Happy New Year, my friends

New Year’s is always my favorite time to reflect on everything I now carry with me from the previous year. Every year brings flashes of insight and moments of growth that are worth keeping as I move forward. Now that I’m in my 40s, I’ve amassed quite a treasure trove. Here are the highlights of what I’ve learned this year:

Drunk people are not nearly as funny/clever/sexy as they think they are. I shudder when I remember life before I knew that.

I don’t have to prove anything. To anyone.

Old friends are the scrapbook pages of my life. New friends are the binding.

“There’s more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line.” Indigo Girls

Closure is about me, not about anyone else. It doesn’t have to involve confrontation, crying, rehashing. It’s just a matter of opening my clenched fists and letting it all float away. The man who shattered my heart is fighting battles of his own. The group of girls who cornered me after school in seventh grade and made fun of my skirt are now worrying about how to protect their own kids from bullying. Closure comes when I decide I’m ready for it, not when anyone else offers it to me.

God is wherever I seek him, not where other people demand I look.

My hair is going to do anything it wants to, and it will rarely be the same thing twice.

I can’t control how other people behave. I can only control how I react to them.

“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” Jane Austen

I recognize the divinity in all living things. Every being, from the earthworms that keep the soil healthy to the trees that clean the air, from the homeless woman sleeping on a bench to the guy in the Lexus who took the parking spot I had my eye on, all of them have something to teach me.

Sometimes loving is more difficult than hating.

People are what they are, not what I want them to be.

“There is nothing, nothing that stops me from doing anything except myself.” Susan Sontag

If I had the power to remove three things from existence, I’d wipe out abuse, hunger, and loneliness.

I appreciate being warm so much more after I’ve been cold.

The most important moment in my entire life is this one.

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