A few weeks ago my friend Terri posted a link on Facebook to Shauna Niequist’s blog post called Burned the Candles. I read it and pretty much agreed with everything she wrote. Yes, burn the candles, use the china, wear the pretty scarf. Don’t save them for good or for a special occasion because that time may not come, and I may add from personal experience if you don’t use those things someone else will have to figure out what to do with them.
In the post Shauna poses these questions:
“What would would it look like for you, this year, to burn your candles, to allow yourself to be as loved and worthy as the people around you believe you are? What are you hoarding away for another day, for someone else, someone more deserving or special or fancy? What have you been given that you won’t allow yourself to enjoy?”
I have been thinking about this post, or at least the thought, quite a bit. What does it mean to me to “burn the candles” in my life? I have very literally been burning candles, playing more music, reading more and pursuing what I love. Over my holiday break I cleared quite a bit out of my house – things that were broken, that no longer fit my life, that never fit my life. My home is now lighter and I feel that there is space for new things to come in. For me burning the candles goes beyond the pretty things that I may have put on the top shelf or in the drawer. It has made me continue to consider how I am living and how I want to live. I could never have predicted the past 6-7 months and the changes that have occurred and that have not occurred that I thought would and hoped would.
I will turn 55 next week. For some reason it is feeling like it will be a year of change. I’ve had a lot of change in my 50’s already but this is feeling different, maybe because I am mid-decade and at a turning point. Over the past few weeks I have made those Robert Frost decisions about which road to travel. Over my break I also decided to pursue my continuing education so that I can retain my status as a certified health educator. I am working on a plant based nutrition certificate through Cornell and will be starting a program sponsored by Field to Plate that will add to the plant based nutrition certification. Where will this lead? I am not sure. I think that is part of what I anticipate in 2015.
So for me, burning the candles is about experience and being grateful for my life each day. It is about using the gifts and talents that I have been given. I think something wonderful is going to come together in my 55th year.