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December 31st, 2009 | 17 Comments »

For all the angst that entered my life in 2009, the accidents and stress and overall sense of “What the….?” that occurred, this year that I will happily forget has ended on a pretty high note.

Let me introduce my newest niece Sara.

She made her entrance with one day remaining in 2009, and we have been eagerly awaiting her arrival. She is the tiny little sister of Nina, a well-known face on this blog.

As for all that went before, well….I’m happy to walk away from this past year, to drop a match into the midst of it all and bid it farewell. There have been monumental lessons learned in a gripping and tough-love sort of way; I’ve not been very good at keeping my perspective positive and genial, but in looking back, the one thing that keeps coming forefront to my thoughts is that I survived it all and came out today, December 31st, generally unscathed. And with a deep sense of humility.

These past few months I have done a lot more looking inward. And plenty of gazing through a camera lens. I’ve found so much beauty that I’ve failed to notice before. In 2010, I look forward to enjoying this more. I’m pretty simple in my photo-taking life. There’s my basic point and shoot digital, and I’ve discovered that the iPhone camera, while it does have limitations, can be relied upon to capture some rather dramatic and stunning images. Like this one:

And this one:

And that really, it isn’t about what kind of camera, the amount of money, a lens that is above all others….what it comes down to is that when you lift it to your eye, the world opens up and you click the shutter at just the precise moment to capture life happening around you. This is one of my goals for 2010: Project 365. A photo a day for the entire year. Keep your eyes open for it.

I don’t make resolutions. They’ve always failed me, or maybe I just am a failure at them. This coming year is more about stepping up, being present, lifting my head and accepting grace. I think I may have fretted a bit more in the past year, fought against the tide and been resentful of being in a place that I didn’t feel I deserved. What I didn’t do, and should have, was stop and really examine where I was, and maybe think about the fact that it probably was just what I needed, and yet wasn’t willing to realize. Even in our trials, and through very, very dark times that seemed like they were endless and painful, the most amazing of life’s moments shone right through. And I often refused to even look at them. I spent too much time focused on the darkness and that just can’t happen anymore.

So 2010 has potential- like the seeds of a milkweed. All new beginnings do, and we shouldn’t wait until a new year to make subtle and lasting change happen. Why not November? Or July? And when we resort to being human, and we make mistakes, why not be soft and forgiving to ourselves, get back up and start a new day again, with a fresh perspective? Last November, right around Thanksgiving, I decided that I was tired of being heavy and out of shape. I embarked on a plan that I’ve stuck to the entire last year. I’ve lost 20 pounds and almost three pants sizes. It wasn’t a resolution, but a serious lifestyle change. And during the past year, if I faltered, skipped some workouts or simply felt unmotivated, I allowed myself to be all right with it. And so should you, with whatever personal gain you take on this year. The perspective, and the journey is often far more important than the goal, and I hope you don’t lose sight of that like I did this past year.

“It’s been a long December, and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last”

Happy Blue Moon New Year’s Eve, everyone. May many blessings, much love and gentle peace be yours in the year ahead.