This blog will be publish on the correct date. I know... a rarity :) But this blog is mostly for me :)
In 2010 I did this Year End Review thing that I found in a magazine I used to get (now out of print) and I have really enjoyed looking back at that year, so I am using the same template for 2013. Here we go!
THE PAST YEAR:
How have you spent your time?
It's been quite a year! In January we were living with friends and learning a lot about life in community - something we'd been dreaming of for a long time and something we ended up being unable to plan, but were easily thrust into. Things seemed so hard in January last year. I felt like I would never crawl out of the hole I was in.
February was much the same. We worked on the bus in the cold. We painted when it was really too cold to paint. The kids watch a lot of Netflix. It seemed... like a blur. Sometimes numb. Sometimes painfully real. Sometimes... simply sad. But always hopeful.
March - we were at the bus almost constantly. Working. Working. We'd set a date for moving in on a permanent basis and we'd found someone to rent our townhouse.
April - we moved into the bus. I worked hard to balance out our lives. Everything was still up in the air. No one really knew what was going to happen.
May - We were still living at a campground in Southern Maryland. I was busy not getting involved in anything and dreaming about leaving. I spent my time questioning everything and trying to keep things as normal as possible for the kids.
June - I focused on Jonah's ballet recital and keeping us cool enough in the bus. I focused on our departure date. And on standing long in the shower and running miles at a time to get away from my anxiety. Michael and I were rehearsing for Field Guide to the North America Osprey which was slated to go up in New York City in a month. And then... we finally started moving. And when we did... it was like a shell fell off of me and I could see the sun again for the first time.
The rest of the year can't be split off into months because months stopped mattering. It was about the next destination or the place we were now and all the things to do and see - the people right in front of us and the people we missed from all the places we've called home. I spent my time growing. Growing more and faster than ever before. I spent my time scouring the internet for fun or free things to do in each new place and building up my courage to do those things and staring out of the window as the world went by and stopping whenever I wanted to drink it in. I missed people and found people and handed apples out of the window to people who were hungry at the side of the road and swam with barracudas and climbed mountains and blogged (a lot) and ate real Tex Mex and went to concerts and learned more than I ever knew I could learn which taught me you can never ever learn it all.
I talked to God. I railed at Him and praised Him and loved on Him and cried about Him and with Him and for Him. I peeled so many layers of scales from my eyes and know there are so many more left to peel.
What are you grateful for?
I am so grateful for friends and family (they are not so different). So grateful for the many people who have opened their homes and yards to me and mine. So grateful to know we can call someone whenever we need them. So grateful to share a kitchen, to open doors, to embrace someone I haven't seen in months or years - to shed anxiety. To trust. Grateful for vegan Thanksgivings and replaced spatulas and taking out the garbage and emptying the compost and air mattresses and goodbye not meaning "the end". Grateful for beautiful weddings and city lights and love. So much love. Always.
What were your sorrows and disappointments? How did they change you?
I was disappointed and sad and angry and so many other things at the beginning of this year. I wanted to rip and tear at the world. To scream and make things crack. I was changed because I learned to be thankful for the small things. I learned to stop judging people before I understand. I learned to stop taking crap when I don't have to take it anymore. I learned to stand up again. I don't know if I've been changed by those sorrows and disappointments as much as I have found a part of myself that I had deliberately hidden away because I was afraid of it in my immaturity as a young person. Now I think I can wield it a bit better. A bit more safely. A bit more effectively.
I think every disappointment and sorrow from this year proved itself for good in the long run, in wonderful ways.
What books, films, etc., moved you?
Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Rob Bell's series on The Bible
How are you different from the way you were a year ago?
I am more powerful.
I am more comfortable in my own skin.
I am stronger.
I am more graceful.
I am more in control of my emotions.
I am learning to wield my anger in positive ways.
I am a better mom and wife. I have learned how to love my husband and children better.
My priorities have shifted - I am living more in the moment.
I have found ways to protect myself but to still remain open and vulnerable with the people who love me.
How can you integrate the lessons of the past year?
Continue to cultivate my emotional compass. Continue to use herbs as medicine. Continue to listen to my body. Continue to listen to the people who matter most and ignore the people who don't matter at all. Continue to maintain contact with the people I love and to remember just who they are all the time. Make every moment count. Even the ones that seem like they don't matter. Drink everything in - life is shorter than we know.
Is there anything you're trying to force into existence right now? If so, what would happen if you stopped?
Home. Off and on I try to force us settling down in our "spot" and having a house. I need to stop because this journey is so important and it's simply not time for rooting down yet. I need to stop mourning that and start taking advantage - realizing that this was so long in coming and this was what I wanted so badly for so long.
What do you want to focus on in the coming year?
Just being. Being more fully alive, more fully myself, more fully wonderful. Seeing everything. Holding onto the things I need to hold onto and throwing everything else far out into the wind. Letting go of all the crap instead of keeping it close to me. Nurturing the new me. Giving more hugs to people. Letting go of fear.
If you could sum up your desires and longings in one simple statement
spoken from the highest aspect of yourself, what would it be?
To release the negative, the pain, the sorrow, the death, the anger, the fear and to grab onto the excitement and wonder of the future and the now with gusto and imagination... to do this fully.