One of the hardest lessons I've been learning through this stage of my life is what to hold on to and what to let go. When I was younger I could hold on to my children and influence their decisions and their lives. Now they are out in the big wide world and rarely need any input from me. It is hard to remember to pull back and not offer that unsolicited advice that I am so sure they need. To let them go and to not feel bereft as a mother - to trust the parenting we gave them and free them to be the people they were created to be.
We have moved on in different directions and don't have a great deal in common now. Rather than working harder and harder to hold on to these people, I am coming to the realization that I can gracefully let them move out of my life and use the opportunity to be open to new friendships.
On that note, I am also realizing that new friendships are hard to come by. I used to make new friends all the time - through playgroup, school mums, church, work etc etc. Now I don't have those same social circles and the church we go to is sadly lacking in women my age who are at a similar stage (adult children, working, no interest in craft or baking or other "girly" pursuits). I need to seriously make more of an effort to get to know more women in my age and stage - maybe through internet forums geared to mid-lifers and maybe through chance encounters. I might have to lift my game when it comes to inviting people home for a meal or accepting a social invitation!
I also need to work on how hard I hold on to my long suffering husband. As my circle of friends decreased and my children have moved on, he has become a much bigger part of my life. Although he has always been the closest person to me, I notice that I am looking to him to fulfill more of my social needs and (seeing he is an entrenched introvert) this is a big ask. So I need to find the balance between time together and not expecting him to be my provider of happiness. I am definitely going to have to cover happiness in another post one day because it is so central to why I seem to hold on too tight - I think I'm scared that letting go will mean I lose some of the things that I depend on to be happy (and that is definitely not healthy).
So part of "releasing" for 2015 will be learning to let go of things and people that are no longer good for me. Trusting that better things are in store, and finding sufficiency in myself rather than looking for it in others. Holding on to what is important but not grasping it in a needy way. Lots to learn!