Looking Back, Looking Forward
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." -Søren Kiekegaard
For those of you who have been with me this past year, you know that 2017 was a difficult year for my family because it was the year that I lost my brother to cancer. It has been a year of change, of adjusting to a new normal and a year of reflection.
Every year has its challenges but also has blessings. There are moments of joy, companionship and community that provide snapshots to look back upon in years to come. These moments provide solace and renew our trust in silver linings; they allow us to look forward with hope.
* 2017 felt out of sync. I struggled to find my footing starting in January. The creative burst I had experienced during the second half of 2016 up and left me, leaving me bewildered.
* I did too much of doubting my ability to move forward. I wasted time thinking about my creative block when I should have simply showed up each day.
* I did too little of creative play.
*I never should have second guessed myself.
* I am glad I was able to be there for my brother and his family whenever they needed me, that we live close enough that I could just get in the car and go. I am especially thankful I was able to be by his side during the last week of his life. He taught me how to embrace life to the fullest.
* I learned that sometimes you have to choose to let go in order to make space for something new.
* My biggest adventure was the family trip we took to Scotland and England with our three daughters. It is so difficult to find time to be all together because they are scattered all over the globe; to be together for ten days was wonderful.
* My most romantic moment was standing hand in hand with my husband on the site where we will someday build our retirement home, looking out over the view of the mountains and relishing the quiet.
* I celebrated 36 years of being married to my high school sweetheart.
* I never expected to outlive my brother.
* I was unable lose the 15 pounds I was aiming for.
* I can't believe that I have such a loving circle of friends. Making friends was so hard for me when I was young, I thought it always would be.
* I became closer to 60. ; )
* I let go of needing certainty in my life and became friends with possibility.
* I loved being able to spend a week in London with my oldest daughter and spending some one on one time with her. I also loved having my youngest home for two weeks, and I always love that my middle daughter is only two hours away (thank you, Mary!).
* The major life change that occurred was losing my brother to cancer.
* If I had to sum up 2017 in one sentence it would be: A year of challenge and change.
* 2017 Theme Song: "What a Wonderful World" - Louis Armstrong.
Looking forward, I am committed to giving myself permission to play more, especially creatively. I have redefined what creativity means to me. Whereas I used to only apply it to my art in 2018 I plan on applying it to my life, to realize that being creative can mean something as simple as baking chocolate chip cookies or playing the piano. I am committed to being mindful, to pausing throughout the day and expressing gratitude. I want to continue to take joy in time spent with family and friends but also in the quiet moments, especially the quiet moments.
What does your 2017 inventory look and feel like? And what are you looking forward to?