On the night of December 30th, as I brushed my teeth in our bathroom in Danny’s parents’ Virginia home, I realized something that, for the moment, felt devastatingly sad. I’d left my journal — all my journals — in Florida. My prayer journal, my writing journal, my beautiful Intentional Home journal. I had not a single piece of pretty, bound paper on which to write. Only an iPhone, an iPad, a laptop, and a printer full of blank 8.5″ x 11″ sheets.
Why was this suddenly sad after a whole week in Virginia without missing having a journal? Because journaling had always been my teenaged New Year’s Eve afternoon ritual. I would meticulously chronicle my thoughts and feelings on the year that had passed, usually syrupy with melodrama and self-aware prose. My teen years weren’t legitimately angsty, but my stacks of journals would definitely give the impression that they were. Each year, I was so reluctant to take down my old calendar and put up my new one, and I went on and on about it for pages at a time. I think that at the heart of it, I was reluctant to admit my childhood was slipping away. As much as I looked forward to being an adult — I hated letting go of the way things were then.
Things are different now. Here’s one of the ways: I embrace each new year, because I’m enjoying life so much I can’t help but think each year will continue improving on itself. Which isn’t to say that some years aren’t harder than others. This past year had its share of hardships and sadness. Danny and I each lost a grandparent, but even out of that came something good. In 2014, we spent more time with our families than any other year we’ve been married. We dealt with more work frustration than ever before (no, running a photography business isn’t always glamorous and fun), but out of that experience came a new, clearer blueprint for the way we want our business and our lives to operate. The year 2014, in spite of the troubles, was the best year of our lives.
I spent the last afternoon of it, yesterday, with Georges-Pierre while Danny dozed, ending the year sick with the flu. I snapped this iPhone picture of George in his fleece muscle shirt as we wandered the backyard on the chilly day.What made 2014 great? Nearly everything we had been anxious about got resolved; thanks to paying off all our debts and crafting a smart budget, we became more financially free and secure; we had been craving community, and new friends and opportunities appeared as if by magic; we had wanted to find meaningful ways to serve, and needs that seemed especially designed for our skill sets appeared before us; we had been longing for simultaneous structure and flexibility, and we found new ways to organize our business, our home, and our lives to make that happen.
In other words, in 2014 God once again showed us that each time we hit a roadblock, he’s already busy paving another (better) path for us.
Which is why I’m so eager for the new year this time around. I’m not clinging to what has already passed. I’m content exactly where I am.
And right now I’m also content to wait, but when when we get home — I’ll have to journal all about it.