Have you ever had a year start with so much anticipation and thankfulness that it seemed too good to be true?
I'm saying thank you under my breath, and out loud for that matter, quite often these days.
While life has been good and blessed for us the past few years, it has also been tough mentally. Money has been tight, my anxiety has felt like an uphill battle more often than I would like to admit, and issues of the heart have left me with a crack that I'm still working on filling. (Although I've heard, and believe, that the cracks are where the light comes in, so I guess I'll let them stay.)
Despite all of that I have been tremendously happy, learning bit by bit that the rough moments make the smooth ones that much easier to appreciate. But at the same time, an unwelcome scarcity mentality has creeped in, and I have accustomed myself to expecting things to not go well. Honestly I've convinced myself that the good stuff is for other people, and surely not me.
But then the past year happened. My coloring book happened. Things with my career started getting easier. An extra work project came along that is going to give us a bit of unexpected money, so we're, fingers crossed, planning a waaaay overdue kitchen renovation. And as if that isn't enough, my boss has approved a six-month sabbatical for me this year! (Never, in my life, did I think I'd be using the word sabbatical in a sentence about my own job.)
Six months of doing research and working from home or the coffee shop or anywhere I want to, thank you very much.
Who gets to live this life?! This girl?
I'm seriously expecting Ashton Kutcher to jump out from behind my couch right now as I type this and yell "You've been punked!" But then that would mean Ashton Kutcher was in my living room, which really wouldn't be a horrible thing.
Everything is coming together this year in a way that, quite honestly, freaks me out and elates me at the same time.
With all that in mind, I've chosen "renew" for my one little word this year.
2. to restore or replenish
3. to revive, reestablish
4. to restore to a former state; make new or as if new again
This is going to be a year of beginning, of replenishing, of reviving, and of restoring.
I don't think I have ever been this excited about a new year.
I'm ditching that scarcity mentality, saying thank you to God for this year of renewal, and finding every way possible to enjoy this ride.
I'm gonna have renewal happening all over the darn place.
Starting with six months of not punching a clock. Whoa. For a girl who has worked an 8-5 office job for 17-ish years, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that one. The first block of time starts in March and while not on paper yet, I already have a list started in my head of projects I want to work on. I got a jump start today by cleaning out my sock drawer. Talk about renewal...how the heck can so many unworn socks fit into one 6x12 inch space?
I've been pinning kitchen ideas like CRAZY. I calculated that between our two houses, we've lived with horribly yucky kitchens for a total of 10 years. Get ready for some major renewal, nasty 60's speckled-counter kitchen. I also have lots of other house projects in mind, like cleaning out closets, painting, and refreshing my "art studio" in the corner of our rec room.
And then there is the mental renewal I'm already feeling...space to dream and think and plan. Knowing I'll be able to start my mornings the way I want to (after we get the boys to school, that is) with a slow breakfast, exercise, scheduled time for my art, and fitting in my work research whenever and wherever I want.
Goodness my mind is spinning in every wonderful way thinking about the freedom this will open up.
And lastly I'm SUPER excited to keep the momentum going with This Girl's Doodles. I have no idea what this year has in store. I have no other plan but to keep my eyes, ears, and heart open to what is sent my way. The coloring book has truly been a gift, and if that can come my way who knows what is next.
I know that this gift of time will open me up even more to inspiration, and I'm jazzed and anxious to see how that translates onto paper.
If you've made it this far, thank you for reading and sharing in my excitement. I truly believe it has taken a community to get me to this point, and you are a part of that!
Have you chosen a word for 2016? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!
Now let's go live the heck out of 2016!