The Year of Love

For the past couple of years, I’ve given up traditional New Year’s Resolutions in favor of focusing instead on just one word, and making that my theme, my touchstone for the year ahead. This year’s word has been Love.  And man, did I need it.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”  Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

2015 was such a year for me.

Rich and ripe with incredible experiences, feelings, emotions, laughter, pain, tears, joy, numbness. Mostly though, and through it all, it was a year of Love.

2015 was the year that I laid my father to rest after losing him to Alzheimer’s.  The pain and struggle our family endured over the past three years pales in comparison to living life without my Dad.

2015 was the year that I agonized over the best course of action in providing daily care for my brother, who has autism spectrum disorder- and who has lived his entire life with our father.

2015 was the year that I had to ask my only child- who despite being a wonderful human with many talents, has struggled in recent years with finding a solid job- to move out on his own and make his own way in order to truly embrace life as an adult.

This was the year that I gave up all but one of my side-hustles and decided to finally give myself more fully to my writing, instead of just working on other people’s projects… which led to this blog, this website, and my two first solo projects being published. Not only published, but purchased & praised!

It is the year that I could finally look at myself in the mirror and give back Love, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Peace instead of shame and blame.

As part of my Year of Love, I checked another major life-long dream off my bucket list when I went on a Caribbean cruise this year. Bonus that it was with my sweetheart and some great friends!  And on that cruise I faced two of my biggest fears (heights & drowning) head on by swimming with stingrays and dolphins, climbing up a waterfall, jumping off a cliff into water, and zip-lining over the ocean.

2015 has been the year that I learned just how deeply I am loved, and that carrying additional weight or aging doesn’t make me somehow less lovable.  I am worthy of Love from myself, and from others, just because I exist.

So as the last days of 2015 wind down, I embrace them. I am grateful for each moment. I continue to look for tiny ways to show Love to my family, my friends, and my world, even as I look forward to a new word for 2016 and the magic of a new year of a life fully lived.

dad 001