I took six weeks off from writing publicly. I can’t say that was a planned hiatus but it was one that was very much needed. Jesus and I had some things to discuss off the record. So here I stand at the start of a new year and like most people, I looked around on New Year’s Day and said, “Okay, now what?”
Looking ahead, I have a whole new year, full of possibilities. I have a challenging semester starting very soon. I have a child preparing for his trip out of the country. I have another child preparing to graduate high school. A vacation is planned and a retreat is too. My summer classes are planned out and thoughts about the fall semester are swirling as well.
Looking back, my Advent season was a blur between the craziness at work and finals at school. But at the same time, I bought myself a book. As usual, I bought it with the intent of reading it during my winter break. And as usual, I read a page or two and soon found myself completely sucked into a 624 page tome that I legitimately did not have the time to read. So, being me, I read it anyway to the neglect of everything else and finished it late in the night on the night before my sociology final, for which I was should have been studying. By the time I finished it, the semester was over, Advent was over, and Christmas was upon me. Christmas was the way I like it to be – full of quiet and family. There was silliness and laughter and time to just be together without the pressures of school or homework for any of us.
But even with all that 2016 has been and all that is to come in 2017, New Year’s Day started as every day does, with a strong cup of tea, sipped slowly at the kitchen table. The journal that had absorbed all of 2016 was filled. A new one sat waiting. One journal was closed while a new one was opened, but the story is the same story. It’s my story and so as much as things change, they stay the same. I’m still who I am. What became apparent to me during my blogging hiatus is that I finally have come to feel at home into my own skin. As much as I have always felt that I am an outsider, an observer, set aside from the world around me, I am who am I supposed to be and I am where I am supposed to be in life. I know some of what lies ahead. Not all, but enough.
For Christmas, I was given another book, which has captured me even more than the last. All of the questions that came up during my retreat in October are being answered one by one in a book that feels like it was written in answer to my private journal questions. It is a gift of the year that has past which will carry me into the year that has just begun. And so the story continues.