Looking back

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I just can’t stop myself from doing what millions of other people are doing today: looking back. Not only looking back, but looking back in order to take stock and measure reality against plans, measure current situation against previous year.

Maybe this is why I don’t like math so much. All that measuring…

I disappoint myself by pointing out which completely arbitrary goals I did not accomplish (podcasts, anyone?). I shamefully avoid the scale, knowing I have enjoyed one too many helpings of my delicious dump cake this holiday season.

Although, on balance, I think 2013 comes out on the plus side. Here are some highlights:

After Steve Bell's concert
After Steve Bell’s concert

I met and made new friends.  I did NaPoWriMo in April and NaBloPoMo in November, proving to myself that I can create something for public consumption (nearly) every day, while continuing to misspell made up acronyms.   And then there was this thing about a book, and then an e-book. I look back remembering a successful grant proposal effort that will make it possible for thousands of young people to have a mentor. And I think, “Huh, isn’t that cool. Isn’t that just the nuts.”

Fierce creature
Fierce creature

Yeah, and I walked nearly every day, becoming acquainted with terriers of great courage and other fierce creatures along the way.

The hard and scary pile was bigger than I could have anticipated in 2013. I like to say I have no regrets, but I do regret a certain lack of resilience and bravery and faith in the face of uncertainty. I’d like to say I was a pillar of strength at critical moments. But I am a writer, after all, and I must write what is true. I was, to be quite candid, a quivering jelly fish.

But here’s the thing: I’m here now to tell you about it. And that’s a plus.

As you join in the yearly tradition of looking back, give yourself the gift of grace. You’re here now. Give thanks.

photo (16)And as you move into 2014, don’t forget how close you live to the beach (or the mountains, or a park, or a library, or some other place of great beauty that you forgot is only five minutes away). The world awaits.

Happy New Year.

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