There are no animals outside making any sounds, the bitter cold has them all tucked away somewhere warm. Six degrees is just plain cold and they are saying it will get colder. The inside babies are all snug on their sofa's. Warming up from their very cold walk a bit ago.
Here it is New Years Eve, another year has come and gone. It feels like I was literally just typing that about 2016. Time flies so much the older and busier you get.
2017 has been an incredible year, full of firsts and beginnings. A few endings. Some overwhelming, some barely noticeable. I can honestly say that it's the first year in a long while that hasn't been filled with non-stop negative stress.
There have been some supremely sad times. Things that I am still struggling to come to terms with. People have done and said some incredibly selfish and cruel things. I am finding that in my state of rushing around this year, I didn't have time to deal with those things at the time. And now, I am watching Karma handle it all for me.
Closed our historical Y and said good bye to one of our critters, he crossed the rainbow bridge - I am fairly certain turtles do that. Co-workers moved to other locations or places and we no longer see them daily. One of my B's had to go to a different branch, and I miss her bright smiling face and can do attitude and spirit every day!
We welcomed so many beginnings this year, a new Grand Baby, and she is a beautiful little Panda! She brings great joy to our lives. A new Y, WOW talk about not only an opportunity but a beautiful future. A new position, I was promoted to run that beautiful new Y at the very end of 2016. Hubs has taken on many new roles over the course of the year, and as he sits quietly beside me reading, I feel the steps have helped him find a new sense of peace and purpose at the Y. I haven't seen him this relaxed in a long time.
We have made trips to see family that we haven't seen in years, met the new great nephew and nephew-in-law. Experienced Birmingham and walked in Martin Luther King Jr.'s steps. I started the year in Arkansas, my Dad was in the hospital and we were all worried so much about him. Yet ended the year seeing not only him, but my mom, and enjoying some quality one on one time with them. We have added a "daughter" to the mix as well. And the oldest Grand Daughter moved into middle school.
We've done 5k's, taken the motorcycle over 10K, and experienced the total eclipse. We've had the opportunity to have time with all of our immediate family that wishes to be part of our lives!
Yep, I would say that 2017 has been a wild ride. I have been very busy, in a very true sense of the word. All of these things have required much time and energy. Yet as this year closes I feel that so many great accomplishments have happened.
Since October I've notice a shift. A balance happening.
And honestly that is my only goal for 2018.
I love my career. It brings me joy. But I love my family even more. They have been awesome at understanding that I needed this time to build the foundation.
It's built. I have a great team. I know we will accomplish all of our goals, hopes and dreams. We are a powerful group together.
Now, I need to re-establish balance.
All those things for me and the family that I have been either neglecting or squeezing in, those need to move forward.
When I made soap in late October it was such a powerful moment for me. Not because I made soap, it wasn't the first time that I have done something like that. More because it was tapping into the very things that make me who I am.
I am a nurturer. I love to create and provide for my family. I also cherish the ability to learn old things. I am not progressive, I am not always looking to invent and create new. I am traditional. I want to hold on to the foundation, keep it solid, so that we can continue to grow and build on it's strength.
It makes me sad that young people today have lost so many basic skills. I read recently about "adulting" classes. WHAT?? Do they still teach Home Ec at school? Is it required? Do Dad's still insist that you know how to change tires and learn to change the oil and top off your own fluids in your car before you can have a license?
I still want to make my own quilts, paint my own walls, create beauty around me. I want to hold on to those skills.
I want balance.
I fear too many of the things that are wrong in our world today are simply because we are out of balance.
The other night Hubs and I watched Gran Torino again. We've not watched it since it came out. I fear that is too real of where we as a country have gone. People disliking people for their color, ethnicity, language, gender, religion etc. Youth that are bored with no one teaching them the basics, including the basics of the golden rule. I loved it. And I hated it at the same time. I despised the main character at the beginning, yet cheered at his growth as a fellow human.
Kids need to be taught. Not just at school. We can move forward while holding on to a solid foundation. The values of the Y are so key. I am blessed to be part of it. Caring, honesty, respect, responsibility. All of those things are key.
As you can tell I am at a point of influx. I want balance, but I want it in many areas.
Yesterday Hubs and I went shopping at a mall that I have only been to once since moving here. It isn't one that is on my to do list. But I was looking for a pair of shoes and they were the only place that had them. I've been avoiding it. It's been the sight of much divide lately. Protests etc. I'd been judging it based on comments, news, etc. I had determined it was a very hostile place to people in general and it was not some where I wanted to go.
What I found instead, a very diverse mix of people. Everyone was kind to each other, there was laughter, people enjoying people. It wasn't segregated, I saw no bias. I heard many accents, dialects, I saw many faith's represented. It was a very enjoyable experience, and I hate malls.
The group that had been protesting has moved on to supporting the communities. Making care packages, supporting needs, being a force for good. Maybe we all need some balance. The ability to see others for their intrinsic good and viable part of our collective future as opposed to seeing all as an adversary trying to prevent us from being valued.
As I look for balance in 2018 I am looking for a bit more me time, a bit more Hubs time, a bit more family, a bit more of an opportunity to care for those around me as if they are my family and loved ones - because truthfully that is what each one is.
What are you looking to find in 2018?
I pray that each of you has a successful journey to your own hopes and dreams!
Now it's time to get ready for the "b's"...