It started with a blizzard. A horrible storm that rendered our city paralyzed for nearly a week. By the time the snow had melted, my whole life had changed. And it should have sucked. I should have sat in my pajamas, watching soap operas, crying into my sleeve. But, somehow I didn’t. I should have been hopeless, and angry, and bitter. And, for a time I was. But, somehow, as the year comes to an end, I can comfortably say that this has been the most important, exciting, invigorating, and (dear I say) fun year of my life. I almost don’t want to see it go.
I’ve spent the last 18 years of my life throwing everything into my career. It was nothing to me to wait for the 111 Bus under the bridge at 10:00pm on a cold Tuesday night, or answer texts that woke me up at 3:00 in the morning, or drag myself to work with a blazing fever because I just had to be at that meeting. Work made me feel important. Work made me feel essential.
What would I commit my energy to if I didn’t have Work. I mean work with a capital W. The 9 to bedtime daily grind. The meeting on top of meeting work. The “I hate it when my job gets in the way of my job” work. The” let me check my e-mail one more time” work. How would I spend my time? Where would I find my worth?
Who would have thought that my favorite childhood movie would inform my adult life so much. Just like Dorothy, “if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” Amazing. It was there all along. And I didn’t even know I was missing it.
This was the year I got to know my children better. The year I drove them to baseball practice and helped them with their homework. This was the year we made dinner together as a family and talked about our days. This was the year, that I sat on the back porch with my love drinking a glass of wine and listening to music. This was the year when vacation was really a vacation. When I lost track of time and turned off my phone.
This was the year of fun and adventure. The year of saying, “yes.” The year of climbing rocks, and trees, and mountains. This was the year of baking treats and doing projects and having time. The year of attacking new endeavors and catching up with the things I love.
This was the year that I learned about balance. That I can find meaningful work without working my fingers to the bone. That my skills and passions can be best utilized when I have the time to choose my projects. This was the year that I learned that my true worth doesn’t lie with my titles or my responsibilities. This was the year that I learned that there’s no place like home.