Happy New Year!
As the year begins, I find myself feeling gratitude for the blessings of 2014 and encouraged and hopeful for a beautiful 2015.
2014 was a year of changes for me. I closed my dance studio after 11 years of operating it and found myself feeling a little lost and suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. I had been a dancer and dance teacher for so many years, I didn't know how to define myself without it.
I also moved from 4th-5th grade assistant teaching down to 2nd grade with a new teacher. This change has been a positive one, as I see myself better suited for interacting with and handling 2nd grade "issues" than I was with 5th grade ones.
I still found myself struggling with my "creative" side and the lack thereof. I started a gratitude album and by mid-April I had given up on it.
The summer was a weird one and I didn't spend nearly as much time as usual out in my flower beds and garden, or just outside enjoying the sunshine. I did, however, do a lot of decluttering around my home during that summer break and hosting a pop-up shop with several other vendors. This marked the end of my time at the dance studio space and led me into the funk I was in when school resumed. I wrapped my head around this new-found freedom of heading home after school days were over and tried to focus on me for a change. It was nice. I did yoga or workout dvd's almost daily and took better care of myself than I had in years.
Fall moved in and as always, I fell in love with the landscape...the fiery oranges and pinks in the sunrises and the sunsets. The changing leaves and brilliant blue skies. I nestled into the rhythm of shorter days and decorated my house lovingly for Halloween, then Thanksgiving. We celebrated with our family from out of town. It was such a nice treat to have them all together at our home and we loved sharing our lives with them in this way.
The next weekend, it was time to put up our Christmas tree and holiday decorations. I embraced this season and the extra time on my hands, by putting on my pj's every afternoon as soon as I got home from work and watching every cheesy Christmas movie known to man (and quite a few unknowns!). I felt very nostalgic and had a deep longing to engage in all the traditions associated with Christmas. It was really a magical season this year, even with my children being much older and not as excited and filled with anticipation as younger children are. I tried my best to be very thoughtful and not overly indulgent with any of my gifts and I would say that these gifts seemed to be some of the best I have ever had the joy of giving. I ended the holiday feeling very grateful for the family members that I do have that are so loving and caring of me and my family. The holidays are always bittersweet since I miss my mother and also hate that my children have never really had the true "grandparent" experience. I can only try my best to make them understand how important family is, even though our own extended family is often an imperfect example. The best I can do on a daily basis is think LOVE, give LOVE, and be LOVE in hopes that the world is a better place, my children are better people, and I am a better person for it.
As I go into 2015, I will, as always, come up with a few "guiding points" for the year. Some things are on my list year after year, and others get checked off satisfactorily. I find the first of the year a welcome clean slate, better than just a new day (although that is nice, too) to seriously get down to the business of living life to the fullest and not taking any day for granted. Life is precious! This year, I intend to live it even more fully than I have in the past. I will work on reconnecting with some people that I have lost touch with. I will work on connecting with my true voice, and spending as much quality time as I can with those I hold dear, doing the things I enjoy doing.