Last Sunday, I went to the UU church again because of that day's topic - letting go of something you don't want to carry with you into the new year. This week between Christmas and New Year's Day is an ideal time to reflect on the past year and look forward to what you want to be different in the approaching year. There was a bowl of stones at the front of the church and we were invited to choose one, invest it with an image of whatever we felt we needed to leave behind us, and drop it into a bowl of water. I picked a large smooth gray pebble, and stood there for a few minutes thinking about relationships not just in the past year but for the past few years. And how I do not want the weight of them traveling into the next year with me. I don't believe in making New Year's resolutions myself. I understand the allure of them, but I don't want to set and announce goals and then feel like I've failed when life takes me in another direction. So instead, I try to look at intentions and openness to new possibilities. Not just relationships, of course, but in life in general. Just letting myself be available to what the Universe has to offer and staying aware that I can't know in advance what that will look like. The letting go also helps me remember more clearly all the truly wonderful things I am thankful for. And to remember that whatever does get thrown at me, one way or another I deal with it. The little ritual with the rocks was just symbolic - more the beginning of a process than an immediate magical cure. But as I let the stone slip under the surface of the water, I took a breath and started letting go. Somehow, I feel like 2014 has something good in store for me.