I don’t know about you, but it appeared the holiday season zoomed by, sometimes quite literally. From Thanksgiving through Christmas I intentionally chose to put certain expectations on the back-burner in order to simply BE—be present, pay attention, and savor the moments of precious time together. Overall, it was the easiest holiday because we were together. I let go of over-the-top expectations and anxiety about detailed perfection. The meals were not lavishly chic or garnished. The back porch tree fell over and broke during strong winds and icy storms. The cats were circling and hissing. Laundry piled up. Outdoor water faucets froze. Daddy didn’t know it was Christmas and struggled to make sense of it. The greatest part: we were together. We laughed and cried (it’s not Christmas until someone cries). Played games and watched movies. Baked (until we ran out of sugar) and ate. Talked and stayed up too late. We were together. Several airport runs later, everyone is safely back in their home places and our home is far too quiet. The memories prevail; we were together.
So here we are and here we go. This year is soon passing and the next one is on the horizon in a few hours. Frankly, I am thrilled to still BE. New opportunities, possibilities, hopes, dreams, and our stories march onward as Chapter One of 2023 begins. The history of each of us has always been in our collective stories. The new year gives each of us unique ways of crafting and sharing those stories. Even as we continue to reflect on the past year, we cannot help but crave a peak of the one ahead.
As I’ve shared before, the Scottish phrase “auld lang syne” literally means “old long since” or for “old time’s sake.” I cannot ignore the Scottish blood running in my veins when it comes to reflection and pondering “for old time’s sake.” This lifelong practice offers sacred opportunities to take the wisdom and experiences from the past year forward in order to build on their lessons. The changes, growth, missteps, triumphs, sorrows, and JOYs bring focused perspective. I want to do better, to give more, and to love more.
So, my friend, may I offer these reflections of gratitude and gratefulness as we open the Book of 2023:
Thank you for everything you do…the big things and the million little things each day.
Thank you for the unique gifts you give throughout the year…most especially the priceless ones from your heart.
Thank you for bringing JOY to others fortunate enough to know you; I’m grateful to be one of them!
Thank you for marveling at ordinary days in the most extraordinary ways.
Thank you for simply showing up, paying attention, speaking your truth, and letting go.
Thank you for understanding that it’s ok to not be ok.
Thank you for taking the blank page of each day to write the words as your story unfolds.
Thank you for rewarding others with your smiles, hugs, strength, and comfort.
Thank you for trusting your “circle of persons” as the real treasures in life and happiness as true wealth.
Thank you for doing your personal best and allowing the rest to take care of itself.
Know you are seen, heard, and loved for who you are and what you choose to be in your story. I’ve come to accept how little in life means more than faith, hope, and love, and choose to sprinkle these generously. Gentleness and humor keep my faith, hope, and love alive because they are everywhere when we seek them. These “big three” are most prominent for me in ordinary things like cooking a meal, sharing a conversation, singing children, laughing from the belly, making music, reading a book, dancing when no one is watching, hugging, helping my daddy, and walking in the woods—simple everyday actions where cream gravy soaks in and homemade grace shines through. The world and our souls crave this. May this be so in 2023. May wondrous dreams and wishes take you to remarkable places. When the storms of life swirl, may an angel gently hold your hand in comfort and strength as you prevail. May quiet time with yourself allow your everyday actions to soak in and grace to shine through as you celebrate all that is in 2023. Happy New Year!