Onward

December 31st is usually a time for reflection for me. I usually look back on the year with maybe a bit of frustration with myself, certainly a bit of melancholy for how quickly time passes, and always to find moments of joy for which to be grateful. Some years they are more difficult to find than others, but there is always something.

I had hopes for 2014, plans, serious expectations of myself, and none of it really came to fruition. I’ve decided that beating myself up further over my failures is pointless, and it would be wiser to redirect that energy into a renewed determination to do better in 2015.

The past 4 years have been very difficult in various ways. They have certainly been very rough emotionally. Stress has been a nearly constant companion far too often since early 2011; that was one of the few years I can ever remember being absolutely eager to bid goodbye and good riddance to and firmly turn my back upon. It didn’t really work though, as in some ways 2011 sort of slowly crept back in and then finally demanded that I feel and face the things I didn’t have the luxury of doing in the middle of it all in 2011, made more difficult by losing a major source of support and encouragement. Of course, 2014 presented its own challenges, as each new year does. All in all, it’s just been a rough couple of years and I am so very ready for a good year.

This next year will bring more changes that are inevitable and very good, but also cause those twinges of mixed feelings. Those I look forward to, even though my mind can scarcely comprehend how it is possible that time has passed so astonishingly quickly.

I have hopes for 2015. I hope to learn to teach my inner voice to encourage me rather than berate me, to build me up instead of tearing me down. I need that voice to believe in me. If I can just get that voice to start believing in me, I think there is much I might be able to do. I dream of touching lives, one at a time, with my words, with my writing, with a simple heartfelt hug, just to let one person know they matter.

I’ve decided not to set goals for the year, but rather for each month. I’m going to decide what I want to accomplish each month and challenge myself to follow through with those things for 30 days, then assess what I’ve accomplished, what I need/want to do next, and set the challenges for the next 30 days. A 12-month goal seems so daunting and like a huge unscalable mountain. I think I will accomplish much more if I attempt to climb small hills, one at a time, for 30 days. By the end of 2015, I hope to be able to look back and see more accomplishments than failures, to be less frustrated and disappointed in myself, and to hopefully have laughed at myself and experienced more joy along the way.

The last few years have definitely felt like they have taken more than they have given, and I’ve spent too much time stressed out and emotionally wrung out. I’m going to try to change that. I’m going to try very hard to focus on loving people as often as I can, when and where I can, and as hard as I can, and if they accept it, yay, and if they don’t, I’m going to love anyway and just try not to dwell on it. I’m going to try to teach myself to reject rejection and not internalize it, to just love and let go.

The years are flying and time feels ever more fleeting and infinitely more precious. I don’t want to waste it on negative feelings or thinking, and I’ve realized this past year that I need to value my own time more highly, as I do others’, and be more discerning where and how I spend it. I am trying to live with more intention, and it is my heart’s desire that the omphalos of that intention is always love.

Love comes in many forms, and even though you may be waiting on romantic love, if you have the love and loyalty of family – be it blood or chosen, a staunch pet, or a single unwavering and indefatigable friend, you are rich indeed in a way many are not.

As we leave this year behind, I want to say to anyone who has lost someone this year that I know how emotionally difficult the turning of the year can be. There are the mixed emotions of wanting to put some distance between you and the pain of loss, but there is also the gut-wrenching realization that this is the end of the last year, the last memories, you will ever have with that person, that they will have have no part in this new year, and that is really rough. I know there is nothing I can say or do to ease that, but please know that you will get through it, and to you I offer a hug of silent understanding.

For 2015, for all of you, as well as myself, my sincerest wishes are for hope that remains unshakeable, love that is steadfast, faith in yourself as well as someone who believes in you, and peace in your soul.

Happy New Year!

and the last ((hugs!!)) of 2014

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Thankful Thursday

In an effort to shake off the residue of awful nightmares, a wicked migraine, and a lack of holly jolly, I am focusing on gratitude. So, today I am thankful for:

1. In spite of how it affects my head currently, sunshine! Because it is so infrequent this time of year and it is making a pretty rainbow on my ceiling. I appreciate simple beauty.

