New Year’s Eve Reflections in the Red Chair


With 2015 drawing to a close, I put up a post on Facebook about my top four highlights of the year: joining the Song Talk Radio team, becoming a member of Cavaleiro Farm, going on my first solo camping trips, and singing at my first gig.

It has truly been a year of exploration, creativity and pursuing my passions. And the momentum is only growing as the New Year approaches.

What I didn’t mention though were some of the lowlights. For one, enduring some pretty stressful months at a job that I had gone into with my usual passion and gusto, but that ended up draining my spirit with its bureaucracy and politics.

I ended up getting laid off in the spring. There wasn’t enough funds to continue with the position, I was told. Fair enough — but all of the events leading up to the news and the way it went down made for a pretty demoralizing moment.

I was sent home — cardboard box full of stuff in hand — and retired to my couch, emotionally drained at the end of a (not so thrilling) rollercoaster ride.

Fortunately, it didn’t take long to conclude that the lay-off wasn’t even a blessing in disguise. It was simply a blessing. I had been miserable and losing hope that I could make the difference I wanted to in the organization — yet I was planning to stick it out until I could figure out what the heck to do with myself.

The lay-off was a kick in the ass that said: Go forth and figure it out NOW.

Life is truly too short to be spending it in limbo.

There was another, much bigger, event of upheaval in my life. It meant losing someone so important to me. And it also felt as though I’d now be returning back to a situation of instability that I had spent a lot of time in the past crawling out of.

There’s really no “but” to the first part — sometimes we just need to take the time to be sad and both grieve and honour our losses.

But to the latter, we also have to give ourselves more credit and believe that we can manage to be stronger than we’ve shown ourselves to be previously. To think otherwise is to concede that we haven’t picked out the important lessons we’ve needed to learn from all of our past trials and tribulations.

Life is truly too short to not be learning how we can do things better.

Within a year, there will be the good and the bad. What I’ve gathered is that there is so much that is out of our control, but what we can choose is to respond to what’s thrown at us with honesty. Honesty to ourselves and to others.

Sometimes that means growing a pair. Sometimes that means letting down your pride. Sometimes that means not looking so far ahead into the future and just asking ourselves what is the truth for me right now?

With only a few minutes left to go until 2016 is ushered in, I want to just focus on the “right now” — which finds me sitting in a quiet, empty house in this comfy, red sofa chair, glass of wine on one side of me, guitar on the other, reflecting and writing.

In a way, this snapshot of my evening represents what’s honest for me right now and this notion of “honesty in the present” is the only intention I’m setting going into the New Year. Everything else will follow.

Wherever you are in the world, whatever you may be doing, I wish you and yours a very wonderful New Year.

~ Cafe (a.k.a. Janice) <3


12 thoughts on “New Year’s Eve Reflections in the Red Chair

  1. Hi Janice. It’s been a while since I saw you on line (I’ve been a bit absent from WP lately) and very nice to read your words!
    A job and I have parted company lately too! I had to leave on medical advise, but have a strong sense that it was a very good thing indeed; for a whole host of reasons.
    I have been quite fascinated listening to lectures by Philosopher Alan Watts lately; particularly regarding time and death (sounds a bit morbid but actually it has really reduced my fear of it!!)
    Since you mentioned sitting and focussing on the right now, I want to share with you a quote I came across that is changing my life.
    “Realise deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life”.
    Eckhart Tolle
    I wish you all the best in the hear and now Janice and don’t worry about the instability! It’s not always such a bad thing😉
    Oh and the comfy red sofa chair, empty house, glass of wine and a guitar sounds like a very nice way to reflect on a cold NYE!!

    • Pete! Happy New Year, my friend!

      It’s nice to read your words as well, as always :)

      I hope you are doing okay – regarding your medical leave?

      I should clarify – the loss I was talking about was not a death, but a loss of a different kind. But these lectures you’ve been listening to sound interesting. Where did you hear them?

      Yes, Eckhart Tolle! That is exactly where I first truly started understanding the meaning of being present – from his book The New Earth. Especially the piece about how the ego tends to dwell in the past and/or focuses on the future – which was all I ever did for years. It is such a freeing thing to let both of those things go.

      Hey, are you on Facebook, Pete? Add me if you are! I’m much more present there in the online world these days.

      Hope you are well!

      • Yes, it’s me. I took the liberty of writing some rhyming couplets to put in my ideas collection. Happy to share.

        Sometimes that means growing a pair
        Sometimes that means growing your hair
        Sometimes that means letting down your pride
        Sometimes it’s get on that bike and ride
        Sometimes you just look and shrug
        Sometimes you need to stop for a hug
        Sometimes you need to go with the flow
        Sometimes you have to just let go
        Sometimes you need to look around
        Sometimes you need to stand your ground

  2. I always enjoy reading deep and honest personal posts. Such thoughts tend to not show themselves in conversation with even the closest of friends. Probably because most people can’t see past the surface.

    My job wasn’t going to lay me off so I quit in September. I’m hopeful for the future though and I think you are too.

    I can’t think of a clever ending so Happy New Year.

    • Hey, Happy New Year! Thanks so much for reading and your thoughts:) Well, you must have quit for a reason and I’m glad you feel hopeful for the future. You definitely have reason to and I do as well!

      • Yeah, kind of for the same reasons you mentioned and other ones as well. Rather than always trying to make the decisions that look good on paper, I’m going to follow the heart a little more and believe in faith. Just reading your post motivated me enough to pick up the guitar tonight :)

        • Good for you! I hope to hear about your heart-following exploits in your upcoming blog posts :)
          And that’s awesome – I’m gonna get back to my guitar now too!

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