What is it with a new year? I mean, it’s merely a way of marking time…there is no literal change going on, except perhaps the hanging of a new calendar. Yet it matters, doesn’t it? For some reason, there is a sense of new beginnings…a new chapter…a clean slate…a chance to change the lackadaisical flow of things or corral the madness of the overwhelm of life.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to get started.

I know a lot of people who like to hang onto their Christmas decorations for as long as possible. Me? As far as I’m concerned, they can come down on the 26th. Well…I’m not quite that brutal, but I am definitely eager to pack them up around the New Year. I like to get it over and done with so that I can face the 2-3 bleak months of Chicago weather without holiday clutter. Well, that’s not exactly it—I’m just ready to move on.

And I am so ready to move on from 2014 (and ’13, for that matter).

 

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Last year was the first time I chose a word for the year as a kind of theme to guide my heart. I chose the word ripples because I felt a strong connection to understanding the way life and the choices we make ripple out into the world and impact other people. As it turned out, my word choice resonated throughout the year in spectacular fashion—in both good and bad ways. In ways I hoped for and in ways I didn’t know were coming. Diplomatically speaking, 2014 was a challenging year. And I’m not too sorry to say goodbye to it. In fact, I am currently handing 2014 its hat and showing it to the door. Adios, asshole. (Oops. Did I just type that out loud? It appears that I might have.)

My word for 2015 popped into my heart without invitation. It just showed up and makes complete sense. 2015’s word for me is journey. (And I don’t mean the band. Though their song titles of “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Open Arms” certainly work with my intended meaning.)

 

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I used to read this comic strip years ago called Sally Forth. It was about a woman and her family’s daily life. I liked the reality of it, and I also liked the play on her name—to sally forth means to energetically set out on a mission or adventure—and for Sally, her life was the adventure. To me, the phrase is similar to raising a fist and crying “Onward!” when what you are looking at is an uphill journey.

 

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The journey my heart calls me to is both professional and personal. I have a lot of ground to cover. So far, it has indeed been uphill, but I am rallying my internal troops to make the climb. From the time I was a little kid, I’ve always loved the song “Put One Foot in Front of the Other” from Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town—it’s a great way of reminding us that getting started only takes one step. And then another. And another.

And I am working on taking my next right steps to make the journey of 2015 (and beyond!) a meaningful and fulfilling one. I’ve got my metaphorical hiking boots on, and I’m ready to sally forth!

How about you? Are you finding that you, too, are on a pivotal journey? Or ready to begin one? Or ready to start thinking about being ready to begin one? Well, at some point, we’ve just got to get that foot ready to put itself in front of the other. If I can do it, you can do it. And if there is a stumble on the journey, I know from all of my past trips and falls that I will get back up (maybe catch my breath) and get my feet moving again…and you will, too. We have to…because the alternative sucks. Staying down and licking any wounds means you remain right where you fell…which probably isn’t that good of a place to hang out.

 

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So journey with me. Not alongside me because we are probably on different paths—but sallying forth to our next life adventure.

I’m so ready for it that I just want to say to 2015…

“Let’s get it on…”

 

 

May your New Year be a blessed one—and may the journey that you walk be filled with grace, joy, kindness, compassion, and love.

Happy New Year!

All photos are my own.
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