Happy New Year!

I have this thing about New Year’s. I just love the newness of it all, for lack of a better word. Coming down off of the holiday high I always find myself caught up in the final hurrah of celebrating the past year – the births, the growth, the career developments, the hilarity, the crying, the dancing, the complete down-and-outs where we hated everything and everyone and sometimes each other, the fact that we pulled out of that muck and are better than ever…or at least better than the day before, which is really just as good.


A new year always unfolds like the pages of a brand new journal – full of possibility and excitement, waiting to be filled with hopes and dreams and disappointments and tears. And all of that is good. All of that has its place. It’s like my latest favorite jam goes,

“Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missin’ home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go…”


The bittersweet makes the good that much sweeter. And, for my part, I intend to make the most of both the bitterness and the sweetness in the coming year. That’s what this blog is for. I’ve been blogging here for two years now. It’s funny because I started blogging as a way to cope with the deep depression that surrounded me during one of the roughest years of my life. And writing has been the best medicine of all. I’ve felt so connected and loved by the little community this blog has knit together. I think it’s no mistake that one of the most popular posts I wrote this year was about postpartum depression. I’ve needed this blog, I’ve needed you to help me process my thoughts, my fears, the crazy lunacy that is my life. I’ve needed you to help me heal.


So, thank you for tagging along for another year. It’s such a pleasure to write for/to you. Sometimes I feel pretty selfish because I think I get more out of this blog than I really put in…you are such a loving and encouraging audience. You pour into me in such a needed way and I can only hope that I’m able to pour some of that love back to you in some small way.


Part of the beauty of a new year is that it allows us to dream and to plan and to get excited about what could be. I don’t necessarily get down with New Year’s Resolutions because I think it’s silly to resolve to do better only once a year. We should really be resolving to do better, to be better about a hundred times a day if not more. But I do like dreaming. I love planning happy plans and hoping for better things. I love the fact that, in a new year all things are possible; it’s a reminder that every day all things are possible.


So here are my dreams for the coming year, for the coming days, for the near future:

  • I’m going to yell less and play more.
  • I’m going to make time for art.
  • I’m going to flirt with my husband and make him hold hands in public.
  • I’m going to read Jane Eyre, because I do every year and I’m not going to feel guilty about skipping to the best parts.
  • I’m going to read John Muir and Wendell Berry and Anna Karenina (the Baby Lit board book was phenomenal, so the real thing must be great, right?).
  • I’m going to do my best to avoid getting caught up in negativity and to just love, love, love people regardless of my preconceived notions and prejudices. ‘Cause what do I know anyway?
  • I’m going to run at least one 5K, preferably one that gets me covered in powdered color that dyes my skin.
  • I’m going to get another tattoo (sorry Mom) and put some purple in my hair because I’m 28 and why not.
  • I’m going to say thank you and I’m sorry.
  • I’m going to bake more bread. Like, fancy pretzel challah bread.
  • I’m going to go to Reconciliation.
  • I’m going to finally write down Ev’s birth story.
  • I’m going to finally get serious about becoming a doula.
  • I’m going to continue to learn to let go of my obsession with pleasing everybody.
  • I’m going to quit comparing myself to others and just be me.
  • I’m going to serve and to learn. As much as possible.
  • And I’m going to write.


So, what about you? What are you dreaming about for 2014? What are your goals, your aspirations, your exciting plans?

3 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. Pat Thurman

    Mary Susan, I just love you and your blogs so much!!! You are truly an inspiration to me and I am so proud of you!!! May 2014 be your best year ever!!! God bless you and your adorable family!

    Aunt Patricia

  2. Mimi Duncan

    I always appreciate the time and thought you put into your words, Mary Susan. I could have written the same list when I was a mother of three little children. My guess is that you won’t achieve all do them this year.

    The good news is that I have finally accomplished some of them, and I just needed to retire to be able to say that. Many of the things you wish to do and be are limited by one thing: TIME. Juggling three babies is more than a full time job. When you add work, home, church, spouse, and all the other things that eat up our time, little time is left for art, literature, writing, baking, and 5Ks.

    Now that I no longer have to drag my sorry self out of bed at 6:00 am and be gone for nine hours, I find that I pretty much have time to do whatever I want. I sew a lot, cook delicious and healthy meals, and our house is cleaner than it ever was before. Our lives are very satisfying. We are near to Cameron and her wonderful family, and are able to help them out in numerous ways.

    Once, when our three were young, an older friend visited me when I had been home bound with sick children for an endless period. They had all had chicken pox, not at the same time but one after the other after the other. My friend told me something that took me years to realize the truth: “Mimi, one day you will know that these are the best days of your life.” In retrospect, those were wonderful times. And I worried too much about things that didn’t really matter to fully enjoy the richness of my life.

    I’m not sure what the point of this rambling is, except that some day, when you finally have time and peace to do and be what you want, you won’t have three precious little people in your care. So don’t give up trying to reach those goals, but don’t kick yourself if you do not. And remember that these are the best days of your life.

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