2017: the Year of Resilience

year in review 2There were many happenings in the year of 2017

My first book took shape and form
Ten years after I wrote my first poem
It’s been shared with friends, family and strangers alike
It took courage and an open heart to write

At times, I wondered if some words could’ve been left out
Yet, the connections it makes
Strengthens my faith and weakens the doubt
Especially when I perform these words out loud to a crowd

I spent time with many kind-hearted people
Willing to share their skills, talents and stories
I listened; I learned; I created and shared
With far more discernment and care

We are in an age where advice and information are everywhere
They are on a whole new seemingly equal stage
The key is in deciding and analyzing
What is best to not even start
What we need to part with
What we need to take to heart

I spent much of 2017 in conversations
I am grateful for this
Storytelling is far more powerful than it’s often credited
It’s how we find meaning in the beauty and the messes
It’s part of the foundation of my relationships
How I build connections from you to me and me to you

Of course, it is also in the things we do
Yet, when stories are honored and heard
Whether regarding joy or strife
They bring such meaning to our lives
Stories tuned to a song
Sung to the beat of our heart
To who we were, who we are and who we long to become

Stories

A week before Valentine’s Day, I went on a first date
With someone who I would grow to trust, care for and love
Someone who fulfilled hopes I wrote in a poem long ago
Someone who’s embrace felt so much like home

We hiked under tall forests
Gazed into the milky way of the summer night sky
We listened and danced as Serena Ryder took the stage
We watched with anticipation as the Battalions made a breakaway

We talked and shared pots of tea
No matter the weather – warm or frosty
With each day we journeyed it grew in clarity
This man was for me

Growth and new beginnings were a theme

Over the course of this year, I’ve worked for three new colleges
I’ve designed 12 online courses in disciplines ranging from my home base of education to nursing, culinary, photography, technology and interior design

I love what I do
Writing, educating, creating, designing, collaborating and always learning

In the year to come, I will continue to grow my budding business
And look for ways to collaborate and support my local cohort
It may be time to find a working home in my community
I know just the place I’ll go looking for innovation and creativity

This year was not without many challenges, fears and doubts
It is surprising the times you are the most courageous and resilient
That you realize how invincibility is so incredibly unrealistic
Your own fragile nature seems uncomfortably close even as you traveled this distance

Resilience is the word I choose for this year
Resilience to get back up
Resilience to build again
Resilience to hold on to the hope
I thought had disappeared from my hands
Resilience to be strong, yet open
Courageous and kind
Creative and grounded
Resilient
Not denying, hiding, or running from the inevitable challenges of life
But rather having confidence in our inherent resilience to navigate our way through strife
To find the sunshine after the storm
And the beauty in the calm of the morn

When the winds are fierce
And the clouds grow dark
Remember those loving moments cherished in your heart

For me, one is the time my 3-year-old niece
Asked me what I would find under the Christmas tree
With all the presents already unwrapped
It was clearly a game of make-believe
She smiled and said it was a letter from her to me
I smiled back as she read: “I love you sooo much!”
The love of a child
Wide-eyed and open-armed is a gift I cherish especially in those difficult times
To remember her heartfelt lines

Gratitude is a mighty comrade to resilience
Just as trust lays the foundation for love
Gratitude provides the fuel where resilience can rise above

So here’s to 2017!
You may have been remarkably challenging
Yet, I will remain steadfastly grateful for the many moments, lessons, and
Loving relationships cherished within my heart
Acting as a beacon through the light and the dark

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