Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Embracing 2013

Wow, I haven't posted anything since November. December is always a crazy busy month, but this year I seemed to be in the mode of just getting through each day. I hate feeling like that, but the last few months of 2012 weren't exactly joyful. The end of October and beginning of November were filled with worry for our families in New York as Hurricane Sandy hit them hard. It took two weeks for most of them to have power restored, but during that time there were four hour gas lines, many businesses were on a cash only system, and even though all of their homes were safe, they all have their stories of friends and neighbors that lost so much. 

Then November brought the sad news on Thanksgiving night that our dear principal, Mrs. Hwang, was hit by a car and was killed. I wept for her loss, for the principal who always had time to listen to any concerns or ideas that I had to share, for the children of Sanders Corner who would not see her standing in her usual spot to greet them each morning, and for the family that she loved so very much.

And then December brought the unimaginable horror of Sandy Hook. I sobbed as I heard each of their stories, I sobbed for the children lost, the parents that now have to go on without their children, the teachers and staff that were heroes that day who lost their lives, and I will be praying for the staff of Sandy Hook to help them get through those first few days and weeks when they return back to school.

So good-bye 2012. Even though the Nealons had some great moments and new adventures, I am not sad to see you go.

Robert Frost once said, "In three words I can sum up all I know about life. It goes on."

So now after reflecting on 2012, I am ready to move forward. I have tried to make New Year's resolutions in the past. I have read Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project and Happier at Home. She talks about resolutions and how they need to be measured. You can't say "I'm going to get more sleep," but you can say, "I will go to bed at 10:30." You can't say, "I will exercise more," but you can say, "I will go for a walk at least four times a week." 

But another way to embrace the new year is to pick a word. A word that reminds you of what is important in life, a word that reminds you of what you want, a word that reminds you of those resolutions and goals. Last year, I picked the word enhance. This year my word is embrace.


The first definition is to clasp or hold to one with the arms, usually with a display of affection. 2. To encircle or surround.

Right now I just want to hold on tight to my kids and never let go. I wish I could surround them with bubble wrap, keep them safe and protect them from any harm. But since I can't do that, I will embrace them each and everyday. I'll help guide them to help them make good choices and surround them with love, so that they know what it feels like to be accepted, so that they can do that for others.

Another definition is to take up willingly or eagerly, eager acceptance.

I need to be more willing and eager to take on new adventures, try new things, take more risks, and embrace the changes in our lives. Life is not perfect and I don't know what  lies ahead for us this year, but whatever it is, I will embrace each moment, I will embrace each new thing, I will embrace each adventure. Because when it comes right down to it, I have everything I need...what I need comes home from school and then from work each day, we will sit at the dinner table and share our days, they will climb into their beds and I will kiss them goodnight, and that is all that I need. 

Today, I will embrace 2013 with the celebration of Ryan's birthday. He is my snuggler, my hugger, and I just love his embraces.

"When they had eventually calmed down a bit, and had gotten home, Mr. Duncan put the magic pebble in an iron safe. Some day they might want to use it, but really, for now, what more could they wish for? They had all that they wanted."

~William Steig, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

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