Photo by .anna.
One thousand paper cranes dangled from the ceiling, all in different colors and sizes, illuminated against the stained glass cross behind them. It's been ten years since I have set foot in a church and yet there I was on the winter solstice, sitting in a circle listening to the beat of First Nations drums.
Like a heartbeat, the sound thrummed away, as I tried not to cry.
2011 has been a year of huge, amazing opportunity. I have been so blessed to work with great companies, travel to Toronto, meet amazing people, and grow this place. I earned jobs that I love, and have been supported by so many people. On the flip side, 2011 has also been one of the hardest I've had to endure. Sick family members, loved ones, and on the winter solstice, news that I never, ever, expected to hear.
Someone in my life doesn't have a lot of time.
The solstice ceremony passed in a blur, and I found myself in bed the next morning not even wanting to get up to finish getting things ready for Christmas. At the store, I wheeled my cart to the cash register and stood there blankly, willing myself to keep plodding, keep moving forward.
A lady behind me waved her two items in my face and tried to start up conversation, while I blankly stared at her and then turned around.
I can't do this, I thought. I can't continue to go on as if life is normal, when it isn't. It just so isn't.
I caught her puzzled look as she moved onto the next person, but I didn't care. Maybe on another day I would have let her go ahead of me in line, but that day, it took everything in me just to push that shopping cart through the store and make it home again, where I sat and cried.
Everything seemed just so pointless. What had I been doing the last two years? Self promotion? Writing about things for companies who sent me a product and then I never hear from them again? Stressing myself out about silly things like creating a recipe for a contest, for what? Why was I doing this? Talk of Christmas presents, shopping, decorations, and more flitted by on Twitter and for the first time in my life, I truly didn't care. So what that our tree was tiny. Or that we didn't have a pile of presents under it. So what that we chose to stay home and spend time together instead of parties, and that this was the quietest Christmas ever.
This Christmas, what I needed was peace.
December 25th came and throughout the day, I participated in #hourlyphoto, focusing on the things I love-the little things that bring me joy, such as old decorations that hold memories, or watching Kevin and John put something together.(you can look at the whole set here)
That night, I lay in bed wide awake, and I finally realized that 2012 is coming whether I'm ready or not and I could sit here and fear it, or I could claim it and help this person that I love so dearly to squeeze every last drop of happiness out of it.
Life is far too sweet, and much too short to waste my time.
The other night, I began tweeting my intentions. 2012, I'm so going to own you. I'm not wasting time anymore. I'm going to live with intention because while I know things are coming, I'm not going to let that own me. I'm taking charge and living the best I can right this minute because tomorrow is a GIFT.
Suddenly. @annbac9 joined in. Then someone else. And another. Still more.
Right there, a hashtag was born and before I knew it, #kickass2012 became a movement. Not about being successful with money or blogging, but not allowing adversity to kick us down, and instead to grab life and squeeze out every bit of happiness.
2012, I can't change you.
But I WILL own you.
(Ps.before anyone freaks out, I'm not talking about myself or an immediate family member. @annbac9 and I have big plans for the #kickass2012 hashtag, which just may turn into a full fledged blog to chronicle just how we are kicking 2012's butt-and YOU are invited to join in. Details to come!)