Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

by Beth Anne on January 2, 2014

031 1024x768 Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

We rang in the new year with a kitchen counter between us, friends on each side, & pink champagne in our glasses & our little boy tucked into bed at Grandma’s house. Full of birthday cake & frozen sugared cranberries, it was the first New Year’s Eve midnight Doug & I have seen since 2006. We laughed at the ridiculous party hats on our heads & I leaned up for a kiss & we whispered that 2014 would be so much better. My friend Casey wrote on Facebook to wish everyone a hopeful new year, because sometimes hope is even better than happiness when turning a page.

I started 2013 wishing to be fearless & now I remind myself that bravery isn’t necessarily doing new things or conquering old fears, but rather living life without hesitation in the middle of transitions.

Lately my life has been full of transitions, a by-product of my age & stage of life.

When I worked with the senior community, I noticed a distinct shift in clients in their early 80′s. It didn’t happen with everyone, but most, when they began forgetting things they usually remembered, when the personality shift started becoming more abrasive at times, more wistful at others. In a few months time for some, I could go from knowing them well to feeling in the company of a stranger, an older soul, a different shadow than before.

I felt something similar happen when I turned 30 this past summer, as the days grew hotter & longer. I simply wanted good friends over good coffee, a good book, & quietness. Old bitterness fell away. A best friend’s loss was the final word on perspective for me, on how we just need to be kind because damn, there are worse things in life. I began stepping back from this odd social media spotlight. Suddenly, it all seemed less important & I’d stare at my computer, only to walk away for a book or park date or sometimes just more sleep. I turned my Twitter & Instagram private, unpublished my blog’s Facebook page.

My greatest achievement in 2013 was taking a step back.

Standing at the edge of 2014, we face uncertainty but in that flux, there is so much promise. So much of what can be. The biggest obstacle I face is simply how I will approach this year & so for 2014, my word of the year is CHOOSE.

In everything I do this year, in my whole life, I have a choice. I can choose to be hopeful or I can choose to let fear take over. I choose how I spend my time, my money, my thoughts.  I choose how I treat my body & how I treat others. I choose what words I put on this blog. I promise to be more aware of those choices, to keep the word at the forefront of everything I do this year.

May 2014 hold great hope for you as well.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

KeAnne January 2, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Happy 2014. I hope it is a peaceful one; I know I could use a little calm and I bet you can too!

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The Many Thoughts of a Reader January 2, 2014 at 8:09 pm

I’m hopping to try to not be so negative this year. To check myself so my first words aren’t a complaint. It’s so hard but I need to do it, my work life is so toxic it seems.

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KellyGreen January 2, 2014 at 9:15 pm

One of your best posts. I like the “choose” as the word of the year. I also “chose” to turn off FB in 2013, and am seeking more authenticity and more positivity. Here’s to a ‘hopeful’ new year!

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Martha January 2, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Dearest BA- I am so proud of you- you are a decade ahead of me. I love reading your posts, and I love you. Keep recreating yourself, and know that I am proud of the mother, wife, daughter, sister, and niece that you are. And good for you for discovering choice. Everything we do, as we become adults, is a choice, including being happy. I want that for you and for your wonderful husband and son. Harry looks like you now- I couldn’t believe it when I saw his picture today- you are so beautiful- hang in there with the job stuff, and know that you are loved. Hugs, dearest-

Auntie M

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Lucy January 2, 2014 at 10:00 pm

BA, I’ve been reading your blog for years now. You’ve always been one of my favorites. I love how you keep it real. Thanks for sharing your story with us! Best wishes for the year ahead.

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Lauren January 2, 2014 at 10:35 pm

I love reading your words.

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Megan B January 3, 2014 at 8:50 am

Love it. Great word. I’m still wrestling with what my word will be. I feel like I’ve got it, but it doesn’t seem flashy enough or pretty enough for a banner. (Not that I want one.) Dumb, right? Anyway, sounds like you had fun on NYE. Good for you. Here’s to a fun year!

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Laura Case January 3, 2014 at 9:51 am

THIS:

“we just need to be kind because damn, there are worse things in life.”

I’ve been on a similar, albeit older, trajectory with my 40th birthday coming in a few months and my BFF’s son getting brain cancer. I am fundamentally changed in a way I don’t think I can change back. It’s a good change but a hard change as it has impacted every part of my life.

I’ll let you know in a few months how 40 feels.

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@LisainLouKY January 3, 2014 at 11:48 am

Happy new year!

Great word and words with so much wisdom!

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Ky January 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

“Standing at the edge of 2014, we face uncertainty but in that flux, there is so much promise. So much of what can be. The biggest obstacle I face is simply how I will approach this year & so for 2014, my word of the year is CHOOSE.”

Excellent perspective.

I continue to enjoy reading your blog and wish you copious amounts of good choices in 2014.

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Amy January 3, 2014 at 10:51 pm

I like the change I’ve seen in you this year. It seems peaceful, even in chaos of transition. You always amaze me. I’m always proud of you and proud you’re my friend.

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theurbanjunglegym January 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

That’s a great mantra to carry into the new year. I’m also hoping that you find hopefulness and centeredness in the new year– things we all can use more of, regardless of circumstances.

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Tottums January 4, 2014 at 9:02 pm

I love this post. And you. Have a happy (and hopeful) 2014 <3

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Suzanne January 8, 2014 at 11:14 am

Just beautiful. And exactly what I needed to read right now. Thank you for this. And happy new year, friend!

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Misty January 8, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Wonderful wise word {CHOOSE}. Thank you for the encouragement today.

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Suzanne January 9, 2014 at 11:22 am
Samantha January 9, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Happy 2014! I feel like stepping away has been such a good change for you, it is so evident in your writing.. time away from the internet reading books, interacting with real people, is good for the soul! Definitely wishing you a hopeful and abundant new year.

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