Monday, December 30, 2013

The End Begins

Each year is a kaliediscope of experience, turning and colliding with each other in bookends of time. A year. A simple measurement to account for a stretch of life that has elasped. Maybe some things marks left on the outside or they've landed elsewhere, harboring underneath the surface.  Things I've earned and things I've simply taken. Things that have been given to me, gift after gift. Or thrust at me without want.Things that are sweet. Sweet and golden like honey. Things that are repulsive. Things that turn me red with anger or embarassment. Things I've asked for; things I've held on to, things I've lost, maybe buried. Things that have made me soar and things that have knocked me down. Off my feet. Things that hurt and continue to hurt, the scab repeatedly ripped off. Things of significance. Things of grace. Things so trivial they shouldn't be mentioned. Shrugged off, forgotten like dust. Things so beautiful they didn't seem real. All these things collected, smashed together and then piled one on top of the other. And it will continue on, until the year is years, and each one can be lain out for you to remember. Here's to a year of everything. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Good Arms Vs. Bad Arms

I took a snowball to the eye this afternoon. He was at it all day with random outburts, but that one I had to laugh at when I caught a glimpse of Megan's face coming from the opposite direction. Earlier he smacked me and yelled "unicorn!" I yelled "Dinosaur!" and then he took off. He's been telling me "The sky's the limit!" but he seems to be hitting the ceiling quite often...
I have a soft spot for this kid, because he doesn't like people touching his things, he doesn't like people being in his space, and he doesn't like things changing on him. He wants independence. It's like an eruption of ill-logics since that is what is seemingly occuring to him. BUT, he also wants me. That's the soft spot that just won't go away, even if I have to let out a long sigh and tell him to stop. He hits me then grabs my hand or hugs me, as if he suddenly remembers that he likes me and wants my help. Well, all be darn, kid. Let's collect ourselves and not lose our sangfroid.

I can't say I haven't just wanted to throw my arms up and let a few screams fly while I whack the shit out of something too. It must be somewhat relieving. I hit the gym instead, but I'm in need of another center of focus. Swimming is wonderful, but the foot isn't allowing running....Boxing, yoga, basketball, or, ah, writing! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Beauty in the Breakdown

I'm having a moment of panic which means I need to write. There are only a few options I have once I enter this state and this one helps me think things though. I'm trying to graduate - hard enough in and of itself, but I'm also trying to insert preferable situations in the midst of it. A lot needs to happen this next year and, as with most things, they rely on time and money. I feel like getting my degree should be able to just happen; given the requirements and deadlines, I could just do it and get it out of the way. Then Africa and a different job would come more freely. But as it is right now, with this degree lingering, I am unsure if those two desires are even going to be able to happen, at least in the timeframe I want them to. 
The somewhat hopeful component to this whole fraction is that this degree is serviced to those on the world-wide-web. So if I aim (and I do) to be somewhere out in that wide world, this shouldn't really be a problem at all. In theory. The theory, however, has proven to be a little defective. So I am also going to turn to another option in the moment of panic: prayer. I'll admit, I haven't said many prayers at all lately. At times, it gets me banking on something, has my hopes up, and then I deeply struggle with accepting the outcome. But Africa involved lots of prayer, and that was a major beauty in the experience. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanks, Thank You

Note to self: don't drink a glass of wine and then try to hang pictures. Do drink a glass of wine and make some pie. This little place of mine smells delicious and feels so cozy thanks to that oven.  I'm just trying to make it a little longer; I was trying to make it a little longer but didn't. We're into the next day now, Thanksgiving day, feeling a little more refreshed but a little older too when I can't make it past 10:30. I haven't yet reached the unknown state of exhaustion, or at least I haven't surpassed it. Maybe tied, which means I've been here before and made it through. I have a lot to be thankful for right now, and at other not nows. I should be thankful most of the time, and I don't think I ever really take the opportunity to share or even acknowledge some of the things.

