Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Peace, Hope, & Balance for 2017

Free background artwork from Susanbranch.com

It's hard to believe we're ten days into a brand new year. In our home, the ringing in of 2017 was quiet and tiptoed in on little cat paws. I just barely made it to midnight and the TV reporters on the Raleigh, NC station were so distracted in mindless conversation that they actually missed showing the ceremonial acorn dropping until about three seconds before midnight.

In some ways that distraction represents the entirety of 2016 for me. Personally, it wasn't a bad year. We are healthy, my dad is doing fairly well all things considered, and I feel like I found my stride with grad school classes. But the world went a bit crazy. I could rant and rave and share incendiary political discourse... but it isn't the time. And I'm tired.

Especially in the last three months of 2016, I made time for quiet. It's been a necessity as much as something I enjoy. The world is changing and sometimes the best thing we can do is take care of ourselves, so we can take care of the people and animals we love.

I made time to enjoy small things like cups of hot tea, viewing books of artwork (Susan Branch's older self-illustrated cookbooks have been a favorite lately), doing word finds -- this is strangely relaxing to me, and catching up on holiday baking and cooking.

Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over and we're entering into the new year, I've decided to pick several words to focus on. I'm inspired by my friend Clara who has participated in the "one word" challenge for several years. Since I'm obviously an over-achiever (ha!) I'm choosing three words for 2017:


All three of these words seem equally fitting and challenging in the current political climate. I plan on incorporating these themes into my life as I continue to make time for quiet. It may mean much less social media and much more: mindful writing, journaling, taking walks, coloring, baking muffins, purposefully being grateful, finding beauty, and cultivating kindness.

So what are your plans? Are you a New Year's Resolutions type? Do you make goals? Do you find more time for quiet? I'd love to know your thoughts on creating or making change in a new year.

Blessings to you in 2017!

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