Thursday, December 27, 2007

Another year is almost gone.

Another year is almost gone. They seem to come fast and loud with fanfare which is drowned out by the whooshing of the rest of the year as it whizzes right by. Every year of my life has been a mix of joys/sorrows, achievements/disappointments, victories/defeats, happiness/sadness, gains/losses. Some years standout as incredible highs and some unspeakable lows - most however fall in the "normal" range. Lost loved ones, lost jobs, arrivals of children, physical and financial health, marriages, divorces, and graduations tend to define the peaks and valleys. Every year starts with hope and promise. Every year brings new challenges and opportunities: 365 new days to grow and learn; 365 dawns and sunsets to see.

As each year comes to a close, I always try to reflect back on the last 12 months and look ahead to the next 12 months. I take a mental tally of the good things and the bad things that happened this year. I'm hoping that I'll find ways to increase the number of good things and figure out how to avoid those bad ones. Sometimes that works but most of life is unrehearsed and unwritten. People are ad lib-ing all around us, all of the time. We don't have a script. If I had lines, I'd probably forget them anyway. When you have kids, it's even harder. They are always coming up with stuff that I haven't thought of and wasn't prepared for. Yesterday, I was having a conversation with Grace about how you should "enjoy what you have rather than fret about what you don't have." I told her, "Some people waste their lives fretting and grieving the things they don't have. It's really sad to watch someone who has so much, not appreciate and recognize what they have." She was grieving over a toy that she didn't have and someone had given her a doll that was very similar. It had the wrong outfit or crown or shoes or something. I know that kids do this ( and I'm sure that I did when I was little) -- not focusing on the good ( someone went out of their way to give you a gift) but rather only seeing what was missing or what they didn't give you. It seemed so trivial at the time but there is a powerful message in that logic. It is easy to grieve what we don't have but it is much healthier to appreciate what we do have: each other, our children, our friends and families.

Dan's father passed away many years ago and I know for sure he thinks of him every day. Over a year has passed since our dossier was received in China and Lily still seems so far away. Dan and I both think of this situation every day too. It would be easy to grieve what we don't have. We could wallow in self pity all day long but what do you gain from that? How much of our lives and our children's lives or our friend's lives would we miss? Families grow out of love...or at least that's the plan. There is no limit to love: add more people to the circle and love just expands. A life with love is a celebrated life.

Our hope for you in the New Year is to live, love and appreciate everything and everyone you have. May you have a blessed New Year! :)

10 kind words:

Story of our Life said...

Okay Gail...Thanks for making me cry. Wimp that I am...

No really...very beautiful written!! Hit a spot that has been very dear to my heart lately!!!

Happy New Year and Have fun next week!!!

Miss seeing you!!!!

crazylady said...

a poignant reflection from the heart.

Thanks for sharing.

Mob said...

What a beautiful post. What a wonderful attiude towards life! I agree that if you go through life with a grateful heart you will be much happier. That is great that you are teaching Grace that too.

Ashley said...

Gail, you wrote such beautiful and true words. Thank you... I will keep these thoughts close in my heart.
I wish you a happy and blessed New Year!

Mark & Terri said...

Beautifully written, Gail. If this past year has taught me nothing else, it has taught me to be grateful for what God has given me and not to waste a moment. Have a wonderful and fulfilling 2008!

Gail said...

Great Post.
I think this year has taught me to appreciate what I have and cherish every moment.
Oh and patience...most definitely patience!
Here's to a Great 2008!
Happy New Year!

redmaryjanes said...

Wonderful post. Happy New Year to you too. We all have much to celebrate and much to look forward to.

Angie said...

What a beautiful post, Gail! You are always so positive and such an encouragement...thank you!
May your 2008 be filled with love, laughter and happiness!

Kathleen Coyle Jursa said...

Happy New Year Gail, Dan, Nick and Grace! Thank you for your eloquent warm writing. Your writing is full of truth and hope, thank you for filling my heart. Happy 2008!

Christine said...

Great thoughts. Happy New Year!

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