Lessons from 2016

I’m a big fan of pausing now and then to review my experiences so that I can see what there is to be learned. The end of a calendar year is a very obvious point at which to do this. Normally I review things on a day to day basis, but some patterns and lessons only really emerge when a bigger time frame is considered.

2016 delivered a run of intensive lessons about how I value myself, and how I act based on that value. For too long, I’ve been over-grateful for any kind of place to be involved, any sense of being wanted, or useful, or tolerated. In practice this has made me vulnerable to people who want to use me, and has put me in places that don’t give me what I need. At a less unpleasant level, it has also put me in places of half-heartedness and lack of commitment, and those don’t suit me either.

What I need, above and beyond all else in terms of work and community is the emphatic ‘Yes’. I need the people who are wholehearted about wanting me in the mix and who will accept my wholehearted and serious commitment. Situations that want me half-hearted, not too intense, and so on, crush me over time. I have realised that if I assume nothing better is available, then I won’t be looking for anything better. This year I started looking for the social spaces that give me an emphatic yes. I’d come to think of my marriage as a little bubble of difference, a unique space that I couldn’t hope to replicate in terms of the feeling of being valued, accepted and inspired. It’s not just us, I just needed to learn how to look, and to believe it was worth looking.

For a couple of years now, working at Moon Books part time has been an absolute joy, because that’s a space where my energy, ideas, innovation and efforts are valued and trusted. I love that work, and it has become the measure for other things I take on with other people (measuring everyone against Tom would seem unfair). If it’s not as good as Moon Books, if I’m not as excited about it, if I’m not working with people who are that fired up… why would I bother?

What I’ve found is that spaces, and people are becoming more available to me. I want to do the work that only I can do. I want to do work that is needed and valued. I want to spend my spare time with people who are delighted to do that, not with people who grudgingly accommodate and find me difficult. 2016 has taught me that I can have those things, and I don’t need to waste any more of my time on half-hearted nonsense.


About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

7 responses to “Lessons from 2016

  • Blackstone Seed Druidry

    Thanks for this post. I also spent part of 2015 and 2016 unraveling my obsessive search for a place of belonging – what I called my search for “tribe”. It had lead me to several places where I was welcomed for my usefulness, but there was never any real connection to me. And when i voiced any kind of need or questioned any action of the group, out on my butt I went without a backward glance from those doing the kicking. I felt and still feel that commitment to anything is reflected in active participation, but that participation is not necessarily going to result in acceptance.

    And when I stopped looking, tribe came to me, in the form of some wonderful Druid folk in Maine.

  • Tracy Kruse

    I am delighted for you to have found some places where you resonate. My wish is for everyone in the world to find a place where they resonate, where they are in harmony. A friend suggested that I choose a word for the new year rather than those old resolutions. Draw it, paint it, write it on my mirror. I think your word for last year must have been something like resonance, or harmony. You have a better vocabulary, so maybe something more wonderful, less mundane. So I ask you, What will your word for this year be? Toasting you in the New Year in all your wonderous-ness! 😉

  • Tracy Kruse

    Perhaps your word coulde be “Embrace”….! It is inclusive of so many good things! lol

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