Thursday, January 1, 2015



That's my word for 2015.

Like all good bloggers, I wrote a wrap-up post for 2014, but it was too depressing to post. I can't ever really post anything insightful in the waning days of the year because New Year's gets me down. That, combined with my milestone birthday, meant I was in no condition to post anything worth sharing with the world. I set that post aside and decided to try again once I'd survived December 31st.

Today is January 1st! Enough of the end-of-year blues. No more looking back on how I failed last year. Time instead to look ahead to the new year, in which I will no doubt fail, yet again, in ways both big and small; for today, though, no need to think on that. Everybody fails, and there's no shame in trying.

My first word of the year (yes; I reserve the right to change it at will) is ENJOY.

I spent too much time last year looking at the things I wanted, but couldn't have. I should have been looking instead at what I have - I already have all that I could ever want or need.  I thought too much about where I wanted to go instead of thinking about where I was. It's a useful exercise, thinking about where you want to go and who you want to become, but not if it keeps you from really being in the moment.


I made some specific resolutions too, of course, because I always do, and I've been hard at work on them for the last week (I like to be ahead of schedule). They are sort of "works in progress," so we'll see where they take me and how they evolve in the coming weeks and months.

Meanwhile, for now, it's enjoy. I looked back through my blog archives this morning, mesmerized by all of the photos of my beautiful little family, taken in places like China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Jerusalem, Israel, Spain, Egypt, and more. How is it possible that we've been so many places in one short lifetime? We started 2014 separately, in Amman, Jordan and Baghdad, Iraq. Visited Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, Los Angeles, Seattle, DC and Prague, and closed it out on a cold, snowy day in Moscow. We spent time with all of the grandparents, uncles and aunts, nephews, cousins and nieces, at various times during the year. Who could ask for more?

Those kids of mine, they drive me absolutely up the wall most days, with the fighting and the whining and the general kiddiness. But, oh, I am so blessed to have these four children and their father in my life. I need to remember that, even on the darkest, coldest days of winter.

I tested out the idea of enjoy last week. I taught Kyra to make her own scrambled eggs in the morning, and lingered in the kitchen each morning while she tied on her apron, cracked the eggs, stirred the pot. It gave me a brief glimpse of future Kyra, and I loved it. I didn't even mind the mess, afterwards. I took Ainsley out to a local crepe restaurant, where we colored placemats, drank cocoa and ate hot blinchiki together, just the two of us. I took both girls to the gym, where we put on our boxing gloves and took turns hitting the heavy bag. Yes, dinner was a little late that night, but we had fun. I made gnocchi for dinner last night and told the kids they didn't have to eat it if they didn't like it, but - wonder of wonders - they ate all of it, and even Ainsley pronounced the gnocchi delicious.  They cleared their own plates while Bart and I lingered in the candlelit dining room - I drank my second glass of prosecco while we chatted, catching up on nothing and everything. Then I got the cinnamon rolls into the fridge for today's breakfast, downloaded a movie for the boys and went upstairs to read Ainsley to sleep.

Kyra wasn't here last night - she went on a sleepover, and her friend's brother came here for a sleepover with Aidan. My first inclination was to say no to the sleepover exchange - it's a holiday, it's family time - but really, we weren't celebrating in any particular way, so why not let them enjoy the day in the way they chose?

I stayed awake until midnight, barely, then fell asleep to the sound of massive fireworks nearby - at Red Square, probably.

This morning, it is cold outside again, and cloudy. But the cinnamon rolls were delicious, the house is warm, and there is plenty of coffee. I am going to enjoy the day. I am going to enjoy the year, come what may.

Happy New Year from Moscow.

Ainsley, on the last day of 2014, enjoying cocoa and blinchiki with her mama.


Popster said... [Reply]

It sounds like you're off to a good start for the new year.

Cheers and ENJOY.

Dorothy Handelman said... [Reply]

Always appreciate your ability to reflect-
and yes- gratitude for what is has to be the best outlook of all-
wishing you and your happiness, health and new adventures in the new year!!

JWJones said... [Reply]

Happy New Year to you and your family. I love reading your posts.

JWJones said... [Reply]

Happy New Year to you and your family. I love reading your posts.

Brian Watkins said... [Reply]

Great reminders in here. We all do it, I constantly "think about the future" and have a hard time "enjoying the moment". However, self awareness is half the battle. Enjoy 2015. I'll going to try and take your advice as well.

Please. Write your own stuff.