Tuesday, January 1, 2013


This morning I woke up and it was gloriously sunny outside.

I love a good metaphor.

Like so many others, the new year is a time of reflection for me.  And this year, more than any in recent history, I have so much to reflect upon!  What a wild ride it has been.

This time last year, there was a grumpy man in my basement, I was unemployed and uncertain as to my next steps, and my daughter was in counseling for divorce-related anxiety that looked a lot like OCD.  My house was breaking down, and we were flat broke.

I couldn't see a way out.

This year, I am wrapped in hope.  It is shocking how much difference a year can make, one way or the other, and I am so hopeful that my current path will continue.  Katherine is thriving, giggling, excelling at school, and released from counseling because she's doing so well (and that OCD handwashing etc. is a distant memory).  My job is wildly successful, and paying my bills with enough left over to work on my dreams.  My basement is used for movie nights, guests, and yoga....because nobody lives in it.  My divorce is final in about two weeks.  I have a trip to Paris on the horizon, a girls' weekend planned.  My house is almost put back together (I suppose there will always be a few projects in an old house, but the big ones have been taken care of).

I dream of a love for the ages in 2013.  I was born a romantic, and I really believe in that kind of love, and in my ability to find it.  I'm a regular on OkCupid right now, and though most of the messages that I get are more amusing than anything else (no, you may not lick my feet; please tell me that your wife-beater shirt in your photo is ironic) there are some genuine guys mixed in with the crazies.

But here is the thing, and it's HUGE:  I don't need anything to change in order to be happy.

I do not need to lose weight. 
I do not need a lover.
I do not need a house on the water.
I do not need to win the lottery.
I don't need to be published.

If I found myself five pounds slimmer, in bed with my hot lover, in our waterfront home, with a million in the bank and a check from my publisher on the way, I'd be ecstatic.  Of course I would.  But the truth is that if none of that happens, ever, I'd still have a fantastic life.

The body of water that I run by every other day or so is magnificent.  My little job is satisfying.  I'm writing a bit here and there.  My beautiful, compassionate, amazing daughter is happy and healthy.  We do little adventures all the time.  At the drop of a hat, I can fill my house with friends and laughter.  I'm a member at an art museum and a science center, and I have so much fun going there.  The mountains around here call to me to visit them....and I do.  I'm going to Paris - how amazing is that?!  And my humble home is warm and welcoming and comfortable - it may not land in Architectural Digest, but there is something about it that is truly lovely.

Last night I went to a friend's home for a party.  I talked to new friends and old, I had a glass of wine, I laughed.  I wore high heels and a sparkly top.  And I left early to come home to bed, because all this early morning stuff makes me tired at night.  And I am so proud of that - because I didn't need to prove anything to anyone,  listened to my body, and I had a great time.  I left the party in full swing, but I left with a full heart.

2013 is my year. I can hardly wait to live it out.  I do hope for big, amazing, incredible love, with fluttering butterflies and tingles and soft sweet kisses on my neck that make me weak.  I am hopeful.  But I will not forget that even without butterflies and weak knees, I am blissfully happy, happier than I have been in at least a decade. I will not squander that happiness by trading it for longing for something out of my control; I will revel in it, accept it as the gift it is.

Happy new year to you.  If you are in the painful throes of divorce, if you are hurting and wondering how on earth you can claim your life in the midst of chaos, please know that if I did it, you can, too.  Keep swimming!


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