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I’ve been hearing for the last several months that 2012 is going to be a transformative year. Mostly in the spiritual circles I hang out in, but not exclusively. My astrologer friends say it’s going to be a bumpy year, energetically, and those prepared to lean into it will fare better than those who resist.

The end of the Mayan calendar has people a bit wigged out and there are a lot of doom-sayers having a field day with that. We’ve got a Presidential election this fall, and that has folks a bit wigged out, too. And, of course, the media is already having a field day with it, labeling their news broadcasts such things as “Decision 2012”. I’m sick of the posturing and pontificating already. Whatever you believe, I think we can probably all agree these are stressful times and our individual and collective faiths are being tested.

No one is feeling it more than a friend of mine whose husband died this week. He was only 43 and had a massive heart attack on New Year’s Day. He leaves behind his wife of 19 years and two kids – none of whom have any understanding of what has happened to them.

Happy Fucking New Year. Lean into it, my ass.

Having had my own scare with Second Son in November (And no, don’t think you missed a post, because you didn’t. I have been too busy dealing with the shit storm that has been my life these last few months to write about it here.) I have only the tiniest inkling of what my friend is going through. How the hell do you lean into pain like that? I don’t know and I don’t want to find out anytime soon.

It’s amazing how things that were such big issues 5 minutes ago become petty and small in the face of this kind of news. I’m sitting here guiltily grateful that it’s not me in that kind of mind-numbing emotional pain, horrified for my friend and the grief she’s feeling, and hurting so much for their kids.

I know we’re all human, and that, to some extent, explains how we get so caught up in the insignificant details of our lives and allow them to take up so much of our bandwidth that the really important things – I love you, you are special, I see you, you make a difference, I believe in you – don’t get said.

Any one of us could be gone in any moment for any reason, but we live – myself included – like there’s always going to be a tomorrow. I don’t want to live in fear of death, but I don’t want to get caught taking life for granted, either. So, for me, I’m going to practice being a little more present everyday. I’m going to say more of the important things, even if they seem out of the blue to those listening. And I’m going to be my real self more. Less conforming to expectations and more genuine expression of who I am and what I’m here to do.

Because, you know my grandkids and great-grandkids need stories of their crazy Grandma who slid into her grave with a big thud, exclaiming, “Whew! Ok! I’m ready. But, I’ll be baaaaaaccckkk!”