2. My girl will be home tonight!

3. My girl is en route!

4. My girl is just a few hours away!

5. My girl will be home for 3 weeks! That means there will be days when our family unit is once again intact. There will be annoyances and bickering among siblings, good-natured teasing, exasperation, too much stuff everywhere, more laundry, and lots and lots of love and laughter. And I will love every minute of all of it even when it’s maddening and smile to myself when I hear my childen’s voices intermingled in squabbling, teasing, and laughter, because I know these days are oh so precious and there aren’t many more of them to come in quite this way. I will find joy in those cherished moments and hide them in my heart.

Thankful Thursday

I’ve been fighting a bit of the melancholy this week. I looked at the calendar this morning and realized why and got teary. My subconscious always knows even when things aren’t at the forefront of my brain. So, in an effort to combat that, some gratitude and an attempt to shift focus.

Today I am thankful for:

Sunshine. There is some today and it has been so very gray lately, I am ever so grateful for any bright rays we get.

My kiddos and the fact that they are alive and healthy. I can never be thankful enough for that and I will never take it for granted.

Today is the last home boys’ middle school basketball game of the season and it is parents’ night. I am thankful I have the opportunity tonight to go and be there for my youngest.

That my car has heat on a cold winter’s morning and a kid old enough to start the car. (I so miss my remote start in winter, but I was thankful for it while I had it.)

Ice scrapers and a teenage boy to wield same at 7:30 a.m. (I was only driving that early because of him, so it’s fair.)

I hope your day is good. (Hug)

I want love to be simple. I want to trust without thinking. I want to be generous with my affection and patience and love unconditionally. It is easier to love a person with their flaws than to weed through them. I want to love the whole person, not parts; and this is how I want to be loved.”  ~Jewel Kilcher

Monday Minute

It’s a crazy busy week/month, little time to blog, and December brings many mixed emotions for me, as I’m sure it does for many. I’m just poking my head in to say hello.

I like to think of it as a season of hope, compassion, and good will, though I rather like to think that every day is an opportunity to embrace and put forth those things.

My best thoughts to each of you for good health, good spirits, and a light heart in this hectic, sometimes trying, sometimes sad, but also joyous, month.

(Hug)

Tuesday Truths

I realized today how much I like quiet sometimes. I need it. There are times I think hey, I should turn on some music to break the silence, and then I don’t, because I am enjoying the quiet. I think sometimes I need it. Like this week when I’ve been fighting a migraine and have 4 nights of basketball games with loud buzzers and crowds of noisy people, the quiet is necessary to try to balance myself out. I value people who can be comfortable sharing quiet with me and not feel the need to fill it.

Last night was a prime example of how ridiculously high in empathy I am. My youngest is playing basketball this year. Our little guys played a fantastic game in only their third game – against the same team that defeated them badly their very first game when our boys were still trying to learn to work together as a team. It was an extremely tight game with the lead going back and forth all night and ended up in overtime (we lost by 3 points).

One of our boys fouled out towards the end of the game and sat down, put his face in his hands, and cried. I think he was both frustrated with himself and felt he’d let his team down (he’s one of the better players). His mom was nearby and said,”Aw, he’s so sensitive” (she is similar), but I felt so bad that he felt so bad that I ended up wiping tears. I made a point to tell him he did a great job after. I really should get waterproof mascara for any time I’m out in public. I guess by now I shouldn’t be surprised by unexpected salt water spillage since it’s a not infrequent occurrence with me. Yeesh.

If you’re looking for profound wisdom or regular polished writing, I’m probably not your blog. If, however, you are looking for honesty, stream of consciousness, sometimes deeper thoughts and heartfelt writing, and loads of compassion and empathy, then you’ve come to the right place.

I hope your week is going well. (Hug!)