On Sunday, many Christians start a new liturgical year. I begin a new journal and a new planner. The reflection and preparation for the new year that most people start the last week of December or the first week of the new year I started last week and and will be winding down this week.
2018 has been up and down for me. There have been significant loses and struggles, but there have also been some positive changes that have set me up beautifully for 2019.
My word for 2018 was Shalom. I didn’t know everything that word meant when I started the year, but I came to understand that it was much more than peace. Shalom is the peace Christ has and spread. Shalom is a peace that passes understanding, a peace that springs from wholeness.
As I look back on the year, that is exactly what I found: wholeness.
At 43 (soon to be 44), I know who I am, and I am no longer afraid to be her. I know who God created me to be, and I am becoming her. No more apologies. No more concessions to keep the “peace.” I am comfortable in my own skin, and I am at peace.
Today, my husband and I celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We almost didn’t make it. In fact, three months ago, we were making plans to separate, but a funny thing happened. Once we gave up on each other, we were finally honest with ourselves and each other, which is what we should have done all along.
In the end, we chose to stay and make it work for the same reason we took vows ten years ago. We don’t need each other. We can live without each other, but we just don’t want to. We’re better together. We’re happier together. Even when things aren’t going as planned.
Last week, I celebrated my three year anniversary at work. I don’t talk about my day job here much, mostly because I don’t want to ever give the impression that I’m represent the company when speaking here. I don’t.
That being said, I’m very proud of the work my company does. When I joined the company, it was a start up. It’s now a restart. We’ve been through a rough year of cuts and reorganization. I took a much needed vacation last week and came back this week with a renewed commitment. I love my job, my co-workers, and my company, so I’m committed to give my work the best I have to offer.
We love our new home. I love the barn where I’m boarding. I start a Master Gardner’s class in January. Life is quiet and good.
It came at a cost. We had to face some realities about our wishes and our capabilities. We let go of our sprawling 37 acres. I had to let go of my sweet mare. I had to move nearly two hours from my amazing church family at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Murfreesboro.
I’m closing the year grieving my loses but very hopeful for the year to come. My word for 2019 is healthy. Healthy spirit, healthy body, health finances, healthy relationships. Despite the pain of 2018, the inner work I did set me up to create the life I’ve always wanted to live in 2019.
In 2019, I’ll be working on developing a rhythm for my life that brings out the best in me and my work. I’ll be working on dropping the 23 pounds I picked up stress eating this year. I’ll be working on growing our own food. I’ll be working on plugging in to our new community and making our home a sanctuary.
What has 2018 given you? What are your hopes for 2019?