Tammy invited us a few years ago to take part in a new year's ritual with her. It's now become an annual event. We meet at my place on or around January 1, to celebrate and acknowledge the past year of our lives and state our intentions for the next year. Tammy started out leading us alone through activities. Now we each bring an activity to the experience. And food to share!
This year another friend from UMM, Lisa, joined us. We started out talking about and showing an example of an aspect of our life in the past year we're particularly proud of or grateful for.
Tammy brought her bundle of poems we all helped edit, an acceptance letter from the magazine that she will be published in, and a copy of a book of poetry from a poetry festival she attended last year that includes one of her poems.
Lisa is expecting her first child in a few weeks, so she brought her little boy and her joy for his much anticipated arrival.
Laura was married in July (the picture is of Tammy and me at her wedding), so she brought her wedding ring. And also her first ultrasound picture of tiny baby. She's due in July, just after her anniversary. She also put her Best Buy security badge out and told us she is turning in her paperwork on Monday to take the buy-out package Best Buy is offering to all employees. Her last day will be in February and she'll have a few months to prepare for being a mom.
I shared a painting I purchased at a street fair in Galway. I also showed the prints I made in my letterpress class and gave each a copy of my print. So, Tammy's poetry and my creative energy are moving out in the world!
Ten years ago we all were in a fairly similar place. Just starting out in the real world after college. I'm amazed and grateful for the paths we've discovered as adults. Each of us is right where we need to be, right now.
Tammy called me after she returned home to thank me for the print and hosting us. She knew from our ritual last year that Laura would be pregnant when we met again this year. That's a gift Tammy shares with us. She's an intuitive. So when Laura said she was pregnant, Tammy nodded and smiled. She commented on the phone that this was quite a ritual day. We agreed that our 2010 meeting is difficult to predict. We recognized and could more easily envision what changes are likely in store for Laura and Lisa. And then Tammy said, "but who knows Jilly, we could meet next year and Laura and Lisa could look at us and say our lives have changed the most." As Elizabeth Gilbert says, "the universe likes to be ironic."