“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.
It’s the life in your years.”
– Abraham Lincoln
|My Indonesian ‘dress cut’ experience
I took this seriously last year; breathing some life into areas that have been dormant, neglected, or otherwise overlooked. Another year of happiness, laughter and lessons learned – here are some of my favorites:
This year was really about trying something new-all the time. I forced myself in directions I never knew I was interested in or qualified for. I wrote-a lot. I threw it all out there and watched where it landed, pushed a few pieces into place, and found some that had gone missing. I learned that going big is often scary, but always worth it.
My kids officially grew taller than me this year. It actually was a humbling experience when my baby boy passed me up. Watching my daughter drive away from me for the first time chipped a piece off my heart, reminding me I had to let go and trust that everything has a way of working itself out. I released some habits and situations that weren’t working for me, looking for more positive instead of negative. I learned that letting go is growing forward.
I surely did that this year. I pushed for my best and tried not to repeat what wasn’t working for me. I showed up. I tried. I learned that working hard is exhausting, but creates energy in the right places.
I went places this year that I never imagined I would. I felt outnumbered, out of place, and out of control. I remember the calls to prayer, the fears, and the deep sense of respect at how small a world we live in, yet what a large part I can play. I learned that being humble can bring safety and comfort, and that relinquishing control can reveal a whole new perspective.
Learning to stand up for ourselves can take a lifetime. Watching bullying, in our community, our country, and our world gave me the power to practice saying no. Daily, I listened to one of my college interns call out ‘Make good choices’ to my students as they exited my classroom door, and tried to do the same. I learned that saying no allows me to say yes when I want to, and that going with my gut is usually takes me in the right direction.
|Obama’s elementary school in Jakarta
I saw people and places this year that shattered my heart and made me fearful for our future. I met people who lifted me up, taught me about hope, and reminded me to make peace with what I have, where I am, and who I’m with. This year, I learned that blessings come in a multitude of ways, and that happiness and gratitude hold hands.
As I end 47 and open the chapter of 48, I think of all that I’ve experienced: the children, parenting, family, teaching, education, memories and motherhood that blended themselves together and brought such lessons to me. Typing this, I’m reminded of all that I hold close, and all that is yet to come. I’m happy about 47, and watch out 48- I’ve got big ideas waiting to throw at you. This is definitely not the time to feel old!