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 I turned my Twitter & Instagram private, unpublished my blog’s Facebook page.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.