I am thankful for this new place of mine. The space and freedom and furniture and appliances and that everything has gone fairly smoothly with the transitions thus far. That I can hang my own pictures and make my own pie. I am thankful for this meal I'm going to enjoy today; that I have a family willing to put on such a feast. I am thankful for my job. As thin as it seems to be wearing me sometimes, I laugh. I laugh a lot. Just yesterday my little "eyes" was so excited to be there,  and a co-worker had me in absolute stitches. We generally get a long as staff, and that's a blessing. 
You throw in the things we, I, take for granted every day - warm clothes, 3 meals a day, a bed, cleansliness and hygeniene, my car, glasses so I can see, tennis shoes, and on and on and on....I am thankful for this time of year, being my favorite.

photos via amodernhepburn

Friday, November 22, 2013


I started this entry a few days ago and did not got around to finishing it under the present circumstances. It started quite differently than I am going to end it now; but the week has been a bit cruel to me. Moving, for one, is much harder than the imagination lends. A crazy week, plus some, at work with the end of that not in sight. Throw in a bum foot (again; hello swimming pool) and an ignorant professor (bitch is more like it but I try to keep this classy). You'd think that everyone is aware when that enter that state of "bitchiness" or "assholeness" but if not, I wish I could deliver the message to them in, of course, a classy way. There must be a natural high, a power surge that comes to some just for denying others...
As wearing as this month has been, my spirit has taken it well. I'm moving; literally and figuratively. I think the physical component is necessary, an actual act to feel accomplished. But I have learned that even a good book, a good workout, and a good meal are often enough to inspire, or just provide contentment.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Risk and Reward

I took a leap this week. Something that I'm surprised at how easily I acted upon, even though I had tossed the decision around for quite awhile. I just decided it was time, if for anything, just to make a move. I'm not even sure if its the best move and I haven't thought through everything yet; which maybe the only reason it actually got done. Now I feel a little like the water is rising and I have very little time to surface, but its exciting at the same time. I'm moving, moving away from Mom and Dad. I've tromped around Europe, taken off to the other side of the world, and went to nowhere Africa - on my own. This little 10 minute trek down the road shouldn't be a headache. It's the things to do, remember, and buy and check off the list. And a budget. That's a whole different concept now. I find myself in a dual state of excitement and fear. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Preach It Teach

Work is a workout. It has forced me to sprint down hallways, flights of stairs, climb on tables, under tables, lunge across tables, lunge between objects, dodge objects and typically, something else completely surprising, depending on the day. I'm wiped out with the routine, but also intrigued and often humbled. That is the catch with this job...
I've picked up a new student this past week. She's 45 years old and not autistic but Chinese. The route of communication often looks similar, however, until my sign language flashes an appearence. Yana doesn't understand sign language any more than she understands English, so I need a full out game of charades at times. She's ready to learn, eager and appreciative which makes my job much easier. There are really only a couple things I believe I'm good at, and teaching is one of them, even on the day I'm tired of talking and could more easily take a nap.
So the inspiration and motivation still make an appearance.  I just have to look for it harder some days. 

pictures via amodernhepburn

Thursday, October 3, 2013

divine discontent

Last week at work I had my first "I don't think I want to do this" moment which nearly always results in the swelling of the my insides and plausable tear drops. I won't say that I have forsaken the act of looking for a different job, but it had been put on the back burner. This is a fresh start, a new encounter, waters I haven't really sailed before so it's only right that I give it a fair shot. But I still rarely feel like this is what I am made out for. And at some times, I actually feel like I was made for something else. Its somewhat of a paradox to me, to know that I'm good at something which doesn't necessarily give a sense of accomplishment or more importantly, passion. There are days of absolute fullfillment, yet I can't say that I've ever had an "Ah, yes, I am suppossed to be here" moment. When a co-worker recently confided in me that she is looking for a different job, I was reminded....reminded why I had begun looking when I did. There's just so much to do. I'm young and want to explore, while sensing the pressure of time passing by. I need progress and accomplishment. Even know, I'm pursuing a graduate degree in something I don't see myself settling down with. Just for a time. Is this discontent or ambition or something I more?

