It’s the New Year

As the snow falls and we greet the beginning of 2014, I’m trying to put my finger on just what to think. There’s something about the new year. A fresh, clean slate. It’s appealing and exciting. You stop to think about what you want to do and who you want to become. A whole bunch of dreams and goals are stuffed onto a list and even accomplishing half of them would be quite the feat. It can also be a time to reflect on the past and what has brought you to where you are now. It might be good or it might be plain rotten. Some of that impacts how you want your clean slate to look. 

Everyone around me already seems to know just what the year should look like, and I feel like I’ve barely finished celebrating Christmas. It’ll take me at least another week to consider all my reflections and resolutions, but it will be time well spent. I can’t help but wonder if we place too much stock in the “new” and don’t spend enough time in maintaining the now. I’m not shy to change and love the idea of travel and a good challenge, but want to make sure I don’t overlook what is already in motion. I don’t want to reinvent myself. Sure, I want to grow and learn. I want to stop putting my foot in my mouth, and I want to see the world. But more so, I want to live the life I already have. I want to restore strained relationships and love those in my life right now and today. I want invest in my commitments and not jump to the next thing too quickly just because it’s new. I want to understand the depth of my blessings and continue to grow, even if from the outside my life seems stagnant or simple. There’s something happening right now and I want to be focused enough to experience it. 


We’re on the brink. On the brink of a new year, another shot at growth and change and good. With baggage from the past, both good and bad, we look forward. We run towards what’s ahead.

As I transition from one job to (hopefully soon) another, one state to another, one home to another, one family (nearby) to another, one car to (unfortunately soon) another, one year to another…I can’t help but feel the weight of that brink. Possibilities are open (not endless—I don’t believe in that). Inspiration is rampant. Failure is inevitable. Greatness is plausible.

I am so excited for what is to come. While I don’t yet know what that means, I want to be ready and waiting for it. That way, when the time comes, I am ready to make that leap. 

Can you feel it? The restlessness and wonder and awe of the unknown? Can you believe that the story isn’t over? I just can’t help but feel like I am about to explode with hope for what is to come.

Ring in the New

I’ve been fortunate to have visited several places around the world. In most of these places, I’ve picked up a piece of jewelry. It’s not a given or an absolute, but I like the idea of having a little reminder of the place around my neck or on my finger. Just last week I started to think of what my “Iowa” jewelry would be. Trust me, I have random earrings from Target and impulse buys that resulted in a few necklaces, but I really wanted something that would be a little reminder of home.

I thought maybe in the next month we could be on the hunt to purchase this “perfect piece” when I realized that I already had it. Six months ago, we found this ring in a pawn shop. The hubby and I love to go to antique shops and thrift stores to look around. It’s like visiting a museum that I can take home if I so choose. It reminds me of a past I never knew and the items within carry all sorts of stories of their own. Sometimes you have to wade through a lot of junk to find the good stuff, but it’s so interesting when you do.

While I do not know the story of this ring before I owned it, I know the story it has with me. It wasn’t just any pawn shop (and for the record, we frequent antique shops far more than pawn shops). This was the one on Ingersoll in Des Moines. More importantly, this is the first place the hubby and I ever went together. It’s a bit of a strange story, and we weren’t dating, but were rather resisting the idea at the time. I’d never been to a pawn shop before and didn’t particularly have interest in it then either. He looked at instruments as I sat patiently waiting to go. It’s not exactly the kind of place you take a girl for a first date, but in all fairness, it wasn’t really a date. Just the same, it’s one of the first memories of being together. Right after Christmas this year, we were with friends and stopped in again. Gravitating to the jewelry, I found this ring and the hubby insisted we should get it (after a little cleaning). I considered it my “New Year’s ring” and wore it to the party that week where we celebrated with a bunch of friends and danced in the new year.

Now, this is not about placing value on worldly things. Its worth is ultimately insignificant but what matters more is what it reminds me of. My husband. Our friends. Our first “date.” Our home state. The end of one thing and the start of another.