“We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they’re called memories. Some take us forward, they’re called dreams.”
So … I was all set to begin this post by writing something like “how in the world is it December 31st already?” or “the cliche is true: time really does fly, really does whiz by in the blink of an eye.” And that is true. The days speed by too quickly, leaving us to capture freeze-frames with our minds, with our moments, with our memories. But it’s also true that this year has felt like a long one. Not in a bad way. In a good way. When I travel backward to January, when I close my eyes and the movie reel of 2012 plays before my eyes, there are so many scenes to fill that screen. I may not have accomplished all I set out to, but even so, this year was overflowing with experiences I’ll always cherish.
There were concerts that filled my soul with song and my heart with happiness. Kristin Chenoweth, Carrie Underwood, Rachel Platten, Graham Colton, American Idol, Clay Aiken, and of course Kelly Clarkson … some of my favorite moments of 2012 are singing along to their inspiring music.
There were good books, good movies, and good music. There were vacations at the shore, one in particular that taught me a much-needed lesson. And there was a signing with one of my favorite authors, who continues to change the world, one story at a time.
There was writing Mine to Love and deleting 50,000+ words during edits, a task that sometimes seemed impossible but always filled me with inspiration. There were visits to NYC with family and friends. There were scary scenes physically and bittersweet experiences emotionally. Celebrating my cousin’s Bat Mitzvah this November was beautiful, and lovely, and special … but without Gram, there was a heart-shaped hole. There will always be a hole without her, and though it’s still been difficult this year, we are, at least, learning to look back on the memories with smiles instead of tears. My writing, too, has helped me heal. Words are what I do. They’re who I am. And still, there will never be enough to adequately thank Sofie, Brandon, and Ellie for showing me how to move beyond the grief. To parlay the hurt into hope. It’s just one of many ways that they’ve left a handprint on my heart.
So, too, have the amazing people in my life. We should all be so lucky as to have family who are like friends and friends who are like family. That includes all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you not only for reading my random ramblings, but for all the support, community, encouragement, and friendship you’ve brought into my life. I am endlessly grateful to know y’all and call you my friends.
I’ve written before that I’m not normally about broad, overarching resolutions. I’d rather make every day the best it can be, live every day to its fullest potential. But even so, I’m excited to set these goals for 2013:
~Query literary agents for Mine to Love, working as hard as possible to find someone who connects with the characters like I do, who believes in their journey like I do, who wants to share their story with the world like I do. Nothing would make me happier. This book pushed me further, made me stronger, than any ever has, and I am so filled with hope for what comes next.
~Take the ideas for a new manuscript that are swirling frenziedly through my mind and weave them into a book. The premise for this one has been poking around my thoughts for over a year now and I absolutely cannot wait to see where it goes in the months ahead. I suspect it’ll feel strange at first, writing about different characters after spending so long with Sofie and Company, but I am excited and exhilarated to see where they take me and how they help me grow further.
~Read 26 books (Last year’s plan of 52? It went pretty well for awhile, until I spent so much time working on the computer each day that my eyes just about staged a protest when I tried to focus them on book-print afterwards.).
~Travel to Nantucket (I came this close to making that happen in 2012 and am now even more determined to get there) and perhaps back down South, to the cities I love so much. Atlanta’s #1 on that list.
~And, as I wrote last year: live life. Embrace every moment, find joy in something each day, even if something small, and make my own luck instead of waiting for it to find me.
My hope for us all is that 2013 will be a year where dreams are realized. Where our time machines take us to beautiful places. Where passions are discovered, journeys are taken, interests are sparked, and goals are surpassed. Where love and light fill each hour of each day. Where ordinary moments become extraordinary. Where we find blessings we’d never imagined. Where every memory is a gift. And, most importantly, where good health prevails, because as my family always says, if the New Year is healthy, it’ll be happy.
Here’s to a future that shimmers with promise. Happy, Healthy New Year, everyone. Much love.