Well, I suppose it’s time for me to admit that I had another birthday recently. Back on the 29th of December I turned 33. Part of me would rather not discuss it, but part of me thinks it’s always been an important part of my New Year’s assessment and goal setting. A time of reflection. A time to think. (Oh yeah, and part of me would like to remind all my lovely family and reader-friends that my primary Love Language is Receiving Gifts…)
Usually I find myself thinking backwards on my birthday. Back to favorite times, favorite gifts, favorite precious memories–or even missed opportunities and past frustrations.
But this year, I find myself yearning forward.
Perhaps it’s all the changes I’ve been through lately. New job, new office, new school year routine, so many new blogging and twitter friends…but this winter my mind’s been dwelling on change and our family evolution rather than on static memories. You know how the more things change, the more they stay the same?
I decided to face some of my demons the other day and pulled out my Mom’s mixer to make cookies with the kids while we were home for the holidays. I’ve had it for 5 and a half years now and have only used it once. And that one time it hurt so much that I thought I would die, so I put it away again and haven’t wanted to touch it.
But this year I’ve faced several things that I didn’t know if I could face. Making Chex Party Mix for Christmas comes to mind–which probably isn’t a good example because it was touch and go for a while and the only way I survived the ordeal was by watching Speedracer stealing pretzels when he thought I wasn’t looking.
But I did survive.
And went on to make homemade chocolate chip cookies with Mom’s mixer. Which was fraught with equal parts soul-wrenching pain and laughing at my Speedracer.
And I was reminded of something. Mr. Fix-It’s family doesn’t celebrate all holidays (and football season) with Chex Party Mix. He’d never actually had homemade Chex Mix before spending the holidays with my family. And they didn’t celebrate with piles and piles and piles of hand-decorated cut-out cookies, and homemade chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate refrigerator cookies, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and cheesecake bars, and peanut butter cookies…I think you’re getting the idea.
The fact is, if I want my kids to have the good things from my memories and my childhood, I’m going to have to face up to my trauma-induced shadows and make them happen.
Even if I occasionally find it hard to breath while doing so.
My one word for the New Year is PRAYER.
And my first prayer of this new year, is for Courage.
Courage to move forward, even when standing still is so much safer.
Courage to cry even if someone is watching.
Courage to try again when I’ve messed it up the first time, and the second time.
Courage to let go of GOOD and only accept the BEST.
Courage to never think it’s too late.“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” –2 Timothy 1:7 “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” –Anais Nin, American Author “Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name.” –Robert Louis Stevenson