I'd like to think I'm just worn down, out of energy to really put myself into it and that can happen at any place at any time. Though this worn down has lingered. And it slightly worries me.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Things You Get For Free

Thunderstorms while lying in bed
Someone letting you cut in line because they have 68 items to your 3
A compliment
The spectacular sunset
A nice long run on a cool night
Dad's weekend grilling
A new song playing on the radio
Someone laughing at your joke
Waking up without an alarm clock
An afternoon to read or write
The smell of your neighbor's fire

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

People Like Us

I'm realizing more and more how much I have in common with my students. I even see myself in them sometimes, which is somewhst eerie and possibly alarming, but also leads to some very insightful moments when I can calm the waters. I get it, it being that overwhelming need for things to make sense, to have some control, and try not to let it burst you open. I need logic, I need freedom, the point where I don't always need people.  Sometimes I just watch them, their little selves conducting in a seemingly different dimension, and marvel, and other times I feel. I would be upset too. The effort to figure out what that feeling is, and the words needed to address it, is tiresome, exhausting. And to have all those expectations.....I know you can't always climb on the furniture and run wildly through the halls to get people to pay attention to you, or yell and throw things to get what you want, but that impulse runs strong. The impulse to throw everything else aside because its not important to me, only you. But I don't want to dissappoint you either. So, we try with regard, to understand and we don't succeed all the time, but we do. We do succeed. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

How To Ruin Your Life

“Get stuck. Stay in one place your whole life. Always order vanilla even though the menu is four pages long. Become the type of person who sends back lattes. Save up your money for a plasma TV instead of a plane ticket. Talk a lot about things you know nothing about. Have an affair with someone you don’t even find attractive. Refuse to forget your ex. Never do anything that could potentially be “bad” for you. Say no to carbs, yes to wheatgrass, go to bed at ten sharp and turn down cake on your birthday. Compare yourself constantly, to everyone. Allow the standards of image-obsessed, age-obsessed culture to make you feel decrepit at 25. Scroll through skinny girls on Tumblr feeling wistful and inadequate. Pull at the skin on your hipbones, stomach, and underarms in the mirror. Sigh a lot. Sigh all the time. Don’t fall in love with anyone or anything. Hold grudges long after you’ve forgotten what for. Refuse to learn. Refuse to ever learn.”
- The Glass Butterfly

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Grounds for Divorce

I can be unexpectantly difficult, in an unexpected dose. Even though I can typically check myself, its not always easy to judge...or remember to warn people. That's the part I'm sure surprises people; I come across so calm, cool, and collected and then I can feel my blood boiling. Maybe its not blood but something rises up in me. I will react ....or blow everyone off. Or both. Its deffinitly easier to just retreat. I have the need for solitude more often than others, the need to decompress as social interaction overwhelmes me - still! That's hard for people; to know I just want them to go away and not be around. I don't want to say something I regret, but I also just need space.
I haven't always travelled well with people. I think of every trip I've been on and there has been conflict or uncomfortable moments. Sure, you're travelling in close quarters with someone 24/7, trying to eat and sleep and entertain....there is bound to be stress. It should be addressed beforehand, right? Somehow that doesn't seem to take the sting out, the squirm from uncomfortableness away once it has really taken root. I guess as much as others' aggressiveness or pluckiness hurts, my silence and aloofness can do the same. And, you know what makes me feel bad? That I'm actually okay with that....

How wonderful it is, to be silent with someone."
— Kurt Tucholsky

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Oh, hey

Time has passed. I've found myself seemingly off-kilter the past week or so. Especially the past few days, something has felt uncharacteristic. I can't say exactly what it it - not my reoccurring overwhelmation of emotion (not a word, I know) but just... unbalanced may be the closest descriptive word I can conjur up. I typically go through these little bursts of an earnest desire for change; I just want something to be different and productive. I've had that recently too, and I know what it is. This is a bit different. I'm thinking that all this time on my hands may actually be a little detrimental. It leads to idleness, which leads to laziness, which leads to unenthusiam, which leads to...well, possibly this feeling I am attempting to describe. I still have no word for it, and I'm not sure any of the previous ones really help form an idea. But maybe I'll figure it out in these last two weeks of vacation, or it will pass by then.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I'm checking in before checking out. A week and a half out of comission. This is the part of the summer I live for - the part when I get to go away. This is a bit different because I'm going away with someone I'm often trying to go away from. But I'm hoping this will do for my father what it does for me, and clear his head and open his heart. He's been a beast; someone I've honestly wanted nothing to do with and even my effort hasn't exactly been well received. It blew up like a landmine a couple of weeks ago and I nearly thought this whole trip was going to get cast aside. But we have things packed and a route we're planning on embarking on in 2 days. So.....

