Samhain is the end of the year and the beginning of a new year. The god dies, yet his seed is within the goddess, who will give birth to him anew on Yule. It is the beginning of the darker half of the year. It is interesting that the year begins with dark and cold.
I never make resolutions, neither on conventional New Year's Day nor on Samhain. But I am feeling this cusp between the years rather strongly this year. I am especially conscious of the need to let go of what is spent (without losing what is good) and work toward new things. The new year doesn't automatically change anything. I have to make change. But it is a reminder to me that I can make the change I want and need.
One of the strongest lessons I have learned in life is that I have to follow my heart. That doesn't mean that my head doesn't come into play. Indeed, heart without head is a recipe for disaster. But head without heart is a recipe for unhappiness and frustration. Over the years, I have tried to do the "right thing," the responsible thing, the sensible thing. I have been rewarded for doing this. But the reward has often been bittersweet. I'm quite bad at doing something just because I think I ought to. If my heart isn't in what I'm doing, I can't keep doing it.
For a little over a year, I have been trying to do the responsible thing by working toward a certificate in technical communication to prepare for the eventual layoff (time unknown) from my current software job. It was never my burning ambition to be a tech writer. It was a "good idea." It was something I'd done before and could do better now. It was something that would, or could, allow me to earn a decent living. Some of the training has been interesting and useful. But my heart simply isn't in it.
I'm still being responsible. I'm holding onto my current job. I don't think I will leave that until they let me go. But training for something that I really won't want to do makes no sense. I got into high tech pretty much by accident. High tech has been berry berry good to me, and I'm grateful. But when it's done, I don't want more of the same. It will be time to follow my heart.
There's no point in me going into some other training at this point. Most training works best if you can finish with a practicum and immediately try to apply what you've learned. That can't happen while I'm still working. So for now, that releases me from the need to go to school, except perhaps for personal enrichment.
That will leave me time to do at least a couple of things that I have missed. One is to do volunteer work. I have been offered a short-term opportunity that I might take. I would like to explore some long-term opportunities that might put my counselling skills to work, even if in an informal way. I give money, but I have not given time for years, always with the excuse that I was busy with school. No more excuses.
The other thing I would like to do is play more music. I'm giving that so little time at this point. I haven't practised drums since forever. I'm barely playing guitar. I'm rarely writing songs. A friend wants to play more and see what it leads to. I really want to have time for this, and maybe to jam with some other people as well. Music brings me joy. Everyone needs some joy.
And there is more. I want to keep learning to make new recipes, to expand my cooking and baking knowledge and my repertory of dishes. I need to put some time into things this old house needs. Those are things that are more about obligation than love, but this is our house. Sometimes I still have to do the responsible thing whether I feel like it or not. My garden always needs work too.
This evening, my sweetie and I will answer doorbell rings and knocks at the door and hand out candy to kids who yell "trick or treat!" We'll enjoy the inventive costumes and how cute the littlest ones are. We'll say hi to the parents and wish everyone Happy Halloween. Then later, when no more kids come, in the quiet when it's almost time for bed, I shall have my own little solitary Samhain celebration. And I will look toward a new year that I will work to make truly new.