Over the past few weeks I have found myself cleaning out closets and re-ordering spaces around the house, recalibrating our home after the holiday whirl. We dug right into our first new years project creating a dedicated office space. We have packed up a few bags of baby/kid clothes we no longer need, boxed up books we have outgrown and filed away paperwork no longer needed. These sort of inventories often offer the best sort of reflection, a practical accounting of days and time and space.
Truth be told, 2016 was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. I’m usually the type to look for the best in a situation (or at least the humor in it), but this past year smacked me around a bit. I spent the better part of the year feeling ungrounded and disconnected. I struggled with a lack of clarity and focus. Honestly, this past year I have felt more like a shadow of who I once was. Like there were two of me - the woman who laughs at jokes and the woman who cries in the closet. The woman who wants to tell the world about her hurts so that people understand – and the woman who wants to shut the world away because she can’t trust that others will understand.
While I am so happy to be marching away from 2016, this past year also taught me about letting go of failure and disappointment. This past year taught me more about dreaming despite heartbreak. It taught me about the power of voice and the value of silence. It’s funny how such powerful lessons can be woven amid difficult circumstances.
I know that everybody under the sun is making resolutions right now, and our family is too. We are goal orientated by nature. We wrote out professional goals, we created personal goals. We made a list of books we hope to read as a family. I am training to run the Boston marathon, and raise money for an organization that is near to my heart. We want to build a bookcase in our living room and fix up the front yard with a proper walkway and perhaps a porch swing. We want to hike in Lassen National Park and explore the big island of Hawaii.
But, mostly my goals for 2017 include finding a lighter approach. Recently, I was reminded of a marvelous quote written by J.K. Rowling, "Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." And this is what I want to remember this upcoming year: Let my light shine. I want to shift my focus back to the wonderful. whimsical aspects of life. I want to dance. I want to play. I want belly-laugh. I want to explore and I want to continue to look for the beautiful parts of life even in the messiest of days.