Look not mournfully into the past.
It comes not back again.
Wisely improve the present.
It is thine.
Go forth to meet the shadowy future, without fear.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~
The red, gold, green, and white has come out of their boxes. Christmas music has been my companion for three weeks and the chill is in the air. Amidst the joyous chaos that is the holiday season, I find myself reflecting more and more on this last year and all the changes in store for us in the coming year. As a culture, we tend to think of January 1 as a clean slate, though it's not really true: it's merely a continuation of whatever we set in motion the year before.
Two years have passed since I had my meltdown. A year ago I was a barely functioning exoskeleton. The contrast between this year and last at this time is stark and beautiful. I am overwhelmed by the love and encouragement I received from those dearest to me and my heart overpours with gratitude for those who came alongside us and helped bear the load - emotionally, physically, and financially. I am so blessed. We are so blessed.
I feel such hope for the next year. More intense than the hope I felt while surrounded by the Monday Night Posse on New Year's Eve and more real. Does that even make sense? I'm not paralyzed by fear - I'm excited!
As we spend time with our family and friends in the coming weeks, sharing meals, exchanging gifts, playing games, and generally enjoying each other's company I want to have in the forefront of my mind the central purpose of the holiday I celebrate - the simple, beautiful gift that was given to mankind - and the gift I was given this year that will not end when the clock strikes Midnight on January 1.