A lot has changed - For starters: the size of our family.
To be honest, I can't really think of anything to say about the last year.
Well, that's not true. The truth is that I find it difficult to think of just a few things to say about the last year.
I could say the generic phrase that almost always automatically comes out of my mouth - "I can't believe it's already been a year. The time has gone so quickly!"
But that's not really the truth. There were times that seemed to last forever. It feels like I've been gone a year.
I think when you go through so many new experiences and so much change, the time does feel like it is crawling along more slowly.
I would be lying if I said I'm a different person than I was a year ago. I'm the same person. Tiny parts of me have changed, but I am the same person.
What has this past year taught me?
- I've learned how to give a proper hug. I mentioned it here back in November. And now, after a full year, I can say that I appreciate a true hug. I think I've even improved my own embrace to the point that people might actually enjoy my hugs. It's a work in progress.
- I've learned that I can live without Miracle Whip, Mexican food, watermelon, Michigan summers, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, the fancy salts you get in movie theaters for your popcorn, ice in my drinks, and free refills. I don't like it, but I can live without it.
- I've learned a little about being a conscientious consumer. I'm not perfect, and I'm not sure I will ever be, but I do want to be more intentional about what I buy and where I buy it. However, this is also a work in progress since I am a sucker for good deals and cute things.
- I've learned how to be perfectly imperfect. Never again will I work only to score in the "exceeds all expectations" category, instead I hope to score more highly in the "she loves what she does and it shows" category, or the "she is obviously incredibly happy and well-rested" category. I've learned to set boundaries and I believe it has made me a more lovely and generous person.
- I've learned how to make croissants, and that I actually love to cook.
- I've learned how much fun it is to dream big. I spend a chunk of my day envisioning the life I want to have when we take the next step. Of course I'm also busy living in the moment, but I'm also planning life after this without limitations.
- I've learned how to be hospitable. Before coming here if someone offered me a cup of tea or coffee when I entered their house I would have said "no thank you" because it seems to be the polite Midwestern-American thing for my generation to do - to not put anyone out. But now I realize how good it makes someone feel when you take them up on it. It gives them a purpose. It's meeting them halfway. It's a way of saying, "I need you as much as you need me." At least that's the way it makes me feel.
- I've learned that terrorists come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and nationalities. I've also learned that peacemakers and peacekeepers come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and nationalities. From my experience there are more of the latter in the world - we are just a little less scary and have less literal weapons.
Here's to looking forward to the learning that the next year brings....