“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”
Usually when it comes time to write an end-of-year post, I begin with something like “How have the months flown by this quickly?” or “It seems like it was just January, yet here we are in December.” This year? Not so much. 2011 has been very long, very difficult, and very emotional. If it was at all possible, I’d choose to erase about three-quarters of it from my memory. But, of course, that’s not actually possible at all, which means every moment that I’d give anything to forget will always be a part of me. I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be. We are amalgamations of our experiences, good and bad alike.
And, as this year has shown me, even among the terrible, the tragic, the break-your-heart-into-pieces, there is always a ray of light to be found. For me, that’s all of you. There are no words to describe the endless gratitude I will always have for the kind comments, the unwavering support, and the beautiful friendship you’ve offered. You all have been the stars that illuminated a very dark sky, and I am thankful each and every day for that – and, even more, for you. There is no doubt about it: I don’t know how I’d have gotten through this year without the amazingly special people in my life. Losing Gram was like losing a part of my heart, and that combined with the highly-emotional querying rollercoaster and some other difficult situations – well, suffice it to say that I truly cannot wait to close the door on 2011 and walk through the one that leads to 2012. My greatest wish for you all? That you run through it, too, leaping forward with hope, faith, and inspiration.
Speaking of inspiration, this year hasn’t been entirely difficult. It certainly had wonderful moments, too. There was writing Dear Ellie and editing it down to almost half its original length, a Herculean task that originally seemed insurmountable. There were visits to New York to see very special people who make the world a better place. There were times spent with friends and vacations with family. There were good books, good movies, and good music. Every one of those things, each one of those people, has been a blessing, and perhaps being set against such a difficult-to-comprehend backdrop makes those blessings shimmer even more brightly.
2012? It has to be better than 2011. I’ve written before that I’m not usually about broad, sweeping resolutions when the calender flips and we enter a New Year. I’d rather make every day the best it can be. That still holds true, but it’s always good to set some goals, too. So, in 2012, I hope to – and will work toward – achieving these starbursts of faith:
*Continue querying literary agents for Reflections of Me, using my newly-updated database and working each day to find someone who believes in my books enough to offer representation.
*Write two new manuscripts – the third (and final) journey in Sofie’s story and another based off one of the ideas on my ever-growing list.
*Read fifty-two books, ideally one each week.
*Travel somewhere I’ve never been before (would especially love to see Nantucket!) and go back to some of the cities I love so much, like Atlanta and Nashville.
*Enjoy life. Embrace every moment, find joy in something each day, even if something small, and believe that things can, and do, get better.
My hope for us all is that 2012 will be a year where dreams come true. Where passions are discovered, journeys are taken, and goals are reached. Where love and light fill each day. Where ordinary moments are extraordinary. Where we find blessings we’d never imagined. Where every memory is a gift. Where, instead of waiting for luck to find us, we make it for ourselves. And, most importantly, where good health prevails for everyone, because, as my mom always says, if the New Year is healthy, it’ll be happy.
Wishing you all the very, very best. Here’s to a future that glimmers with hope. Happy, Healthy New Year, everyone. Much love to you all ♥