Dearest reader…especially those who have been with me here for a while…can I just tell you that 2023 has been a crazy experience?
I feel oddly reminiscent of when I wrote about the change of decade in 2020. I wrote a post so full of meaningful reflection and optimism, only to go falling with the rest of the world headlong into a generation-defining event. In a somewhat similar way, I journaled about New Year’s resolutions at the beginning of 2023, and the year began perfectly fine. Then, as fear about the economy shifted, I was laid off from my job, as were many of my colleagues. Needless to say, the summer was tumultuous as a result. In the middle of this, we switched the kiddos to a new school and we began attending a new faith community in a city that we had only moved to a little over a year prior.
A little change is a good thing. Too much is chaos.
The strange thing is that I’m not sure I would have had many of these things go differently, because I experienced a great deal of life change and personal growth through that trying time period this summer. I also truly experienced the depth of Romans 8:28 is a manner that I’m not sure I ever had before, in that, after scrambling to find employment and all of the panic that went with that experience, I ultimately ended up with what could quite possibly be the best job that I’ve ever held. I feel as though work holds its proper place in my life, and only its proper place, in a position that I find fulfilling. In short, I couldn’t be happier with that part of my life.
“All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”Julian of Norwich
All of that to say, while there is now a happy ending, life was strictly about survival for a bit of this year…thus the notable absence of writing here.
So tonight, as the Christmas lights on the outside of our home are illuminated for the final time of the season and I watch the clock tick down to 2024, I’m remembering the New Year’s resolutions that I made for this year, and how many of them received no attention because life got in the way. And, I’m debating whether or not making such resolutions is really just an exercise in futility, if I’m to be honest.
Still, there were good intentions there, and some of them I want to keep in 2024. I still want to watch less and read more, as well as writing more…here, finishing my novel, as well as other ventures. I have the time and the mental space to do that now, which is such a gift that I don’t intend to waste.
I want to re-establish contact with old friends from the before times (I plan to post about what I mean by that soon). When I dropped most social media, I didn’t think through how to maintain contact, and so I’m leaning heavily on my contacts application and hoping that a lot of those details haven’t changed for people.
I feel incredibly optimistic about 2024. I have learned and grown this year, and have emerged both with a newfound perspective on what’s important, and with the space in my life to work on implementing what I’ve learned. We can’t know what lies ahead…I know many who are filled with pessimism about the upcoming year, which is an easy state in which to arrive if you read more than a few minutes of news. I’m holding out hope, though.
My friend, I don’t know what 2023 held for you, or what 2024 will hold. I pray it’s all working out for the best for you. I’d love to hear from you about how it’s going. Please keep in touch, and I’m planning for more space for conversation here in the coming year.
Here’s to 2024!