My one little word for this year was grateful, and it was a good year for it. This year brought so many unexpected surprises, like a trip to Aspen in January and the chance to spend a week with Eric in Istanbul. It brought the birth of my Besfrinn’s sweet baby girl, and so many happy phone conversations and Skype dates. It brought the chance to see both of our families, ample hours for reading and blogging and wading into new creative territory. It brought my Big Project and the dream of the life I hope to build around it.
And it also brought some truly difficult things. Some parts of this year were, honestly, really hard. There’s no drama behind that statement–it’s nothing more major than the adjustment to a new career, a new city, a new climate, and a handful of assorted health issues that, thankfully, are more annoying than frightening. Still, there have been days when I have clung hard to this one little word, and it has served me well.
Because no matter what it is I may face, I have so much to hold onto, so much to bolster me. I have said this before and I will say it again: I don’t know what on earth I would do without Eric. He is my rock, my kind and patient and compassionate best friend, and knowing that he has my back, always, brings a peace to me that I can’t even put into words. On top of that, I have two families who love me unconditionally, listen when I need an ear, and encourage unfailingly anything I set out to do. I am so, so grateful.
Eric and I have our health, a roof over our heads, food to eat, and friends with whom to share it. And all of those things, they really do lighten your spirit on a difficult day. The problems that we all face as individuals are real, but while they may shake up the balance in our lives, they do not change its basic structure, its overwhelming goodness–that goodness that is all around us, even when we face things that are difficult beyond imagining. When I am feeling discouraged, I think first of Eric and then of all the other people who love me, who support me, who share their lives with me as I share mine with them. I go down a line in my head of all I have to be grateful for…and I never have to go very far down that line before I’m smiling or crying tears of gratitude. That is the kind of life I want to live.
That gratitude is so palpable to me at this moment, as I’m typing this next to Eric, after dinner and a movie with my parents, in the home that saw me through my teenage years. I’d very much like to think, and indeed I hope, that gratitude follows me everywhere I go. At the beginning of this year, I traced the word grateful in the snow in Aspen. Today, miracle of miracles, it snowed in Memphis, a perfect bookend to this year of gratitude. I hope with all my heart that your year has been just as full of joy as mine.