Goodbye 2020, Hello New Year

Every year, I try to reflect back on the past year and make some long range goals for the coming year. I know time is an illusion (and per Douglas Adams, lunchtime is doubly so) and a construct of our own making to a certain extent, but the dark of winter is an opportune time to ponder life and make plans.

Honestly, I have been battling a lot of impostor syndrome in the recent weeks. I have learned in life to separate myself from the roles I choose to take. It is what allows me to say yes to more opportunities and keep myself open to change. But lately, I have been so focused on my kids and feeling so cut off from both my creative life and from making deep connections with other people that I find myself feeling a bit of a fraud. I know I’m not, that I’m doing what I need to do at the moment, but December saw me at some low points.

And that, for so many of us, has been 2020. A rollercoaster of emotions. I know I have appreciated the slower pace, the time with my family, getting things done around the house that we never have had time for in our five years here. But also loneliness for adult company, feeling drained, needing a break from the kids with no opportunities to take one, mourning the loss of skipped trips and projects due to the pandemic. Concern for the growing divide in the United States. Seeing the eyes of so many opened to the racial inequities here and then seeing many close their eyes again. Seeing the hatred and selfishness of so many out in the open (but truly believing it’s better that way, for how can we fix a problem if it’s hidden?). I don’t know. I’m tired, but still doing what I can.

I started the year with two audacious goals for me. The first was a financial goal of being able to help one family at Thanksgiving, which we were able to do, and we also still adopted a family at Christmas. I was able to donate small amounts of money to various charitable organizations throughout the year as well, and we tried to support small businesses and always tipped big when we ordered takeout or delivery. I hope to grow this into the coming year, because there are so many in need out there, but with how uncertain the future is, I hope to at least maintain the giving at Thanksgiving and Christmas, helping two families locally.

My second audacious goal was to stop chasing the “elusive balance” between work and family and just allow the ebb and flow of life to take me along, and I think I was forced into this mindset fairly quickly in 2020. It was not an easy lesson, but I hope it is a lifelong one. I feel like the work towards having more fun in life was hit or miss, and I will continue to work towards that this year. If anything, I feel even more tired this year than last year, even though I technically worked less and was more financially secure.

So self-care and letting myself play are important this year. Filling myself with the energy to create, to help others, to have more pleasure out of the day-to-day moments consistently, to stress way less… these are what I have to work on this year.

Numbers are arbitrary, and we still have so much work to do as a species. I’m prepared to shoulder my load, but I will be taking care of myself along the way.

Happy New Year, and may 2021 provide us with a few less punches than 2020.

Tough Month

This has been a really tough month for me. Adjustments all over the place as my husband started a new job, I took over schooling for my kids (remote schooling for my 9yo and homeschool preK for the 4 yo) while simultaneously trying to get my sewing shop up and running and designing the one production job I have this fall. I’ve had to mourn the passing of a college friend and all the accompanying soul searching that goes with that, especially at a distance during a pandemic. I’ve dealt with a soul betrayal and am having to come to terms with a flaw in myself that I never viewed as a flaw before. My birthday was mediocre and my wedding anniversary almost ignored by both of us until we last minute rallied and made it a good night with fancy take out and such. All this while dealing with the unraveling of the nation and one thing piled on after another socially and collectively. I’ve been trying to participate on the larger stage of life without burning myself out, and I’m still creating where I can because I need to, but I also have had to take my moments to rest where I can as well.

I really still believe that this is a time where everything that was hidden away must come to light. We are balanced between evolution or destruction as a species. Maybe both needs to happen, but that option isn’t a pretty one. It’s really hard not to lose hope in these times, though.

I’m here though. I love. I create. I try every day to be a better person than the day I was before. I try to encourage others to do the same. Maybe that is enough.

In Which Time Passes

Eesh… it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. Over a month. Yet again. I want to be pouring myself out more creatively, and I have been as best I can, but there is just so little time. We’ve also made the decision to keep my son home for at least the remainder of 2020, so I will have remote schooling on top of caring for my daughter, who’s preschool is also postponed until January (maybe). This Covid-19 social distancing has me busier than ever.

Yet I find myself completely content and happy this week, finally. I have been really enjoying the time with the kids. I started focusing on my health, and have been making some progress in controlling inflammation and getting my energy levels back, which I may talk about at a later date. I’ve embarked on a year long spiritual and hopefully magical journey of inner work and met a wide network of very sweet people online in the process, all also working on themselves. I’ve taken it upon myself to do one active activism something a week, which in these crazy times of ours is so important. I’ve continued my education into being an ally. And I continue to create whenever possible and am building into my creative work that actually makes me money. Also, we recently adopted a bunny, and that has been a fun addition but extra time in caring and cleaning out cages. So, I don’t know.

I’m going to make the attempt to use scheduled posts, and try to set some up every week, with progress photos of my current work. I’m going to try to get more poems and songs up. But mostly I’m just trying to stay afloat and find the happiness I can. Do the good in life that I can. And try to be a little bit better every day. Which is all that any of us can really do, right?

Going Easy

I have finally embraced the new routine, such as it is. Taking joy in the kids, having some meaningful time and deep discussions with my husband, being creative as I feel up to it. Taking odd sewing jobs as they come. But no longer beating myself up for what isn’t getting done or for taking time to just be. Finding joy and peace and calm in the chaos.

