parts of my Blogosphere, yaknow that? 🙂 Hope your new year is really good – well, it will be, because…yaknow, clark. But I hope it’s ACTUALLY IN REAL good as well as clark-good.

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  8. Just beautiful. These are all lovely moments to hold on to. 2014 was the year the big world became smaller and my small world became bigger. I am incredibly blessed to have met some of the best people and over the moon that you are one of them. #Kissingthefrog was the best non-sleepover ever! Thank you for being part of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • *grins* A non-sleep-over. It’s a thing! It will most definitely be a thing again! I think there’s going to be a month in this year where I get even less sleep than normal!

      YES to the world changing size – that’s such a perfect description 🙂 I love it.

      Thank YOU for your friendship and the absolute joy that is knowing you. throughout 2014. You are altogether too kind to me, to think so consistently highly of me, but I can’t say you don’t know enough of both sides of me to be able to hold an informed decision, so thank you 🙂 You’re a wonder and I cherish our friendship. Roll on 2015 🙂

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  9. Yes! Your 2014 has had some GREAT moments!! (They’re all lovely, but the one that makes me sigh with happiness is the one on the blanket on the beach under the stars with your husby’s arms around you. That sounds SO pleasant!)

    I agree that there is something about this particular time of year. . . The transition from one year into the next. . . It makes us want to reach out to others & know that the time that is passing has had some significance for them too. . . That time is not JUST going by. That it has MEANING & being able to see how my experiences differ from (or are similar to) those of others. . . It is a beautiful thing, really.

    I am sure there will be at least another quick exchange or two between us, but just in case, I wish you a 2015 overflowing with Silver Linings, Lizzi. You deserve ’em. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ack! ALL THAT LOVELINESS and you went and slapped that awful ‘d’ word on the end! :p Seeing as it’s kind of your fault that this post even exists, I’ll let you off, and we can pick over the bones of ‘deserving’ in the new year.

      I hope you have a wonderful 2015, filled with more moments of wonder and happiness than you can imagine. I’m sure we’ll chat before then, but as you say, just in case 🙂

      I can’t pick a single favourite moment, but my strongest favourite moments have hugs in them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL. Oh dear. Yes. We can definitely have that conversation another time. I know the word is loaded. I do. . . It’s just that maybe different people load it up in different ways. I digress. We’ll have that particular conversation at some point in the future. 😉

        Hugs are always good. I am sending you plenty of virtual hugs to tide you over. 😉 Thank you for the well wishes, my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

        • *grins* I’m too full of bonhomie to be ‘RAAAHHHH’ about it, promise! I just find it’s a word I really struggle with, because it inherently denotes some kind of ‘worthwhile’, which for now I’ve gotten around with ‘choice’ (as in, other people do/say (whatever) because they CHOOSE to. rather than because of any inherent ‘earning’ or ‘deserving’ on my part). It works for now.

          Hugs are awesome. I might be an oxytocin addict 🙂 (don’tcha just LOVE that there’s a scientific reason why hugs are so awesome? Skin-to-skin contact is so important to us, as a species, and it’s lovely)

          Liked by 1 person

          • I hear you on the choice thing. I have my own struggles with that one. We REALLY SHOULD compare thoughts on it at some point.

            I DO love that there’s a scientific reason for hugs! I am not huge on science, but I TOTALLY get this one! I completely believe it. I can be completely down in the dumps & a random hug (especially from someone I care about) can pull me up to a pretty happy level. . .

            (Then, I also try to tell the handsome husband that if a hug can do so much, imagine what a little — ahem! — MORE could do. . . But, I am not sure he’s getting the hint. Haha. TMI? Sorry.)

            Liked by 1 person

            • *giggling* Ohhhhh believe me, I know all about chaps being dense about that kind of thing. Well, one in particular *sigh* I FEEL YA!

              Ah well. Onwards and Upwards we go.

              Let’s have coffee and compare notes sometime, forsure. I’m intrigued to know why choice is a struggle for you. Fascinating the ways we end up all spiky about certain words/concepts.

              Liked by 1 person

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