Begin Again

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I’m sitting here on my comfy two-person chair, in my living room. It’s late afternoon, and I have no makeup on. We have garland and fairy lights still up on the TV stand and coffee table, because hey, Christmas just ended. It’s cloudy and cold outside, so the heat is on, and all the lamps are on. It’s cozy, and I’m drinking a green tea, and listening to The 1975. I’ve got these fuzzy, knit bootie slippers on, and I’m thinking. I’m thinking and I’m rewinding through 2014, as I do at the end of every year.

This year, 2014, was such an awesome, stupidly blessed year. And I don’t say that about every year. We had a hard year in 2013, so I was hoping for this year to be quieter, and quite frankly, just not terrible. Anything but terrible was good enough for me.

In 2014, I kissed the beautiful faces of my nieces and nephews every chance I got. I cuddled them and changed their diapers, and spent thirty minutes trying to get one asleep for a nap. I prayed hard for my baby nephew to make it through his surgery, and cried when he did. I stayed up until 2 am to finish an argument with my husband, because I hate going to bed angry. I cooked a lot more, and made Lemon Drizzle cake about sixteen times. I laughed so much, and I cried after finishing more books this year than I ever have. I said goodbye-for-now to a relationship that was very important to me, but also harmful. I wrote a lot of blog posts, drank a lot of coffee, and discovered how much being an adult changes the way you think about money. I went on numerous dates with my husband, and spent a lot more time with my sister. I made an effort to talk to the bag-boys, the baristas, the waiters and waitresses, and the re-headed girl who works at the drugstore I am always at. They’re people too, and I bet they get tired of being ignored. I tried to pay more attention to my day, to the people I met, and I watched a lot of movies. I learned how to wear red lipstick, and started wearing sunscreen everyday. I read even more books. I was a bit more vulnerable with my Lifegroup, which is always a scary and sort of awesome thing to do. I was angry, sad, lonely, and stressed some this year, but I think I handled it better than I have been doing.

I now know the kind of music I like, I know how I feel about some political issues, and I know that I am absolutely in love with the person that my husband is. I know what wine I prefer, and that working out doesn’t have to be a big feat everyday. I apologize more, and I try to be an honest person. I know what clothes I like, and I know where I like to buy them. I eat better, but I still consume pizza and sugar on occasion. I drink more water, and green tea. Also, I love french fries, which I am also convinced will not change.

2014 was a year in which I feel that I maybe understand my life, my God, and love a little bit better. I know that I can be skeptical for absolutely no reason, and that I put too much stock in people’s words. I know God’s love for us a bit better, and I know that I don’t have to work for it. I know that I am loved regardless, which is an amazing and scary thing. I’m not any better at texting back, which I am convinced might not ever change. {Sorry, peeps, I am trying!} I am a bit better at managing my time, and managing it for my marriage and my health. I have a job now, a job that I love. It’s hard work, and I work with the best people in the world. I’ll stay there as long as they keep me. I write in pencil a bit more, and I have learned that flexibility is a good trait to have.

I’m going into 2015 so thankful for who my God is, for the ways in which we have been blessed this year. I’m going into it hopeful, with a list of books I want to read, and with gratitude. Because this year was awesome and beautiful and so, so good. New Year’s is “do-over” day, as some people call it. It’s the chance to start the year off right, different, better. I choose to think of my New Year’s this year as it is. Another day, in which I will begin again. I will turn on my Keurig, make some coffee, play with my dog, kiss my husband, and spend the day probably reading something. I’ll make dinner, and watch something on TV and go to bed. I may do some yoga. And then I’ll begin again. My days will look different from each other; I may (hopefully) take a trip in 2015, and I’ll write some more. I will have bad days, and great days, and ones in between. I’ll keep falling in love with God, and my husband, and with books. Hopefully I’ll continue to fall in love with people, and learn to love them better through their flaws. I’ll hopefully be a little wiser, and write more essays.

Do me favor, and do New Year’s differently this year. Grab a glass of wine or a cup of tea, a piece of paper or a notebook, or your computer. Grab your friends, make a circle, pass around some pens. Write ‘Begin Again’. And do it. Don’t make resolutions, don’t beat yourself up over your imperfections or for eating one too many donuts. Be honest, be kind, and love who you are, and those around you. Try, do, and begin again. You’ll never have another 2015. Do it well.

Happy New Year’s, lovelies!

Steffanie xo

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