The final months of 2017 have been full of hard. Hard conversations, hard news, hard goodbyes, hard days. I am more than ready for a new year to begin. When I saw Ruth’s email
inviting nudging us to celebrate this week/year, I wondered what I’d celebrate. My 2017 One Little Word- breathe? It’s been a good word for me. Breathing through the hard helps. I’m still choosing my 2018 word and am grateful to be part of a writing community that will connect and celebrate as we reveal our choices.
Not long ago I listened to a podcast that included a conversation about happiness versus joy. Happiness, it was suggested, is not a sustainable state. We experience moments of joy rather than a perpetual state of happiness. And it is those moments of joy that sustain us during the hard. 2017 has held many moments of joy for me.
- Putting together a new resume and applying for an instructional coaching position at my school, and being offered the job.
- Being a member of the Two Writing Teachers team. While I was only part of that for a year, it was an amazing experience and opportunity for me to grow as an educator and writer.
- My older daughter deciding to apply to transfer to a larger, more rigorous university and being accepted.
- My younger daughter coming home from college with friends for supper and sleepovers.
- Attending my 30th college reunion and spending the weekend catching up with some of my favorite people. Surviving the hike. Staying and reconnecting with a couple whose children I babysat when I was in college.
- Working closely with three women I admire deeply, and from whom I learn daily.
- Laughter. Lots and lots of laughter. Laughing with colleagues during a game of pictionary. Laughing with friends at the dinner table. Laughing at myself.
- Friends who recommend books. Even better, friends who show up to visit with a stack of books for me to read.
- That morning when Melanie drove 45 minutes to walk for an hour with me, just so we could talk about everything and nothing.
- Spending a week during each month of the summer with my mom at my family’s summer cottage. In August my girls came too and we celebrated birthdays and family time.
- Attending a fantastic two day coaching institute at Teachers College and learning so much about adult development and feedback. And sneaking in an unexpected weekend visit with my mom in Connecticut at the end of the workshop.
- My cousin’s oldest daughter becoming engaged and his youngest daughter and her husband announcing they are expecting their first baby.
- Attending an amazing concert for unity in Charlottesville in September.
- Reconnecting with a friend I’ve known since I was four, but with whom I’d fallen out of touch, and picking up right where we’d left off.
- A winter break full of wonderful gatherings and time with family and friends.
- And on almost this last day of vacation, spending a snowy afternoon planning a three generation trip to Paris in March with my mom and my girls.
Thank you Ruth Ayres for being steadfast in your belief that we can write and through our writing share our stories and connect.