Who can believe it's the end of another year? The older I get, the more the months seem to fly by, and that saying -- the one mommy bloggers use, "The days are long, but the years are short" -- seems true not just for mommy bloggers, but for me, too.
I've written few meaningful posts in this space this year. The hiatus -- or whatever you'd like to call it -- wasn't intentional. We moved in February, and the move brought us to a small town, and I wasn't sure then, or now, how to blog in a small town. My stories are best when they're honest and open and vulnerable, but this year, I've kept most of those stories to myself. That's okay, I think, but I have missed this space as an outlet; I've missed my small community of readers and friends, and I've missed the practice of writing regularly and what it does for my overall well-being. I've missed it enough that I'm contemplating a restart in 2015, a reboot not of the blog -- no redesign, no domain name change -- but of my writing, a chance to get back in the habit of putting my thoughts into words and my words into the world.
Until then, though, I am stuck with the memories and stories from 2014, the moments of our life that didn't make it onto the Internet but keep trickling back into my brain as we say goodbye to the past twelve months and look forward to twelve more.
"Life's a mixed bag, no matter who you are." Thus says About Time, and thus say I. 2014 was the year bitter and sweet mingled together. It was the year of our first purchased home, our first out-of-state move, our first (and hopefully, maybe, only?) business. It was the year of 67 courthouses and road trips and nights spent playing the piano. It was the year of phone calls to faraway friends, of visits on the front porch swing, of podcasts and Target runs and traveling book clubs. 2014 was the year I learned hospitality has less to do with a home and more to do with an attitude, the year of the post office visit and the fake Christmas tree. This was the year of sprained ankles and broken elbows, the year of changed plans and surprises.
This was the year of my dad's cancer diagnosis, the year I learned to grieve quietly alongside friends struggling with depression and cancer and infertility. This was the year growing up felt hard and good, the year Jordan and I marked ten years of friendship and love. This was the year my marriage felt most comforting, and the year I've felt most lonely. 2014 was the year of goodbyes and hellos, the year I realized community-building and friendship-making wouldn't happen overnight.
It was the year of bubble baths and crowded grocery stores, of Family Ties reruns and Gilmore Girls on repeat. 2014 was the year of 10-second book reviews and film society meetings and First Friday nights, the year James Patterson sent me an email and gave our little bookstore a grant. It was the year I came into my own in Thomasville, the year I began to make in-roads in this town we now call home. It was the year of Picking Cotton and fresh flowers in mason jars and no lights in my kitchen and leaks in my living room ceiling.
This was the year we ate Sbarro and took dates to the mall, the year we finished our Christmas shopping in November and mailed our cards on time. It was the year Jordan discovered yoga, the year we spread our wings and began asking big questions about faith and church and where we might need to go next.
All the years I've lived have been good ones, hard ones. They've all had their bitter and sweet moments, but this might be the year I started paying attention, the year I started realizing each year would hold a little bit of both, the good and the bad and then everything in between.
I know some people have put their trees up already, have started packing up ornaments and cleaning away holiday clutter. But I'm not done with Christmas yet; I'm not ready to shut the books on 2014. Instead, I want to spend the next few days reminiscing, looking back so I can look forward to the fresh starts 2015 will bring.