Because the world is chaos. And I won’t stand back and watch it burn, but I also won’t fall to pieces about it. I’m just keeping my eyes open, soaking everything in, and doing what I can to raise two decent human beings while hoping I can help create a future for them. There are too many variables at play.

I do still believe that this is a necessary purging for us still. That all the decay and filth needs to rise to the surface so we can skim it off. But we have to be willing to do that work, and I don’t know that enough of us are. I have to hope so.

Whatever comes, life sure is interesting these days.

Sharing an old poem – Normal

Normal, A Poem

Have you ever noticed
There is so much that can be made
‘Normal’ and ‘livable’?
Survival mechanisms played
By master technicians,
Musicians of the human mind,
And we let ourselves be
Instruments of uncommon kind.
Played out, worn down, broken,
Barely able to keep the time,
Forced to play others’ tunes
Instead of our own sweet sublime.
We keep running that wheel
Made by those who manipulate
Bodies so bent and weak,
We easily capitulate.
It is then trauma starts,
And we don’t know how to act.
We let fear burn our hearts.
We respond not knowing all facts.
Then we bury it deep
To go on yet another day,
Feeling something so wrong
But never knowing what to say.
We try to live happy
As commodities, money slaves,
Future collateral
Damage, we work to dig our graves.
We feel something is off
And think it must come from inside
Because the disconnect
Between us is so very wide.
Truth still remains within
Down in the depths of our being
If we let go of fear,
Open our eyes and start seeing.
We are all in this mess
And together can become free.
Let’s take back our power
And make ‘normal’ what it should be.

Copyright 2018, Kat Micari

I wrote this poem a couple years ago, but it feels so relevant to me this week. Take this time of isolation to really learn yourself to the core of your being. We shouldn’t be looking backward but instead be looking to grow ourselves, individually and collectively.

Life’s Not Letting Me Off the Hook

I applied for a position that I thought was a shoe-in at a local theater company that I previously had worked with. I was over-qualified for it in many ways, but it would have given us a stable income again which would have come in handy. And I would have learnt a lot and been part of a group of like-minded people for the first time in a while. But I was passed over, which was a blow to my ego for a few days.

I didn’t want the job, really, beyond the stability. I want what I’m doing now, spending time with the kids and freelancing and trying to carve out the creative time wherever I can. I’m making okay money with the freelancing now, though I had a gap of six weeks with only a couple tiny jobs which was scary. But I know I can build it. And I loved having that time with the children without any deadlines looming, if I’m honest with myself. I don’t want to be trapped working regular hours anymore. It’s something I’ve been saying for years I’ve wanted, and life is not letting me off the hook this time. I’m being given the opportunity to sink or swim, and so I’m swimming. I’ve laid the groundwork for a lot of Big Ideas, and now I have to put those into action.

It has been difficult for me to find time to post here and do the work I like posting here. I’ve had a little bit of creative blockage in this adjustment period, and I’ve been letting myself be dragged down by the world’s woes and by financial stress. But I’m finally ready to go. As I’ve written in the past, the autumn is really my time to be extremely productive. So we shall see what happens.

The Struggle

I’ve been having a hard slog of it lately, feeling wound so tight over both personal things and all of the awful crap going on in the country. Too busy to de-stress. Too tired to do more than merely survive. All while attempting to be a good mother and create and earn a living. So I’ve gone within for a while. Again. It seems to come in cycles.

Some day, I will have energy again to fight the good fight, but I only hope that day comes in time. Because I feel like a tool of the power structure right now, and I really don’t like it. But the barrel is scraped dry and needs to be re-filled.

It shouldn’t be hard to be decent human beings. We could all be living a life of abundance and compassion and love, but we are so far from that version of ourselves, it is sad. Very very sad.

 

Shortest Day of the Year

It is the winter equinox, and it is the first time in many years that the day hasn’t hung like a stone from my neck. No feelings of discontent and exhaustion, despite my lack of sleep and still being in the same situation for at least a short time longer. No deep despairing over the bleakness and pain of the outside world, though there are many ongoing situations that I still care about.  And I haven’t even been good with the vitamin D supplements lately!

So what is the shift? I don’t know, really. Maybe it’s the reading I have been doing lately on the illusion of time and our holographic reality. Maybe it’s a part of the internal shifting i have been doing. Maybe it is a deeper connection to the earth and her movements and being more in sync with everything. Maybe it’s because I have been allowing myself to see the shining light of everyone else lately, and that has been keeping me energized and hopeful.

I wish you all a joyful end of the year, with stress free gatherings for whatever you celebrate, and I hope you allow the lengthening days to energize you in the year to come. I will do my usual end-of-the-year wrap up and New Years post, but til then, keep on shining.

Don’t Speak Ill of the Dead, a poem

Don’t speak ill of the dead
Or of the lies they said
Be ready to forgive it all
Don’t challenge their glory
The official story
Is all that you need to recall

Don’t speak ill of the dead
Forget all the bloodshed
And the dirty deeds they have done
Feel deep shame and remorse
For questioning their course
And the wars that they have begun

Don’t speak ill of the dead
Give thanks to them instead
And wipe the slate clean of the past
Don’t you dare to bother
On sins of the father
Or the legacy that will last

Don’t speak ill of the dead
Or think what lies ahead
Just keep on shedding those sad tears
Keep it all buried deep
Keep on acting like sheep
And don’t worry about your fears

Copyright 2018, Kat Micari

Can you guess whose death this was written in response to?

Also, I feel like this could be developed into a song maybe. We shall have to see.