This may be setting myself up for heartbreak; I may also be organizing a reckoning. That would be grand. 

photo via amodernhepburn

Friday, May 31, 2013

Checking It Twice

I'm making a list. I make lots and lots of those, sometimes consisting of things I've already done just so can I check them off, but this one is optional, and thus, pending. These aren't things I have to do; just would like to. Before I'm 30. Because now I'm 29 and have just one year left of my youth. Its all downhill from here, right? Except, when you take away the number, I feel as youthful as ever. So who knows, my life could just be beginning. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lip Smacking

If you can step back for a moment, or several moments, and see two different versions of yourself, I think that is a gift. Whether its positive or negative; the ability to look at yourself from a different perspective should be enlightening. And it doesn't come often. At least not for me. It helps when someone points something out to you, maybe asks a question that brings you to look at yourself 5 or 10 years ago. Would our high school selves be friends? 

The realization of where I am to where I was...I don't know if I'm a different person, but I am different. More confident, less worrisome, more talkative, less judgemental, more decisive, less selfish. 

Those are things I notice; I think others notice even more. And those who didn't know me then are being presented with a slightly different version of me. I don't mind that journey one bit. I don't mind others seeing and knowing. Its sweet with just enough bitter that makes you smack your lips.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

To the Moon and Back

A Blue Moon infused run on a cool moonless night is rewarding and can't be taken for granted. Neither can roaming an open market with Johnny Cash singing to you, or a fresh seafood dinner. And neither can Saturdays, they're my favorite. This one didn't even turn out the way I had planned but ended up with enough to fill my plate...and my stomach and heart. That has been happening more and more these days, and the most remarkable thing about it is that its happening here. I haven't had to go to some exotic land or venture outside of my immediate circle and step foot somewhere I've never been. In a way maybe my steps have been taken a little differently, in a different place. But its not something I've been obsessive or frantic about. I haven't needed to be drastic. That's unusual. Not my typical approach. This has been certain encounters though, certain people even moreso. I'm getting my kicks from company and conversation - dinner and drinks, drinks and dinner, a bike ride, walking the dog, a surprise party for someone I don't even know, parties for people I do, old friends, new friends - its simply been a hodgepodge of encouragement, peace, and energy. 

photo via mackin ink

Saturday, April 13, 2013


"Long ago, before we were married, H. was haunted all one morning as she went about her work with the obscure sense of God (so to speak) 'at her elbow,' demanding her attention. And of course, not being a perfected saint, she had the feeling that it would be a question, as it usually is, of some unrepented sin or tedious duty. At last she gave in—I know how one puts it off—and faced Him. But the message was, 'I want to GIVE you something' and instantly she entered into joy."
~ A Grief Observed

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Good or Great

I surprisingly found Good Friday to be very good. Some holidays can be really rough, simply because little happens and it feels like something should. Something more. And when it simply just comes and goes without being marked by THAT something, whatever it may be, I tend to feel like I lost something even if I never had it...How good it is though when an unexpected encounter illuminates your whole day? I haven't seen her in 3 years and even then, it was briefly. To see her the other day it was like no time at all passed. And Erin is one of those people you just feel better when you're around her; she always seems happy to be alive. I was primarily motivated to see Steph and the new babe, but after she left I had an afternoon and evening of good company and conversation. And so I am reminded of the little things. I realize I often overlook the little things in the desire to see the big things. Its like looking for the rainbow without enjoying the rain. Or the bowl of ice cream and not appreciating the spoon. Maybe not that last one; really, maybe not the first one either....but a bike ride on a beautiful day or revisting my old stomping grounds or a homemade meal or some encouraging words. Those are things, or deeds rather because I don't particularly like the word "things", that need to be recognized and cherished. 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013


It's that time: Madness. This and Christmas are the most, and sure-fire, exciting times of the year. Then, you get to stay up and watch movies after baking all day in the warmth of your home.  Now, its spring break which allows for back-to-back, late-night, overtime games because you can sleep in and lounce around in the nice weather all day. Except there's a foot of snow on the ground. That's right. Three days after the first day of spring, and THE first day of spring break, drops a blizzard. No one really believed it either because the day before was so nice but sure enough it came in a furry. A hard deep snow which, suppossed to be or not, is inevitably magical.
I like believing in something, cheering and hoping they pull through. I yell and clap and shout and grab and slap and annoy certain individuals to the fullest degree. Sometimes I think it would be contagious; I would like it to be but if not at least let me have my parade. 

