I don't really think that there's anything magical about turning the page on the calendar. I've been around long enough to know that I'm the same person on January 1st as I was on December 31st.
... and yet.
2014 was a tough year in many ways. Several people I love experienced terrible losses and hardships, and I carry their grief with me.
We didn't have any major emergencies. I had a rotten January and even more back pain than usual throughout much of the summer. My feet decided they didn't actually want me to be a runner anymore, and I miss running like crazy. We were miserably sick with the flu during the last week of Advent. And don't even get me started on the broken world.
But 2014 was also a significant year for me - even a good year. Ben and I had a wonderful getaway to the Festival of Faith and Writing in April. I became a contributor to the Art of Simple, and was invited to write regularly for the Christian Century (and became a board member, too). Our family had a truly fantastic week at Camp Highlands in August, and a wonderful time with my whole family in Montgomery, Alabama for Thanksgiving. I continue to love serving as one of the ministers at First Congregational Church of Western Springs, and struggle to express just how much that faithful community means to me. More every day.
I may be the same person on January 1st as I was on December 31st each year, but I'm nevertheless quite a bit changed than the person I was a year ago today - thanks in large part to practicing yoga several times a week and seeing a spiritual director once a month. These new habits are such a gift to me.
For the last few years I've picked a word of the year. Last night I realized I couldn't for the life of me remember what my 2014 word was. Um, oops. I looked it up: gentle. I may have forgotten that it was my word but I think it still had some bearing on my year. I learned to be a bit gentler with myself and with the people in my life.
For 2015, I'm picking a word that I won't forget: wholehearted. I won't forget it because my big intention this year is to read Jennifer Grant's new devotional daybook each day - Wholehearted Living.