As this year ends, I find myself anxious to begin the new one, like no other I can ever remember. The actually saying “2010” aloud makes me think of renewed hope, new beginnings, rebuilding, reinventing, while maintaining all I’ve learned from the past year. Some people weren’t affected by the recession but those folks are few and surely fortunate. The majority of us learned hard lessons about extravagance and living beyond our means, taking things for granted and never believing lives can change (and do) in the flash of a moment. In the past weeks, on my travels, I’ve seen and experienced the peoples will to survive under the most dire circumstances…with ingenuity, honor and dignity. I’ve seen some give when there was so little of their own left to give. My belief in the goodness of mankind has been renewed just when I began to forsake it. I find selfish strength in numbers, in mass understanding that we share these difficult times as one world. I know I am not alone in my fears.
I think, we as Americans, have long been spoiled and “over-blessed” with a multitude of unnecessary “things”… failing ourselves… our children and our neighbors on the most basic levels. We must pay more attention to loving, understanding and accepting one another than we waste on arguing our own opinions, religions and staunch beliefs. All the politically correct words in the world don’t feed those who go hungry at night nor hug the loneliest among us. We must be willing to not only listen to those suffering most but to offer our hands in ways that actually do make the difference. We need to leave behind wasted time on the unimportant fluff. We’re just now re-learning the simplest things that make us the most happiest with the least cost to our pockets…and souls. It’s time to relinquish the cells phones long enough to breath the fresh air and see the magic that God gave us with appreciative eyes. It’s time to finally “see” the beauty and wonder around us and live our lives in simplicity.
I look back at what I’ve lost in a year…my Gallery, my job description, my uterus, the curve in my left cheek, three-quarters of our combined income, a fancy car, two mentors and one very dear friend. To that, I compare what I’ve gained…white eyebrow hairs, simplicity, fairly impressive barbeque skills, some weight, a new group of artistically gifted friends, a mysterious pirate scar, more patience, old wisdom and renewed eyes to finally see the world around me. I thought I’d be older when this epiphany happened. Maybe I just needed to be forced to choose to. I am grateful for all the winding roads that lead me to be a stronger woman, a wiser person and a better human than I ever would have been without being shown the way. Low and behold…I find I gained even from all I’ve lost.
I wish for all of you, those I’m blessed to know, those I don’t know yet and those I never will…a happy, happy New Year full of all the love and happiness you deserve, the eyes to notice it when it’s in front of you and long arms to reach out and grab it when you realize you actually can.
2010…to new beginnings.