It struck me that this did not bode well for the coming year(s).
The past few years, my birthdays have been occasions of reflection and anticipation. Two birthdays ago, I was anticipating my husband's departure on a military deployment. Last year, I was anticipating his return and our family's relocation. This year we're all here (though looking forward to another move in 6 months or so) and my reflections have less to do with our family situation and my changing relationships than with me, myself.
There have been many (many) moments in the past year when I've felt stuck--in a limbo between long-term residences, in a jumble of childrens' toys, in a perpetual summertime (well, okay, that's not always so bad). In-between callings. On hold for some Future Day when I'll finally have the time, energy, and inclination to live the life I always thought I wanted.
News flash (Self, are you paying attention?): THIS IS YOUR LIFE. And you like it. You really like it.
So now I'm 36. And this is how I'm starting my New Year: by learning TTV (Through the Viewfinder) photography, using a 1950's Kodak Duaflex camera in conjunction with my Nikon D40 to create vintage images (like the one above). By committing, yet again, to get healthy (goal: to SugarBust, exercise 4 days/week, and lose 20 pounds by the time we move in March). By remembering how much I love to learn, gaining new skills and reviving old ones (French lit, anyone?). And by joining an online "caravan" of artists, reflecting on weekly themes and marking the journey with art:
In this New Year, I want to trust. I want to trust myself, and I want to be trustworthy, a good steward of all the gifts and tools I've been given: my spouse, my children, my extended family and friends, my faith, my education, my creativity, my bank account. My words. My craft supplies. My iMac. :) All the provisions for my journey have been entrusted to me already. I want to trust myself to use them to their best and fullest--so that I can live to my best and fullest.
I want to trust the process of art, and of life: the process of each single step, each single choice contributing to the journey. I want to trust that having a "pretty" piece to show off at the end is irrelevant, because the On The Way is what matters.