Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking back, looking forward

I know everyone has taken the past few days to reflect on a year winding down and look toward a fresh, new year on the verge of beginning.

Personally, I feel that 2011 was extremely challenging. I started my reflection somewhere in the middle of the night as Chase and I traveled via train toward Delaware. I think I spent a good portion of 2011 sad. Is that weird? There were pockets of joy, laughter, love, but overall I think I was mostly sad. Mostly going through the everyday motions of survival. Leading up to Christmas, bad news still trickled in. We were being kicked while already being down.

As I sat in the dark Christmas morning before the rest of my family woke up, I listened to the coffee maker brew in the kitchen and stared at the Christmas lights on the tree. There was so much I wanted to do for the holidays. I wanted to decorate (the outdoor decorations came down when the weather got bad and they never went back up) more. I wanted to send out holiday cards (sorry..). I wanted to bake a gingerbread home. So many "I wanted.." moments that never happened. By Christmas morning I was thinking how relieved I was that this year was almost over. The year 2011 was just too exhausting. And sad. I think that sadness is what kept me from accomplishing more that I had set out to do. By the time everyone woke up, however, I was thankful that Mom was with us. Thankful that I have a wonderful husband and son. Thankful for another day. It was a quiet Christmas this year. I think it was for the best.

And so as Chase and I left Ohio late in the night on the 28th for Delaware, I sat in the darkness and watched out the window and reviewed the year. I lost my job. I lost two grandparents within six weeks. Mom's cancer diagnosis. Steve and his barbershop group taking second place in the state. Steve performing in the Music Man. Chase turning ten. Chase continuing to grow and amaze me everyday. It has been a bittersweet year.

I'm not the type of person to make resolutions. Everything I would resolve to do, are more than likely things I need to be doing on a regular basis. Yes, I need to lose weight. Yes, I need to explore my spiritual life further. The list could go on forever. And if I didn't accomplish anything on the list, where would I be at the end of this brand new year?

I am, however, shaking the funk that has wrapped itself around my world for the past year.

This new year will be better. I'm sure of it.


  1. Emily, I so get your post! Life is full of ups and downs and {I feel} that's what makes a life. Life does have a lot of saddness, but it also has so much happiness. Happiness is what I try to focus on, it's what gets me through the day, if not, I would never get out of bed.
    I am thankful that our paths met in 2011. I love my stitch markers and use them everyday, they are one of those happiness moments and I think of you when I see them. My prayers are with you and I just know we are all going to have a wonderful 2012!

  2. You are a resilient person and I know that 2012 will be better. You are so nice and a great mom to Chase, a wonderful daughter....I know your job future will solve itself this year!!

  3. I am sorry it has been a rough year for you. I know if you dig deep you will find pockets of is just hard sometimes when trials seem to fill your days. I confess I was also sad and discouraged when I read in my last journal entry from a year ago...only to realize it could easily have been the same post I wrote at the end of this year! At the moment I felt like my whole year was wasted....but after digging deeper, I was able to find much joy. And the very next day (yesterday) God showed me something really amazing....something I had prayed long and hard for....and then I knew....that my whole year of prayers weren't for nothing.....and the waiting increased my faith. Sorry to preach.....I really just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone....and I will pray for you tonight.

  4. Hang in there, Emily. There is so much good and happiness. Hold onto it. Don't worry about those pesky resolutions. Find you beneath that blanket and emerge. Rely on those who can help and just live.

  5. I think sometimes we are unaware of many of the "pay it forward" moments we create; you are an amazing, generous, loving person whose path I'm mighty glad to have passed this year. (I was the last minute add-on stitch marker post!!!--the markers,which, like Tracey, I love, and think of you everyday as my little rockinghorse flips around my needles!!!) Maybe knowing how much sunshine you have spread will help tip the balance. Here's hoping lots of sunshine is heading your way in 2012!

  6. Emily,
    You expressed exactly what I have been feeling. Somehow, hopefully with the old year past and this one staring at us as a blank page maybe we can manage to fill it up with joy.

  7. @Tracey

    I definitely try to focus on the good because I would also have a hard time getting up in the morning if I didn't. Just thinking back on the year, it seemed like the sad events were really big events compared to the happy moments.

    This will be a better year. It's taken me a couple of days, but I have shaken the slumber of 2011 and am motivated fully now!

    I am thankful for our friendship and I look forward to seeing your posts every day. I feel like we have known each other for a long time. I am so glad you enjoy your stitch markers!

  8. @Swanski

    Thank you, Karen. Right now I am tweaking a few things, but I think this is going to be a great year!

  9. @Proud Mama

    Thank you! I have definitely decided to "Live" this year. No regrets, no looking back!

  10. @steph

    You know, Steph, that's a good point. I guess I haven't thought of potential lives I have touched this year, but it's probably because I don't think I have done anything really special. Thank you for your post, it warms my heart and puts a smile on my lips. I am so glad we have met!

  11. @Julia

    I agree! We're going to have a great year, Julia!

  12. This post resonates with me, too.

    This year kinda sucked for me, too. But the one good thing about this year is that I joined Yarn Along and met more incredible women.

    I've started to go walking everyday to get my butt into gear and will be going back to church starting this week.

    I hope 2012 proves to be better for the both of us.