A 365 to 40 Holiday, Epilogue: How Do You Measure A Year In The Life?
It's quite the question, isn't it? And although this song offers up some pretty wonderful metrics, it's measured in so many more ways than daylights, sunsets, midnights, cups of coffee, inches, miles, laughter and strife. As the sun begins to set on 2010, literally, and I get ready to ring in a new year with friends and family, I'm thinking about the wonders this past year brought to me, and the immense and wonderful changes in my life since the calendar turned.
I wasn't particularly introspective about my life last year, but, I had made myself some promises that midnight, promises that I think I've kept. First and foremost, to be good to myself, and to love myself, with all my imperfections and moments of glory. I can't love anybody else unless I can do that first, and I think this year brought me as close as I've ever come. I'm not waiting around for someone to make my happiness; all year long, I was the major architect of everything that made me happy, made me fulfilled, brought me peace and clarity. And through this practice of finding the good, good came to me. In big ways and small, but it came.
My family, as always, was my foundation, my safe place, and I was able to play a role in my family's life this year that was so wonderful and special and such an honor for me, when I officiated the wedding ceremony, and legally married, my sister Colleen and her husband Darrin. One of the highlights of my life, not just my year. And a mere five days later, I missed them terribly as I embarked on the greatest adventure I've had thus far, my near month-long stay in Ireland. Ireland changed me for the better; a complete perspective reset. I came back stronger, and happy, and completely confident in the direction my life was going.
The other great thing that has taken root in my life this year is my yoga practice, and at the risk of sounding like the world's worst hippie, next to Ireland, nothing else has brought such clarity and focus and peace to my soul and my spirit as my time on the mat. After expressing an interest in beginning when I saw the positive changes it was making in another friend's life, he pointed me in the direction of a beginner class, and I haven't looked back. So, although I fully embraced it on my own, J pointed me in the right direction, and I thank him for that. Yoga helps bring me the freedom to be who I am, at this moment. It challenges me, it inspires me, it calms me completely. I am not a perfect yogi, but none of us are. There have been great changes in my physical practice since I started, and great changes in my mental state as well, evidenced by my reaction to the great Meringue Disaster of 2010. Realizing my recipe of choice for the cookie swap was failing miserably, I simply swept it all into the bin, and regrouped, without flapping, without tears, without thinking myself a failure. The plan B recipe ended up taking a prize.
My friends have also been my greatest champions, and I realized that after I returned home from Ireland, and saw how much they missed me, including ones I didn't expect to miss me much at all. They have seen me through great changes, and I love each and every one of them. We have helped each other through horrific patches of uncertainty and doubt, and celebrated simple joys. I love that I am spending tonight with the exact same people I spent last New Year's Eve with, no pressure, no drama, just each other. Some friends drifted out of my life for a time, and then back in, and as the year closes, I simply say this: decide. In or out. We have much to give each other, but I'm not putting my life on hold.
2011 is bringing new challenges, such as a graduate program, as well as TEACHING in two other graduate programs. I am nervous and excited and honored to be able to share my expertise with future educators.
Rather than send a million personal thank you's to everyone, I simply leave you with this:
May the next 525,600 minutes bring you joy, and peace, teach you great lessons and find you strength. Most of all, may it bring you love.
Happy New Year. 2011, I'm ready.
Rent, Original Broadway Cast