2012. It's amazing to me that yet another year has passed. Each one seems to end up in the past faster than the year before. Perhaps it's how short the Washington summers seem to be. Or that my children are growing at an astronomical pace. Or maybe it's just as you get older, time seems to pass more quickly than when you're young and carefree. No matter. I'm convicted more each day to live --- and write --- with more purpose, a brighter outlook and a youthful heart.
But each year does present its own challenges. Thankfully, last year only brought forth the challenge of unemployment. Yes, thankfully because they didn't include hospital stays and liver transplants. While my own parents' health slowly deteriorates, I see my young children and realize soon the baton will be passed. Theirs are the lives of promise, of unbounded optimism.
I don't mean this post to be filled with sadness or regret because there is indeed great promise in the days ahead, for all of us. For me, part of the promise will be rediscovering my daily writing habit. Thrown off by the layoff and period of unemployment, it will take some effort to regain what I thought was a sure thing.
At the same time, regaining confidence in the quality of my writing will be key. I've faced some measure of rejection and yes, overly harsh self-critique in the past year but I know I CAN write. And so I shall endeavor to reacquaint myself with the stories and words I love.
Finally, I realize 2012 is my year to write the "hard" stories - those of things closest to my heart, particularly my youngest daughter's liver transplant and our family's journey through that valley. The story does not yet have an ending but there are many lessons to be culled from that field of uncertainty that I pray will be a balm and encouragement to others.
What challenges do you face in 2012? Do you have "hard" stories of your own that need to be told?