A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven
L'Shana Tova! Happy New Year to everyone (Jewish friends and gentiles) as we all launch headfirst and together into Fall 2013. The days of awe in the Jewish religion which precede Yom Kippur are days of reflection and introspection that should be used to create parallels between past and future by focusing on and enjoying the present. Judaism encourages taking a long sincere look inward on what the lessons of the year have been. Start a dialogue with yourself and then, if you're feeling brave send your conversation to www.futureme.org and schedule to hear from yourself again next year at this time.
Not sure how I could have predicted this - my psychic abilities for waking up one minute before the alarm sounds off not withstanding - but I recently heard from past me regarding present me and the advice was staggering.
The harder the week.. the higher the climb. (As in, getting somewhere.)
Stay the course.
Read and keep reading. Love any piece that gives it to You straight and lets You have it head-on. That's information you can work with. Establishing some truth will allow the secret of reading between the lines to appear subtly in the blur. Whatever Your road don't go it alone. Put together a cherished army of people who love support and believe in you and leave everyone else behind. You don't have to wonder if your perspective is skewed if you have these people to sound off on and advise You.
Since leaving myself that ingratiating note which arrived to my inbox abruptly I have seen a series of events unprecedented in all of my almost thirty years.
What a crazy year.
My sister-in-law delivered a baby in December born premature at just twenty weeks gestation. When I received astounding photos of a 1lb 3oz baby in intensive round-the-clock care it was a revelation. Radio talk show host Delilah even mentioned EmmaJo on her nightly show. The wonderment of love that it brought about made believers out of all of us, an indisputable showing of the mighty power in prayer. In July the doctors told Mom that EmmaJo could come off of her oxygen machine and low-and-behold she is a 9 month old miracle child, thriving and beautiful.
I saw my youngest sister graduate from high school and just last week set off on a grand adventure to college. I held that precious child in my pre-adolescent arms and rocked her to sleep night after treasured night. Now, at 18 she is confident and poised and possibly armed with a shot glass that was inadvertently slipped into her luggage. My parents who have been parenting constantly for almost thirty years are facing the emptiness of a house that has been alight with the busy bee status of three children - all daughters - all moved on but never far. I wonder in awe at what these changes will bring. Stay the course.
There was a sudden engagement and subsequent recall of save the dates when the 5th of five nuptuals I was planning-to-attend this year was cancelled, the bride slowing herself down in the midst of wedding planning bliss to ask, "Why the rush?" Eventually she cited pause for reflection as the cause of her all-but-halt to a march-down-the-aisle. Then the other four weddings, each unique and beautiful in their own ways: Husband and wife promising happily ever after for better or worse.. till death do us part.. for as long as they both shall live. I cried at every one tears of joy. Then, my own serendipitous engagement, and I am now in the process of planning the grand slam celebration considering every wedding venue, dress, time of year and grand assortment of other fine deliberations. It is the most fun I've ever had and I plan most of all to enjoy every moment of it.
Long weekend of total improvisaition in Montauk
Rode in the caravan to Newark airport in order to receive an inspirational women in my life who was returning home from a campo in Chile where she culminated her masters program in social work laboring intently on an organic farm and re-programming her mind in the Southern hemisphere. Photos of her delightful recess reignited a love for travel in me that will have to wait until after the wedding. However, all the more reason her adventure inspired. Someday I hope she'll share her story here. Her photos tell a tale of beauty and liberation. Her stories are filled with travels along an underdeveloped road alongside people with hearts as big as the sky.
By now you know I spent the summer season on the field with the Renegades. I had the fortune of being an escort to the Hudson Valley Hero of the Game (sponsored by Morehead Honda) at all 30 games! So each night I would drive a brave and deserving Hudson Valley hero to home plate in the happy mobile, and they would exit my vehicle to the pitchers mound where they would sail the first pitch of the game over home plate. This occasion was an opportunity to honor guys like Rich - a cerebral palsy patient - 8th grader from Patterson, NY with a lust for life. Each game a new hero: veteran, decorated service officer, cancer survivor. All inspirational. All part of our community.
Rich's photo is headlining in today's article. His Mother followed up to tell me a bit about Rich who was also born prematurely.. weighing only 1.6 pounds at birth. Tomorrow is his birthday. He turns 14. He refers to the night he got to pitch at Renegades 'the best day of his life."
Thank you Morehead Honda and Hudson Valley Renegades for making this all possible.
Then life happens and another side of the journey rears. When I lost a friend this summer- someone I thought I'd be growing old with - I was devastated. I still am. Holding his hand by his hospital bed where he lay taking his last breaths, letting me tell him my final words uninterrupted was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I am going to miss him.
Plenty of people are searching right now. I hear it everywhere I go. They are trying to find themselves or they're in a rut at work or just generally unhappy with whatever the thing is that they're unhappy with and they're just kind of stopped there. Sometimes shortly, other times longer. And, I want to reach them and tell them that they're not alone and that they have a choice. I try to bring those coping strategies and involvement pieces here to the site, presenting them as a means of improved quality of life showcasing local resources that can prove useful during times of trouble.
The more honest I get with myself the closer I am to experiencing the thrill of living. I am a business owner twice over now. A slow-growing wouldn't change this mission for anything business owner.. working on expansion plans that will help me take this concept into other communities around the country. And, (not but) there is a hardship to self-employment that needs to be talked about above and beyond the financial strain. Beyond 12 hour days. This is a journey that will break you just to make sure you can take it. As high as the road is hard. On a particularly congested week I literally have to climb a mountain to gain enough clarity to push through. There at the top a grand view is awaiting You. Paramount discovery of panoramic beauty.
I believe in myself as the creator of my own happy universe, imperfect as it sometimes can be it is home. And these snippets from my life are the things that happen which I revisit and remind myself of. It helps me keep everything in perspective. I'm grateful and always learning as I go. I love it here in the Hudson Valley. I look forward to a new year - the changes, challenges and adventures that it will bring.
Special thanks to my contributors, interns, advisers, advertisers and friends who make the journey worthwhile, positive and possible.
May Yours be a sweet New Year!