The vacay to Columbia was cancelled only to bring them to me in the next few days. Rather, I spent the night with a suprisingly rambunctious group of my mother's generation. We retreated with the ladies and I primarily played on my computer. But Africa came up in conversation and Mom got to mingle so that was worthwhile. 

With or without the weather to go with it, I have the spring mentallity and the urge to cheer.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I am forcing myself to write. I hope by doing so something will pour out of me that helps makes things more clear, more evident. I'm pressed, and though the weight holds you down it can also let things out. The past week has been a bit brutal; things feel bigger than I. That is not uncommon; only disconcerning most of the time. But the other time which is not the most, I'm grasping. Usually I grab a place. Buy a ticket, pack a bag, and I get over it. For awhile. It always comes back - that feeling of being pressed. And until everything comes out I let it ride. This time, I haven't been able to clench anything yet. I really can't seem to find what will help me get over it. And I really can't quite figure out if I'm overwhlemed or underwhelmed, just whelmed. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mum's the Word

Everything has been slowed down. I've been buried in a heap of snow and a chest of fluid for the past 3 days. Actually, the later has been for a good week now. I'm thankful for the snow if only for the recovery time, but it feels like winter so it should look it also. But I don't do well with laying in bed for hours on end....after awhile I need movement and productivity so, against my better judgement, I have been to the gym a couple times this week. On the upside of that, I am running again; not up to my normal standards but the most in nearly 4 months. There's still rehibilitation and progress to be made but I'm encouraged.
There are only a few things which unnerve me more than losing time. But sometimes I can stop and reflect and actually make decisions. I'm to that point where I just want change that I find the littlest thing to make a difference; like cutting off my hair or rearranging and cleaning or...filling out an apartment application. Yes, I've done it and am on the verge of turning it in. The verge is having the conversation with my parents, which in all honesty, I'm tempted to bypass and just give them my moving date. Essentially, it comes down to progress; I have made a resolute decision to rattle my life every so often and I think this may be a good time to do some rattling.

Its not that I need to run; I've felt that and followed through with that before. This is moving. There are simply a lot of directions to go.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tree of Life

When I lived in Korea I would constantly be looking for places to visit and consistantly picked out some random place to go on some random day when I had nothing really to do. I mean, just wander around looking. Sometimes after work, on an earlier afternoon if it was nice out, I would just meander through my neighborhood for a few blocks peering into places. I would frequent this little office supplies store where there was all kinds of paper, notebooks, pens, markers, stickers, and I grabbed something just to feel creative and productive. There were a number of little coffee shops/cafes to stop in, and after a few months there I had no trouble just walking in somewhere on a whim. 
That doesn' happen here and I wish I knew why. Granted, the walking isn't as convenient, but I know I'm more conscious and less impulsive. I have much more reserve here, in the place where I grew up than I have in foreign countries. I seemingly need so much more courage to do something spontaneous. I took the day off today with every intention of doing something I wouldn't get to do on a normal day and instead I wander around in stores I go to on a daily basis seeing nothing out of the ordinary. There are plenty of things here in St. Louis which I have yet to experience. I wanted a day of nonsense accompanied by a bit of inspiration. I didn't find it quite the way I wanted to, but the peace of a day off without commitments...

I've been feeling good lately. Overwhelmed with decisions to make, but good. Eating well, exercising a lot, reading, thinking, planning. The movie The Tree of Life has been playing frequently, some snippets over and over. That movie blows me away, making me realize the simplicity combined with the complexity of life.
Sometimes the world seems so small and at other times it feels huge.

 "The nuns taught us there were two ways through life - the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow. Grace doesn't try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries.  Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things. The nuns taught us that no one who loves the way of grace ever comes to a bad end. I will be true to you. Whatever comes." 

pics from amodernhepburn

Thursday, January 31, 2013


I've been the star of blacktop recess. Its like freshman year of hight school all over again. I have a whole group of fans, a cheering section telling me to pop it from behind the 3-point line.  The basket is low and the ball is small so I'm not making that many of them, but when I do they go wild. It's enough for a 5 year old I guess. And even at 28, it feels good.

