Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hello 2009

Dear 2009,

As I write this letter to the next year in my life it seems fitting that Sponge Bob is singing his theme song on the TV behind me. I have a feeling I will hear this tune often throughout the upcoming months -- Sponge Bob is suddenly a big hit in our house.

I suppose it could be worse.

I don't really know what's in store for me the next 12 months, nor do I have lofty expectations. I do know that I am extremely grateful for everything that happened in 2008 and for that, saying thank you just doesn't seem to suffice.

2008 was a year filled with birth, death, and everything in between. Years from now, I will look back and recall a year of balance. For every loss there was a gain. For every gain there was a loss. For every ounce of happiness I felt, someone close to me was sad, or scared, or angry.

This year I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am strong -- not physically, but emotionally. I was tested, but found out I am resilient and industrious. I am cautious, but no longer fearful. I am forgiving, compassionate, and thoughtful. I do deserve good in my life. I have finally found my voice, and most importantly, I am not afraid to use it.

So, in this year ahead I of course wish for the obvious -- health and happiness to all my family and friends. I will be the best mom I can be and I will not hold myself to lofty, unrealistic expectations of motherhood. I will create my own definitions. I will smother my children with love and try to savor the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I will strive to let my new-found voice lead me bravely into the unknown. I will approach life with higher expectations. At work, I will use my voice to not just get the job done, but done better. I will remember that I can get more flies with honey, but sometimes I need to show my stinger. Then there is my writing. Oh, my writing. You are my best friend, my worst enemy. But, in this next year ahead, I am in control.

My voice will come from the heart and not my brain. I will abandon my internal censor and embrace brutal, painful, aching honesty. I will write things that will embarrass me. If the writing calls for it, I will use words that leave me licking my wounds, but in sharing my pain I will allow myself to heal. I will laugh at myself too and accept that I am not perfect. I will not hide my flaws, I will embrace them and recognize that they (not my weight, my clothes, my hair, or makeup) are what make me beautiful. As my dear friend Anathea often reminds me, I will let my "freak flag fly." My inner freak is ready for the world again.

Love me or leave me. I am who I am. I am a work in progress.

Who knows, this time next year, I may look back with regret. I may feel like a fool.
Or, after 37 years I may learn something new about myself. This is me -- this is me naked. Love and wisdom can only come to us when we are completely open to them.

I have hung the vacancy sign up -- I am ready.

Thanks 2008 for all your blessings and lessons.

See you in 2009,

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