2013 was the year of travel, of reunions and hellos as well as goodbyes.
I was together with both parents and all my siblings for the first time in 19 years.
Those minutes of togetherness were really meaningful to me. I was reminded that a family is a powerful community, capable of overcoming big, big challenges. Being together is good and right and amazing, but the real magic of a family is the way those shared experiences give the people I love the strength to live apart and do important things, all built on the foundation of what happens when we are together.
That living apart bit sure is bittersweet, but it is the way the world is designed. (It helps if I keep repeating that to myself.)
It was the year of becoming a Grandmother, with a joy of such sweet intensity, I hardly have the words to describe it.
It was the year of missionaries. I worked with the ones serving here and grew to love them so deeply. They've become friends, some of them.
Then sent Sara off to serve...wherever the Lord needs her (Right now that's in New Mexico).
I took more trips in 2013 than I ever have in one year I think:
- Tennessee in January
- AZ/CA in February
- Atlanta in April
- Utah in May
- AZ/CA/AZ in July
- PA in July
- Chicago in August
- Utah Roadtrip in August
- Seattle in October
- Dallas/Hartford in November
- Utah in December
- California in December
Whew. I hope I've got some free flights coming soon. When your family is all far away, travel becomes a way of life, you know?
It was also a year of being reminded that no matter how old I get or how much better I understand the world, I will probably never stop having times when I feel sadness about people I love that is so deep that it seems to come from an ocean, and feels like waves breaking over me again and again, knocking me to my knees and making it hard to breathe.
Blessedly, I was also reminded that there is always the lightness of healing, the lifting of love, and the ability we all have to bear up under the heaviness when we need to.
I do feel a little bit off balance right now. I am a zero-unread inbox kind of girl and since June when the travel really got intense, my inbox has gotten out of control. As in thousands unread. Mostly junk, but still, that stresses me out. I've gained about 12 pounds while working through some hard things and that definitely stresses me out. (Hang on while I get another slice of chocolate orange...)
But I do have some great things starting up. I'm now a partner in a business! Like for reals! I can't wait to see our plans come to fruition. Check us out here.
So, maybe a fresh, new numeral 4 at the end of the date does signal a good time to try and put the last year to bed, both good and bad, and mindfully create a fresh start. That sounds so cliche, but it jives perfectly with my most treasured values and beliefs. The point of life is to learn. I like something that was shared in an online workshop I took late this year: Replace the word failure with learning. So there isn't really success or failure, there's success or learning.
So, in 2013, there were fun times, loving times, some successes and a significant catalog of (insert air quotes here) learning experiences. But it's okay, because I'm a pretty good student.
Here is how I looked at the end of the year (with some of my people, of course).
|4 Generations: baby to her great-grandparents|
And here is how my 2014 started out, so in all the important ways, all is well. When I count my blessings, the people in my life always stand out from all the other stuff and make me smile. When I think about it, I realize that the best kind of person to have nearby is one who makes you forget yourself and just smile. Without self-consciousness or automatically reviewing that day's successes and
failures, ahem, learning (I'll get there). I have some very special friends and family of that exact variety and for that I am grateful. They are the ones I'm going to hang out with this year.
|This young friend asked to come over and spend a day with me. Be still my Heart!|
So there you go. Onward.