How do you measure a year?
This year has been...all about love, just as the song suggests.
Falling in love with my husband, again, my children, our neighborhood, my career, my friends and family, music, my excitement for people and yes, I really started to love me. Finally and fully. I fell in love with life again.
I don’t know if I ever really fell out of love with any of these things, but the tiredness and exhaustion that comes day in and out can make me feel weary in my love. As if it loses it’s charm and becomes lackluster.
This year has been over characteristically intense and thrilling. I haven’t had much of a moment to stop and reflect, until now. I have either busied myself to the point of avoidance so I didn't have to face what I was feeling, or threw myself into watching movies or reading books. I was so overwhelmed by the onslaught of people and experiences that I was somehow storing up my life to sift through later in some sort of spring cleaning exercise. I would jump from amazing moment to tough situation with little to no process time between.
Then I went to Europe and couldn't escape my thoughts and feelings anymore.
Then I heard this song and was reminded again of what a year can hold, and it got me thinking about my last 12 months or so. It adds the mundane and the exciting, the average and the fun. It takes laughs and pounds of coffee, bottles of wine, thousands of tears shed and un-shed, and yes even relationships. It begs you to question, how do you measure a year? In the failures or successes, the good or the bad, or maybe the amount of stories you get out of it. In the end however, it comes down to love, in the musical, and for me.
It has been an intense journey this year that I am so thankful for and never want to repeat.
This past year, my speaking partner and I thought up writing a book, raised money for said book, wrote it, published it, promoted it and took it on tour. In. Under. A. Year. (It should take two at the very least and many things suffered for it.)
This past year I discovered strength and wisdom in me I didn’t realize I possessed.
I also realized the depth’s of my weakness and my limits and boundaries.
This past year I became addicted to silly romance novels to escape the stress of my life. Ugh. (The only thing worse than doing it, is admitting it.)
In the last year I doubled our urban garden and grew 20 vegetables.
I headed up a community garden.
I made a thousands mistakes.
I made good and poor decisions. I was selfish and selfless.
I was very quiet and inclusive and I went weeks where we had company every day.
I designed a website that finally felt like me.
I became a speaker with Compassion Int. in the fight to bring food, healing and Jesus to kids and communities through Child Sponsorship.
I threw a killer book launch party that helped me figure out who I was and what kind of work I want to be apart of creating. It was a self defining moment and one that I will look back on as the moment that I found myself professionally.
I gained 10 pounds.
I lost 3 and refuse to stress or worry about it.
I took my son to counseling and watched him heal.
I watched my daughter turn from a toddler to a big kid.
I dreamed a hundred dreams and made plans to finish a few of them.
I went on a couple dozen family rides exploring the city and one all by myself where I sat in a park and cried at the beauty and loneliness of being alone.
I lived in a place of extreme stress, expectation and pressure that had me on the verge of a panic attack for months. (Hence the romance novels for escape)
I fell deeply in love with my friends and was overcome with wonder in how I get to be so lucky to have such incredible people in my life.
I didn't get us out of debt.
I became an international speaker.
I threw the best birthday for myself that I can ever remember.
I wrote my first children’s book. (Still getting illustrated)
I became more self aware and in turn started to like myself more.
I let go of the expectation to try to fix the things wrong with me, the guilt that comes with failure and just accept them and learn to manage them. Managing them in self awareness so you can give your love ones a heads up when the crazy is coming out is so much easier and guilt free.
I made my first quilt.
I felt more broken and out of control and lost this year than I have since my daughter was born.
My love for Paul increased every time I opened my eyes in the morning and realized he was still here with me, not giving up, fighting for us and our life, working hard, and coming home every day back into the crazy that is our life.
I drank a lot more coffee.
I watched my husband drink a lot more scotch.
I stayed up way too late way too many times.
I rediscovered that most of life is messy and broken and not how it should be. I found more patience with myself and my kids and Paul as we try to just do our best.
I fell in love with the beautiful disaster that is who we are as individuals and what we look like as a family.
I love my life even though it is highly out of balance most of the time, it is who I am and who we are.
I am now 35. Last year was incredible year.
This one is gonna be even better.
I can feel it.