I had a job last year, for a while. I started March 31. In August I had to abruptly leave to respond to an SOS from my daughter on the other side of the country. In early September I went on a long-planned trip to Greece for a week. When I got back, I had a biopsy under general anesthesia, with a 6-week recovery time. I went back to work in November. I took off December because I was hosting two holiday parties and was having kids and grandkids come to stay over Christmas. Right after Christmas, I got sick with whatever isn’t Covid but feels just as bad. My return to work was pushed back another week. Last night I contacted my boss and told her I had had (too much) time to think about things, and I decided I was not going to be returning to the office. She was more than gracious. I feel a tiny bit guilty, but I also know that I am valuable, and my value lies beyond any job. The Universe is abundant – lavishly abundant, in fact. So I will accept any abundance gifted to me. Fortunately, I do not “need” the job, and so I can freely plan other things that bring me joy. I will have to figure out how to fund all that, but that’s where the abundance from the Universe will come in handy!

So this illness I’ve had/still have a little… Some of my friends are urging me to get to a doctor, and I’m not exactly resisting that; I’m just not of a mind to agree that I need medical intervention. I think I have a really bad cold, maybe complicated by an allergy of some kind, further complicated by Mars being retrograde and some solar flares and minor radiation storms. (Yeah, I don’t know what all that means exactly either, but I can’t deny the timing of the worst of my symptoms with the fact of these astrological / atmospheric phenomenons. So I choose to allow the possibility that I am affected by these X-level bursts.) If that’s not woo-woo enough for some of you, let me add that a friend brought me some amethyst crystal string lights just yesterday, and today I am feeling much better.

I tell you, it’s a better vibe to indulge myself in other kinds of an alternative health. Because I was feeling more energetic today, I also did a tarot card reading. I summoned my angel spirits and asked them to guide, protect, and provide for me. Then I asked for direction in this new year. I dealt 5 cards, one each for a message from my Intuition, my Body, my Emotions, my Spirit, and then Life.

My first card was a message from my Intuition. I turned up a Four of Fire, Completion. I interpreted this to mean that something important is reaching a conclusion. I need to let it go completely. Coincidence you might call it, but just this past Sunday, I was cleaning and reorganizing my office. A poster board had fallen behind my file cabinet. It was the board I put together for Kevin’s memorial service, 8 YEARS AGO, full of pictures of him over the span of our years together. Then I also came across a bucket of the sympathy cards I received… 8 YEARS AGO. I still had them! There were over 100. I kept the picture board, because who throws out photographs?, but I tossed the cards.

My second card was a message from my Body. Seven of Water, Excess. Ouch! I took this to mean I have not been so good to my body lately, and with the recent Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays, full of candy, cookies, and too many other carbohydrates, there was no denying I have eaten and snacked and indulged in an excess of junk food. The antidote is to take responsibility for my poor eating habits, which must be manifesting (or at least contributing) to the way I’ve been feeling. Luckily, I already finished up the potato chips yesterday and threw out the leftover candy canes and iced cookies. Due to my being sick, I haven’t been to the grocery store, so all I have brought into the house (thanks to generous friends) are cold medicine, bread, eggs, milk and cream.

The third card was Nine of Water, Joy, and it is the message from my Emotions. The door to a new world is opening, I think; I am feeling better today, and positive energy is flowing in. Joy breeds joy, so I am being told to be joyful. I have practiced the attitude of gratitude for years, but gratitude is not the same as joy. This morning I was reading a book loaned by a friend to lift my spirits, and lift it did. Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck. I laughed out loud at some of her words. I have enjoyed her movies (Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally to name just two), so I am interpreting this card to mean I need to find the funny and to feel the warm fuzzies. And we all know that laughter is the best medicine. But if I don’t laugh out loud, there is still immense benefit to be gained from other things that bring me joy. One of those is writing, which I haven’t done in well over a year. So I am committing to not just finding joy, but creating it.

The fourth card I drew was a message from Spirit, and it was the Five of Earth, Insecurity. Like many things, this could have many interpretations, I suppose. I choose to believe that it means I need to strengthen my sense of self, and I use to do that with meditation and yoga. You guessed it – I have not engaged in either for many months, since at least when water aerobics ended in September. Being aware of my thoughts and negative influences is the first way to neutralize them. Most people who know me would probably describe me as optimistic and adventurous, but I’ll be the first to admit I was stressed by the holiday obligations I took on. I am going to go back to regularly relaxing my mind so that everything can start looking brighter. I used to read and take long baths and listen to good music. No more needing to rush to get the dogs fed and outside and walked so I can get to work. My stars seem to be aligning!

Finally, the last card was a message from my Life: Son of Water. The Water sign deals with emotions. When I’m sick as long as I’ve been this time (nearly two weeks), it’s easy to throw a pity party for one, feeling sorry for myself. And it’s times like this when I start criticizing Kevin for dying and leaving me alone to be sick with dogs to care for, dishes to wash, and Christmas decorations to put away. It’s hard to be alone when you’re sick, even though if he was here, I’d probably be alone in the bedroom anyway. To me, this card says I need to remember to use my gifts, with compassion…to consider others as well, to act consciously. Sure, my world is mostly solitary confinement right now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t reach out, still be a friend, and a grateful one at that. I already sent a thank-you text to the friend who brought soup and the books and crystal lights, and the one who stopped at the grocery store for me. I have checked in on a neighbor who had an abrupt visit to the ER last week. And I have kept my annoying cough away from the world in an effort to contain any germs still left in me.

All in all, my reading reinforces that I am already on the right track. Without the cards prompting me, I do know what to do and am doing it. Maybe I’m too good at holding on to the past, and letting go completely is requiring me to actually physically clean out the old attachments (like the sympathy cards), to take time (forcefully by being sick if I can’t do it otherwise) for positive, creative, joyful endeavors (like writing), to practice mindfulness and awareness habits (like meditation), and to share the abundance the Universe has lavishly gifted to me (writing being one way).

The new year 2023 is, of course, a man-made invention. We can start anew any day or hour we want. So it’s not January 1; it’s January 12, and I’ve already started on the new path. I hope to see you on my way.

By the way, if you support any type of alternative medicine or energy work, let’s share some ideas!