How has everyone's new year started off so far? Hard to believe it's mid-January already. My return back from the holidays carried with it the usual heavy hearted sadness that comes from leaving my parents, friends, dog...so many things actually...and I definitely needed a few days to adjust. This recent visit home was one of the best I've had in a long time simply because a) it was lengthy and b) I had really treasured visits with people. Sweet Gia and James are growing up so fast and being able to see them a couple of times was priceless. Gia is talking like crazy and she's now saying my full name instead of the heart-melting "Varoberie" that I had gotten used to. There's really nothing like seeing kids get bigger to make you realize just how quickly time flies. Erica got Gia a play kitchen and apron with her name on it for Christmas because she loves to help Erica cook. Of course I was in heaven playing with her while she "cooked" for me. I want her to grow up and be a chef like Aunt Valerie. :) Please indulge me for a moment and enjoy Gia in the snow from yesterday:
I love that child. Anyway, I already wrote about Medieval Times and Dave's house party so I think I've properly explained how great my time at home was.
The start of a new year is always emotional for me. It seems like I've either been at the highest high or lowest low back and forth over prior new years but one thing has always been very consistent - I am always hopeful. During my low points, I've been hopeful that things will change for the better and during my high points, I've been hopeful that I can continue living with humility and optimism. I have to admit too that getting older has been awesome for me instead of scary. I swear, I must have been told a million times by various people that "life begins at 30" and it has been so true for me. Getting older is always what's helped the start of each new year go a little more smoothly than the last, even if it's been tough at times.
I have a few resolutions this year that are quite personal but a few that I don't mind sharing openly. One of the biggest ones is simply that I will become a person with deeper awareness. That seems like it would be funny to say for this year since I spent all of 2010 hammering through walls I'd built in my life and becoming aware of who I really want to be. However, it's different becoming aware of who you want to be and aware of who you are. I hope I never stop striving to be better but I've realized it's pretty tough to look at yourself everyday and truly be aware of who you are. Thus, that is one of my bigger resolutions.
I've got a big year ahead and big change is going to come with it. If I don't work everyday to be aware of how fortunate I am, aware of what rich blessings I have, aware of who really is a true friend, aware of what ways I can live my life with purpose, aware of what gifts I have, aware of how good I really do have it even when I think I don't...aware of so very many details of my life...how will I ever be able to appreciate and enjoy what is in store for my future? Most of all, I want to have a new awareness of how little I really understand how big this world and god is. If I can be honest with myself and become more aware of that, I think my life will become even more enriched by the daily beauty that passes me by far too often. Things like a sunset or someone who smiles at me on the street. Things that you know are nice but that you don't have a heightened awareness of just how nice.
So, as we press on into this new year, I will be praying for god to help open my life in these areas. Walking in the light of humility and awareness are two things that are very important to me. I hope that this resolution is one that I can not only stick to but one that I can be proud of when I look back.