Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year in Review

I'm sure there are thousands of bloggers world wide anxiously tapping away at their keyboards trying to put to word the joys, pains, lessons, and sorrows that 2011 held.  It is now 8:45 on the 31st, less than 16 hours until that infamous ball drops and all the country, or at least this time zone, will sing Auld Lang Syne and kiss the appropriate person next to them firmly on the lips.  It warms my heart to think of the promises the new year can and will hold, but also saddens me to know that another year is being closed and that the tome will be be placed forevermore in the memory banks of those who wrote it's pages.  This year saw many things for my family as well as for me, these include:

1. The start of this blog
2. My mad quest to read 150 books
3. My children all celebrating another year
4. The loss of our family dog, Dorothy
5. My youngest starting pre-school
6. My oldest starting her last year of Elementary school
7. A trip of a lifetime to Israel
8. Immense new opportunities at my work
9. A roller coaster of emotions
10. Friends made and friends lost
11. Two family vacations
12. Employment and a layoff for my hubby
13. More college under my belt...
14. Personal growth
15. last but not least, the promise of a better tomorrow despite how it was packaged

I know the above list isn't entirely informative, but the detail can be found in the words of all the posts made this past year.  However, in the spirit of moving forward, below are some things I plan to do in the coming year (some refer to these as resolutions ~ I prefer to not jinx them with such a guilt laden title):

1. To grow stronger in my walk with the Lord
2. To become more knowledgeable on the current state of our nation's politics
3. To share those findings (#2) in a blog created by my best friend, the title to come at a later time
4. To begin another blog focusing on my wellness journey
5. To remember that I am only human and that in the end it is God's view of me that matters more
6. To maintain my integrity especially when other's lose theirs
7. To preserve more memories; which requires more to be made
8. To celebrate my 10 year wedding anniversary
9. To not have a set reading goal, quantity wise
10. To enjoy what may come and to grow from what it may teach

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I got to thinking about traditions the other day.  What constitutes a tradition?  Is it something that has to have happened for so long that you don't remember when, or even where, it started?  Is it something that you did several years back, a few years back, and then again just recently?  Is it something you decided one day, just a couple of weeks ago, that you are going to start doing?  I ask because it seems that in the scheme of things there are as many traditions as there are people of the world and also just as many that have no traditions at all, and that, in itself, is the tradition. Regardless of how they are born, be it recent or older than Christmas itself, I think there is something almost as magical in a tradition as there is in the season as a whole.

When our first daughter was born in 2002 I knew that I wanted to make everything special, especially the holidays.  I'm sure that I am not the only parent in the world that has these thoughts.  However, making a tradition is hard.  Knowing where to start and what to focus it on can be difficult.  That year, I bought her a wooden ducky as her baby's first Christmas ornament.  It wasn't much, as we didn't have much, but it was white and pink and I carefully wrote 2002 on it.  Then 6 days before Christmas in 2003 our second daughter was born.  Sadly, I don't recall getting her a baby's first Christmas ornament.  But, in the years that followed, as we would walk through the Christmas sections of various stores, the girls would ooh and ahh over the glittery and shiny baubles and we would let them each pick one. Next thing I know, without it even being planned, we had begun our first family tradition.  Then in 2008 our third daughter was born.  I knew then, with all my heart, my family was complete and that we were going to make the best of the tradition we had borne.

Each ornament discovered is as unique as the girl who picked it out.  They get to pick only one new ornament each year, as I think the joy is in finding that one ornament that is the most special to them that year. (This of course does not include those that are hand made or received as gifts.)  My heart was so filled with warmth this year as we were decorating our tree for the season. As I was sitting back and listening to them try to remember where they picked the ornament up at, who some of them belonged to, and what they wanted to get for the next year, I knew that our tradition was special to them too.  Our tree is an eclectic display of personality and likes.  There are no specific themes or colors, just a tree filled with tradition and love. 

Merry Christmas from our house to yours.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It Is What It Is...

and sometimes, that really is enough. 

There was a time, in the not so distant past, that I would cringe whenever someone said that line to me.  Not because I hated what it implied, but more from  not fully understanding what it meant.  Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I have had a profound epiphany on the quote, but rather that I am now, at this point, in complete accordance with the flippancy that is holds.  Why this; why now?  Perhaps, nay, not perhaps, it is all due to coming to that place when I really don't mind what a certain set of people think.  Yes, I think my demeanor holds that same amount of flippancy.

So, I ask of you, have you ever reached out, offered something, anything, to someone but got exactly what you didn't expect in return?  And by that I don't mean more than what you expected, but rather less, much less.  There is a chance that I have high expectations for others; which, wouldn't be a hard concept to process seeing as how I expect a lot from myself.  However, this is not the case.  I'm talking about validation in the simplest of ways.  I'm talking about sheer common, nay rather, human decency.  Then I got to thinking again, there is a chance that is the response I got and it simply is what it is.

In this time, where social networking is the way of life, I think back to when feedback used to take a day, a week, a month even.  I realize that I am not "that" old, but computers weren't even really big until I graduated high school.  (Or maybe they were and I was behind the 8 ball.) So, as I sit here and wonder why I didn't get the feedback I was looking for, on the forum or in the manner I was looking for it, that I remember though despite my expectations, I know deep down, that it is what it is and only I can really be satisfied with that fact.