A Year in 525,600 Minutes ...

"How do you measure, a year in the life? How about love?" -- From the musical Rent

I've been thinking a lot this year about time, how we measure it (read this fabulous article from Brain Pickings) and how to make the most of 525,600 minutes when things ... aren't exactly going as planned. That's the thing about plans -- they have a habit of going awry. :-) John Lennon said it best: "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

About that, I've come to the conclusion that all you can do, really, is make the most of the present moment. Choose love over fear, and love with abandon. Be grateful -- remember "feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it" (William Arthur Ward). Laugh. Feel and express joy -- "When you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don't hesitate, give into it" (Mary Oliver) -- and pass it on. Spend hours at supper with a wonderful friend, talking about everything. Surround yourself with people who love, understand and accept you unconditionally (and do the same for them). Give yourself permission to lose it every now and again. Make memories. Throw the script out. Wear your heart on your sleeve (I have since January, and literally since May when a dear friend gave me a snap watch ... in the shape of a heart :-) ). Reach out. Trust. Believe in "six impossible things before breakfast" (Alice in Wonderland).

What have I been doing this year? All of the above. Love is always the answer -- although maybe not always in the way the romantics in the world would like it to be -- and never a mistake. I could leave it at that, but here's the highlights:

  • I facilitated introductions between my dear friend and my fabulous hairstylist, and truth be told, that may be the best thing I did this year.
  • In April, I gave chocolates to Edward. I'd more than done my homework, and ordered dark chocolate caramels from Odile Chocolat in Toronto ... and then surprised him with a birthday gift, too. That was truly amazing.
  • In July, bought a tarot deck, and began to learn tarot as a way to explore my infinite potential, and improve my storytelling.
  • I trusted my intuition.
  • I spent a lovely day in the valley with my mother and grandmother.
  • I saw the Dykes & Divas softball game with my friend, then went for Greek food, and then saw Rouge Fatale and Friends, all of which was superb, especially the one who lip-synched to opera(!).
  • ... actually, I ate a lot of Greek food this year, always accompanied by amazing company and excellent conversation.
  • I turned 27 surrounded by my dearest friends and more love.
  • I rallied and raised a modest sum with my team for the AIDS Walk again this year. In the process I was reminded that everybody has a story you'd never expect.
  • I ate at The Stinking Rose in San Francisco, where I went with my mother and stepfather, in November. Definitely try the garlic ice cream.
  • I've been grateful to the point of tears. When I fell (metaphorically, not literally!) I picked myself up and dared to love again. (There's a quote for that, but it escapes me.)

What I wrote Edward, after a long period of missing in action, was that sometimes, things just trump, and that's OK. To quote the Mumford and Sons' song, "Babel," "I ain't ever lived a year better spent in love." And if I could do it over, there's not a single thing I'd change -- isn't that the best indicator for a year well lived?

Happy Holidays, everyone, and all the best in 2014. Now I leave you to go enjoy turkey, with "a new thought for Christmas" from Melissa Etheridge. I am so in love with this song, I gifted it to a dear friend in August.

PS: I was going to write more about my trip to San Francisco, but then thought: won't that be an awesome story for 2014?

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Read Aless' blog Flaming Red.