We agreed on breakfast for dinner, my daughter and I. Friday night, yet we wanted no excitement. No outing. No celebration. The end of the semester for her. Halfway through her high school senior year. A holiday break for me. Last day of work for a while. The end of a season. Gosh, autumn has been rough. I thought it would be pleasant. Good news and newness. Yet, it wasn’t. October through today surprised and discouraged.

We said good night after listening to Serial. Episode 02 of Season 1. Oh and watching some television. And taking turns picking youtube videos. Sad Christmas songs for me. James Bay for her. She did pick a Justin Bieber….just to annoy me I suppose. Once I got in bed I read a blog entry, written by a young lady I adore. And I cried. Like sobbing, full on cried.

Why? I suppose due to many reasons. As stated above, it’s been a difficult season. But also because of what I read. A 15 year old boy shot. Dead. He was protecting others. Girls. Saved them. Now other people, like my friend, are left to pick up the pieces. Brokenness and maybe, just maybe something beautiful.

Every December I pick out a word for the next year. My word for 2015 is beauty. And I believe I did a pretty good job of making my life more beautiful this year. I focused not just on the aesthetic, but in the whole of life as well. Thoughts, actions, activities. So, to sort of rephrase, I didn’t focus on making myself more beautiful in a physical appearance sense, but tried to make my surroundings and inner self more holistically beautiful. Wow, that sounds sort of self help/new age like. Yet I think it was a good thing to pay attention to, especially since the previous few years were for the most part, an ugly mess. And when I stop to think about it, maybe not just a few…..


Today is the first day of winter. A new season. My least favorite, honestly. The season I dread. Cold and dark. Yet, just maybe, the very best time to focus. Now I consider my word for 2016 and I have an idea of what it will be. I haven’t locked it in yet though.  I tell myself I need to be harder. On myself. Harsher. Less accepting. Allow less. Not that I should be cold to others or myself. But I should be true to myself, which I confess I sometimes am not.

People’s lives can change so drastically. As mentioned above, sometimes through tragedy. The consequences of someone’s decision. Which can be beautiful but gosh, it can also be the worst.  What if the outcome of every change was only something beauty-filled? That’s unrealistic, sure. Maybe that’s what I’ve learned while concentrating on my word of the year. Imagine something beautiful and it just might…not come to be. Whether it’s an art project or something related to work or a trait I want to see in myself. An advent message there? Probably. It’s all in the waiting, I suppose. Ten days left this year and I don’t think all will become clear and lovely. But January first brings another year and another word.

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