Before we begin anew, here's what I want to say:

We won't go out tonight. But if we did go out, I bet the scene would look a lot like this:

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That picture was taken earlier this month before a Christmas party, and Cate and Blake were not happy about our departure. 

Tonight we'll stay home and ring in the new year with neighbors. And this morning, I sit by the tree that I'm not quite ready to take down. I come back to this blog, understanding the need to process the year gone by.

I started 2013 feeling out of sorts—when I read posts from earlier in the year I can really see it. It's much more obvious to me now, reading my words, than it was when I was living them and trying to come to terms with them on the page. 

But I detect bursts of confidence—a slow returning to myself—in certain posts, like Cate's first birthday when I realized that I spent all that time decorating and planning for me. It was something I wanted to do

This was the year that I embraced my yeses and learned that it can be equally rewarding to take a chance on the maybes. The key is staying open.

Sometimes, life calls me to leap, and I do.

But most of the time, I'm in transition. When I turned 39 in October, I suggested that the landing spots we seek are merely resting places, and you responded with YES!

We've had some great conversations here. This blog is a place where we come as we are. Perhaps somewhere inside we all know that it's not about "arriving". We know that it's the walking and living and transition that make up a life, but it's encouraging and freeing when others help us remember that.

This year, my middle child turned 4, and we had the best non-party party ever. And my oldest, who's now almost 8, demonstrated more than once how quickly he's growing.

And I sense: this is when it starts speeding up, isn't it? 

My remedy for that, my solution to slowing down all of this speeding up, is accepting that there is absolutely no remedy or solution for that. Then, I thrust myself into the present moment. It's how I get out of my head and back into my life. 

This year, perhaps I've finally accepted that it's okay to feel out of balance most of the time. I could sit here and stare at this twinkling Christmas tree all day, but it's not going to make the clock stop. Time will continue to pass, as it does. 

So, like every other good thing, I can choose to notice it, breathe in the image and snap a picture in my mind. And I can get up and get on with my day. The tree will twinkle in the background, my kids will do what they do in the foreground. I will clean the house, prep the appetizers and embrace the new year.

I will spend this evening with the man who supports me so passionately behind the scenes, children who send me over the edge and keep me grounded, and neighbors who have become like family. 

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As I transition into 2014, I'll think of this online place...this place where I tell my stories, and you share yours. And I'll say a prayer of gratitude that this year I uncovered the greatest thing I seek in this life. A place that exists outside myself and within myself.

Home.

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