Yesterday our whole family wrote down our top ten list from the past year. We have done a family list for five or so years now, we stole the idea from one of our friends all those years back, but this was the first year everyone, even Haven could write their own down. Some things made all of our lists, our new (to us) hot tub, some aspect of our amazing summer vacation to the west coast, the same with our trip to Hawaii last March. Swimming with a pod of wild dolphins is a pretty incredible event for a ten and eight year old to check off their bucket lists. All of my kids have some of their daddies love for adventure in them so cliff diving made all of the kiddos lists and so did doing some pretty challenging hikes. Also some aspect of regular everyday life: being homeschooled, working in the garden, cooking, reading books, each a little different but something ordinary made each list.
At times it feels like 2016 will always be remembered as the year I was diagnosed with cancer and that 2017 will always be the year I deal with the treatment. Yet I know that isn't so. 2016 was the year I found out I had cancer, yes but it was also the year we had the most perfect Christmas and hiked into a volcano. It was the year we started Anahola Board Co in earnest and it was the year Aaron moved his office to home and after covering two territories for almost a year, worked regular hours. Thus we had more down time and more sanity, we had forgotten how comparably easy it is for him to work only one job.
2016 was the year everyone could ski and swim and paddleboard and hike and bike well. It was a year of watching my not baby, babies grow and live, seeing more of who they are emerge, and let me tell you that is one of my most favourite things in existence.
It was the year we had so many full and rich days at home, just living, and talking, and being together, learning, pursuing our passions. It was a year that as parents we got to see our kids thrive at what they love and also push themselves at things that don't come so easily. It was a year we tried to do the same for ourselves.
It was a year of folding laundry and drinking coffee or tea, while the other person cooks (I'm laundry, Aaron's cooking in case you were wondering) and continuing to work on the home we love out here in the country, building a new deck and growing more flowers, mowing the grass and feeding chickens. It was a year of family and friends, laughing and crying. It was a year of many memories.
2016 was good. At times it was exceptionally challenging, not just in our own little blessed life here but obviously also in the world at large where there were much bigger crises than one called cancer. But despite all of this, there was love and it was good.
And now it is 2017. I'm a person who loves resolutions and intentions and one words and all that jam. Perhaps no year has taught me we can do all of that and still have so little control than 2016. Also, perhaps no year has taught me that we can do all of that and it can give us comfort in ways we never expected.
Although I never blogged about it, my words for 2016 were 'It is well with my soul'. The words come from this song.
'When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.'
They were in the center of my vision board for 2016 and I can't really explain why at the time, except it was spoken to my soul and so there it went. I cannot tell you how many times looking up at those words helped me this year.
This year I'm keeping it simplish as specific plans are a little more up in the air. My word is 'nurture' and my goals are as follows:
- Love well: God, my people, those around me in my own community and the world, myself
- Kick cancers behind and enter summer of 2017 (medical timelines permitting) cancer free
- Spread some peace in the world
- Being open to whatever else comes my way; while praying this involves more jumping off things into water, sunshine and seeing all the miracles of everyday life.
2017 I don't know fully what to expect but I know this: there will be love and it will be good.
Happy New Year and lots of love from us