Not as in January 1 new year, but tomorrow I turn 44.
I often say being single and without children, there is not much that marks the days and weeks and years.
I am grateful that I enjoy my day-to-day so much; I am blessed with great family, good friends,and a job that is meaningful. I experience more balance in my routines now than I have over the past years. I have personal goals in wellness and I feel hopeful about them. I have changes I would like to make in my choices and habits and I am even more aware that those decisions can be affected by my commitment to change.
And yet as this new year begins, I am keenly aware that I feel the mystery of the year ahead. It is true every day, the unknown of what each day holds, but because my family experienced sudden and tragic loss this past year, my heart feels hyper vigilant to this reality. The loss of my brother marks my 43rd year. And yet I am grateful that is not the only mark of this past year. I can also choose to embrace the goodness that is now woven through our story of tragic loss. There are kind faces and tender hugs, there is deep laughter and meaningful conversation and hours of small talk with new and old friends. I am deeply grateful every day for the space I have created in my home which created inviting and wonderful space to be at home in every day.
And so what will this next year hold. I wonder if I want to know? I would guess it will hold more of the same. Wonderful, beautiful moments intermingled with sadness and sorrow. New beginnings and maybe perhaps even some endings that will catch me off guard or take my breath away.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned in this past year is to hold people close, be honest and kind, offer an abundance of grace when I feel critical or misunderstood and speak honestly about what I need or desire. I long to be healthy and content, even in sorrow or disruption. I long to be loved and love others with kindness and grace. I long to make a difference in each day and strive to bring change that enhances quality of life for others. I have come to embrace that living a life to the edge of all my possibility is not to live with crazy risks or impulsive decisions, but to be generous in my words, thoughts and actions in a meaningful and life-giving way. I look forward to being 44 and seeing what God has in store for me. I look forward to writing again, Lord willing, on the eve of my 45th birthday and stand grateful for God’s presence, provision and unending love.