Welcoming the New Year

2018 was brutal in many ways. Like a charming house guest turned hostile, it felt like it was pummeling us mercilessly in so many different facets of our life. More than once I lay on my back, literally, not wanting to get up again. I couldn’t wait for the end of the year to come, ready to flip the calendar and move on. As the end-of-year hustle and bustle finally started to die down and I had time to feed my starving soul and rest my exhausted bones, I decided to list all the good things that had come to us during this otherwise brutal year. Funny thing is, the list was longer than I would have imagined. Nothing earth-shattering, nothing that undid the brutality, but still, goodness was there. As I gave thanks for all that was good, something inside of me shifted. Like a crack of light filtering through asphalt after a seedling pushes it’s way through, light split through the haze I was in and reminded me that goodness is always here.

Instead of wiping the year from my mind like I had planned to do, I find myself dipping my head in silent salute, satisfied that I have fought well. I am still here, still standing. Stronger than before.

New Year’s Day found me in my favorite spot, my kitchen. As Ethiopian Short Ribs simmered slowly and the laughter of my family danced in the air as they sparred back and forth with each other playing a new game around the table, I held on to my “good list” and I welcomed the new year in the best way I know how. I know in my bones that there will be hard things this year, but I also know that there will be good things too.

This is life. Never quite how we think it will be, but constantly surprising us and wowing us, if we can be still enough to listen and take a really good look.