E is still my favorite. He's leaving me slowly and I'm trying to prepare myself but I know I'll have a good cry.  I don't feel like he's ready which is part of it; the other is just how much joy he brings me. I don't want that to go away....I'm so proud of him though. Yesterday he told me how smart he is and wanted to prove it to me on a math problem. "Ms. Cassi, watch," and he proceeded to illustrate his calculation. He was still wrong but his confidence was enough to make me smile. I remember him just 2 years ago...and I gain some confidence also.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Give It Up

Once again I attempted to give up coffee, or at least go on a healthy streak without it. I lasted 3 days and all it accomplished was fumbling around for an extra 10 minutes in the morning looking for things. I nearly washed my face with toothpaste the other day. Then a brand new coffee press arrived and I had to give it a whirl. 
It's Sunday. I'm sitting in bed with my fresh cup while it sleets outside and Under the Tuscan Sun plays on TV.  This film makes my heart race, mostly the first 30-40 minutes when she decides to "screw it" and just go live somewhere away from everything she knows.  Yes, I've done that .... and I have the urge to do it again. I'm getting jealous for that kind of courage. To undertake something possibly bigger than yourself and have to see it through. There are so many things bigger than me that I have a difficult time committing to just one. I'm sure there's still fear there; fear that I won't be able to make it. Fear of failure. But the fear of staying put has often led me through that. So even though there are so many things I want right now, I am also realizing some of the things I need to give up. Giving some things up, or letting them go, often removes barriers and allows movement. And there can be a lot of beauty in that struggle. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Some Dr. Suess

So, adding up all the things I CAN do. That's a better way to start a week.

I can bake. Maybe not everything but fudge brownies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, zucchini bread. I can write. Writing typically comes easy for me. I can draw a bit.  I can dribble the basketball between my legs, whip it behind my back and charge the basket or pull up for the 3 - and make it. I can plan a heck of a trip. I'm also a good organizer when put on the spot. I can talk a child out of a tantrum and into almost anything. Give a great gift, one that no one else would think of. Be on time, bite my tongue, move on...those I can do. I can game on in Scrabble. It gets pretty competative. I got some good jokes, especially when you set yourself up. I'm good at laughing. For sure.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Can't, Cannot

I'm adding up all the things I cannot do. Like cook. I'm not a picky eater and I still don't think I'm any good with a stove and a pan. Even my baking is typically a hit or miss, more often a miss. I can't ski; though I've been only once thevery thought of it kind of makes my knees wobble.  I don't have the coordination. Which does away with dancing. Athleticism does not lead to dancing feet. Pool - cue balls and pockets work against me. I'm as tone deaf as they come, not able to replicate a single line of a song on key. Truely. It's bad. One of my cats would run and hide under the bed while the other would run at me - straight to my face if he could, as if to say "make it stop or I will!" I can't play an instrament. I can't paint. I can't juggle. No card tricks or magic tricks of any kind. The list goes on and on. And things I may not even know.

Friday, January 4, 2013

White Winter Hymnal

The snow did finally come. Not enough of it if you ask me, but the day AFTER Christmas was white. The week went by in a blink and I had that desire to crame as much in as I can before the bliss is over. That, of course, is not practical. It only leaves me feeling urgent and overwhelmed rather than accomplished. There is also a subtle joy in lying around doing nothing; that's what the doctor ordered anyway. No, still not running and its driving me mad. There's madness all around with the hustle and bustle, people certainly feeling as though they need to reach things which are beyond their grasp. A new year doesn't always bring a sense of a fresh start or new beginnings. It can also lend to the feeling of failure or of repeat - "Here we go again". The same song.
But there are always things to change. If you stop trying to be better, you shut off the opportunity to improve and growth. I often hear of letting things be or acknowledging the shade of your grass and be thankful that you have grass at all.....something like that. I've learned to keep reaching even if I have to come down for a bit or I don't always get as high as I want to. There's a view or something sweet at every branch.