a ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships were built for ~ William Shedd

Monday, January 2, 2012

On December 31st I was filled with all kinds of thoughts. I was thinking of the many things we have to step back into this next week, the routines left behind in the celebration of His birth that are once again calling me back from my subconscious.  I also reflected back upon this past year. At first glance it seemed rather unremarkable, important, but nevertheless, unremarkable. 

On the very last day of 2011 we had no smashing party to attend. I had no gorgeous dress to wear. Nary a glass of bubbly was in sight, nor did we count down with the clock. We did, however, hold a Mario Cart competition, after we ate left-over sloppy joes for dinner. The kids were in bed by 8:30, we soon followed. My thought was this: Fitting really - we rang in the new year as unremarkably as we lived the last.

I did not make any new years resolutions. I keep thinking I should. Shouldn't I head into this new year with some goals?

I turned 34. Just 2 weeks ago.

As my birthday approached, I reflected back over the last year, my 33rd year of life. I remember turning 33, and thinking it was the happiest number! I was sure that it was going to be a great year. And the more I thought about it the more I began to realize, perhaps this year was a little more remarkable than first glance would suggest.

This year was hard. It brought more trials than I had anticipated. Looking back I can see how much I've grown, and I am grateful for the lessons I have learned. I have been humbled. In most cases I was compelled to be humble. I wish I would more often choose the humility instead.

This year also brought many unexpected adventures, things I didn't start the year setting out to accomplish. I learned to fence. I learned to row. I learned to surf. I made new friends. I got a new calling. I also did something, a secret something (I am still doing that something, actually, and I am not quite prepared to share it yet. Someday, but not today). This something I am doing I have been afraid to do for so long. But I did it, I took the first step, and a few more followed, and now I have set out at a jog.

The things I did this year may still seem unremarkable to most, but to me, to me they signify that I am courageous. Normally, I am about as mundane as one can be. It is comfortable here in this space I know so well. I would not ever describe myself as a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of girl. I like the predictable. I am much like the flower growing safely behind the terrarium glass.

This past year I lifted the lid just a bit.

What if this year I took the lid right off?

So as I step into 2012 I set out with a few goals: to continue on with the adventures I began last year, and to try and be a better mom to my children, wife to my husband, and friend to all I meet. This year most of all though, as people make resolutions to do something,  I commit my heart to do less of some things. I hope to stop caring what others think of me. I hope I will embrace the mess being a part of a big happy creative family brings. I hope to pay less attention to the mirror, the clock, and the to-do list. I hope that I will ignore my fears that tell me I can't.

What will my 34th year bring?

I do not know! But, I do know that I am going to fly by the seat of my pants a little more, trust myself to try new things, and open my arms and my heart to 365 more days filled with who knows what!

I am ready for it,

all of it!

And if this new year is anything like the last, I know I am in for a trip outside my safe harbor. After all:

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