I accumulate stuff. Stuff physical, social, psychological and metaphysical. And every so often I have to re-evaluate all the stuff I’ve accumulated and decide what to keep and what to throw away. Sometimes the decisions are small and get made each day or several times a day, sometimes the decisions are brought up by circumstances or events that demand them, and sometimes I just clear out enough time so that I can make some space in my head. This is one of those times.
The most important days in the year for me fall somewhere between July and October. And there are rituals and traditions associated with those and other days that I observe each year. Some have fallen away with time and distance (e.g., I thankfully no longer have to carry on my tradition of locking myself into my house with my mother on holi since we no longer live in India) and we’ve made up some new ones to the their place (e.g., boxing day sales have become the day each year that we buy things on sale that have been on a list all year). And this year I am going to be breaking one of my newest and jealously guarded of these rituals.
A few years ago I found a sister. Every year since, she has made me a feast on christmas day and we have spent a significant part of that day together. I even managed to weave her into my family boxing day tradition, I guess as she has woven me into hers. This will mark the first year that I have not spent with her. Bad, bad, bad. So that falls under the category of stuff that is going to have to change while staying a little bit the same.
This year I was finished with many years of study; lived in a country where I had to learn the language before I could speak; watched a relationship that was so close to the centre of my life as to be almost at it, end; spent time exploring new dance styles; and had a grown up job. No wonder there are cobwebs that need clearing. And time for another Five Year Plan. Believe me, that isn’t as Stalinist as it sounds! It’s just a series of maps of possible lives I could lead that help me figure out which parts of which ones I want or need the most. And it means I get to have a lot of fun with bright felt pens and large sheets of paper. What is accomplishes apart form making me happy (my life today bears very few points of resemblance to any of my cumulative five year plans from five years ago) I am not sure of, but then perhaps making me happy is sufficient purpose?