Monday, December 30, 2013

from listening to abundance

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Starting in January I embraced the word listen. It was my word of the year. The word I meditated on, kept close to my heart and mind while going through motions and months and moments. The original intent of choosing the word was to remind myself to listen to the little and big voices within... to see where that took me. Looking back on all that was 2013 I can see that the word served me well. I listened to my inner hopes and dreams and workings more than in years past, and I also listened to those closest to me and I believe that helped to grow relationships and to deepen bonds. 

2013 was not an easy year. For us, like so many others, it was full of struggles. Health issues. Money issues. Life issues. But we made it through, mostly intact and holding onto what matters most. In 2013 I listened to my heart and in doing so I was able to let some things go. Maybe not in the most graceful ways, but I feel lighter going into 2014 than I have in years. I started my novel. I let go of things that hindered focus. I have listened to my deepest desires and have started to act upon them. I have spent time listening to my children, finding out more of what they need and how to help nurture their passions and loves. 

I am  not sad to see 2013 go. At all. Yes, there were incredible moments, but it was one of the more difficult years we've seen in a long, long time. And so I am ready for 2014, and have chosen a new word to focus on:

Abundance. 

I am ready to see the abundance that is in the world, in my life. I'm ready to look at life with a mindset of abundance and not scarcity. I'm ready to explore what the days can hold if I am open to the fullness of them. 

Are you choosing a word for 2014? I'd love to know what it is!

{I've been trying to change the comment format... to disqus but I'm not having much luck... I've never been good at responding to comments in the comment section, but if there's an email with your comment I'll email back :) }

Monday, December 23, 2013

Finding the magic

It is two days before Christmas. Or, as one child told me tonight {and he heard it on the news} it's less than 36 hours until Christmas. For real.

I'm torn this year. I'm torn between being content and feeling like we're all failing. I'm sure my mild obsession with Pinterest is somewhat to blame. Where we find links on how to have an all handmade Christmas, and stories about how commercialism is ruining Christmas, or how we can buy the best toys at the cheapest prices, customers crazed in the shops. We're told to believe in the reason for the season. The right reasons. I'm left feeling a bit hollow until I remember all of the ways to believe. And how magic brews in different ways, for different people, each family following their own traditions and who are we to judge? Who are we to compare in this everything is shared and liked and clicked on and how many people care about the pretty packages beneath my perfectly trimmed tree or perfectly worded persuasive essay world?

Just as I get sidelined with the "are we doing too much?" or "are we doing enough?" thoughts, I hear my children singing carols in the next room. Off key and with messed up lyrics. The sounds couldn't be sweeter. And then my daughter comes up to me and starts talking about baby Jesus and Santa and her eyes are filled with magic. I believe in that kind of magic. I also believe there is magic in the fresh snow, children laughing as they bound through uncharted snowy territory. There is holiness in stringing popcorn and cranberries into a garland, fingers pricked by needles countless times. There is something to be cherished in the moment when one child is searching for the perfect gift for his or her sibling, maybe a glow in the dark solar system book. Yes, there are grand gestures that can be made, and perspective and love kept in handmade gifts, but there is also magic in the perfect store bought gifts. My Little Pony, or a programmable robot, eyes twinkling as a wish is granted and the realization that Santa read their lists. Santa is magic. Christmas is magic. Snowflakes and babes in mangers and twinkle lights and wonder... they are all magic.

There is magic in all of it, big and small.
 From our house to yours, Merry Christmas.
I hope you find the magic, and believe in it greatly.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

fresh sand

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We beached it today. Drove the fifteen minutes to our little slice of heaven. The sky gave an incredible performance - dressed in the colors of the rainbow from the horizon line to the clouds. Pinks and reds and blues and greens and even yellows. There was one other person on the beach. One. A man as scruffy as the sea weed and drift wood beached from the surf. He looked at us, smiled and threw his arms in the air and said, "Where is everyone??" They were anywhere but there, in the pocket of warmth, protected by the sand dunes and cloud cover. 

Our footsteps made marks on the fresh from high tide sand. We drew lines in the sand with a shovel to remind us where we'd been, in case we forgot. In case we got lost on the expanse of the familiar wave drenched land.

Monday, December 2, 2013

miles of words

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday at my parents house, wrapped up in love and food and warmth. The days were cold, and I personally didn't step outside of their house for three days. We arrived in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, having traveled in the dark through sleet and rain to beat the bulk of the storm that made it's way to the east coast, and I couldn't bring myself to go anywhere until Saturday. And that was to the grocery store and for a brisk walk down the street. The kids were entertaining, my mom in her element of making a big turkey dinner for all of us. It was the first Thanksgiving we'd spent with them since Lucas and I were married, due to locations and air plane tickets and travel time... but now that they're within driving distance, it's possible. And it was lovely.

 During our time there, I completed NaNoWriMo. I'm processing. I'm giving myself some distance from my novel for the time being. I haven't even printed it out - but I will. And then the work will begin. Yesterday I had the thought that I wanted to rewrite the whole damn thing {which I might...} and in a brief moment of panic I thought maybe the months worth of work was for nothing. But. But it wasn't. November brought the writer back out in me. I enjoyed it so much, the writing. Making my daily word counts. And the story isn't terrible, the story can be worked into it's full potential. It just might need a whole other direction to work. Or maybe just depth. Or a change in tense. I'm not sure. Regardless, I'm farther along at this point than I was a month and a half ago, with just a few fleeting idea and not writing at all.

 I'm astonished that I finished the first shitty draft of my novel. In a month. I'm honest with myself, and know that much of what I wrote is going to get cut or transformed, but still, it's a draft. It's there. There are over 50 thousand words that I wrote. Miles of words. And I hope that that alone inspires someone who has been thinking about taking the NaNoWriMo plunge - or just the writing plunge in general. If I could do it, while dealing with Lyme, and birthdays, and homeschooling two kids, keeping up the house and cooking, and holidays and traveling, anyone who really wants to write can. And should.

 It's a little bittersweet, finishing something like NaNoWriMo. In one way it's the end, but in another it's truly just the beginning, which is a little intimidating and a little scary, but very exciting. There's probably something very symbolic about finishing that first draft at my parents house. But at this point my words are still tired and stretched thin, they are recovering from a marathon of sorts....

So for now, I'm going to veg out, read a few novels on my to read shelf, wait a week or so to get back to my novel, and get my Christmas spirit on for the month of December.

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