Well folks, here we are. The end of another year. For the past several weeks I have been searching for the words I would like to use to close this year off, and have been struggling to find them. My first instinct is to sigh with relief and say that I am very glad to see this year end. 2015 has to have been the most eventful year of our lives. It was just chock full of everything.
A bit of a glimpse:
- 34 books read
- 8,867 pages read
- 26 airline flights (maybe more, I lost track of connecting flights)
- 8 trans-Atlantic flights
- 13 Cities (many of them more than once)
- 3 Continents
- 1 Wedding
- 2 Funerals
- 1 Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party
- 1 Birth
- 3 Jubilee Birthdays
- 2 Writer’s Studios
- As well as the usual day to day events
And through it all I have been writing. I began this website, this public space to share my voice, just as life began to increase its speed and throw event after event at me. Inadvertently, maybe intuitively, I created a place, an outlet, for my creative energies to express to myself and to the world who I am and where I am. This space has served as a record of how I experienced the world in the last year. I have to say, I am quite proud. Though everything this year threw at me, I stood tall and I never quit. I didn’t let anything stop me from moving forward or stop me from writing.
The response has been soft, quiet, and strong. The response has come in quiet interactions when people approach me to say that my words have meant something to them. They say this with a strength and a power I could not have imagined. This is more than an expression of appreciation. It is an expression of connection and shared meaning. I cannot possibly say how much this means to me. If one person reads my writing and says, ‘I felt that,’ then I have done my job as a writer. This year so many more than just one person have felt what I have written and that has given me joy. So thank you, dear readers, for following along through this chaos. For reading and sharing that you, too, felt that. For inspiring me to always write more.
I would like to close with this thought. Among the holiday wishes I have been exchanging with friends and family, one friend wished for me to have new challenges in the upcoming year. I practically cringed, and thought to myself, ‘I have had enough challenges to last me a lifetime this past year.’ And then I paused – a lifetime. I suddenly realized that is what a lifetime is all about, what it really is about. Not traveling from high to high. But, a lifetime of challenges, meeting them head on. Yes, there are beautiful moments of joy and celebration, but how could we enjoy them, or even attain them without the challenges? What is a sigh of relief if you are not feeling relived of something? What is a shout of triumph if you have not overcome something? Challenges teach us who we are and what we are capable of. We learn how deep we are capable of digging. Challenges give us new skills and allow us to shed something old of ourselves for something new.
So for 2016, I wish us all new challenges to teach us whatever new things we need to know.
Happy Sweet Sixteen!
All the words I have used on Facebook.