Welcome 2014, slowly

Ah, ah, ah. Another year. Happy New Year. Thanks to all of you who keep reading, despite my long lapses. For me, as a Jewish woman, a Jewish mother, the Jewish new year is the real spiritual marker of the year gone by and the year ahead. Nonetheless, I have to buy a new day planner (yes, I still use a paper calendar) at the change of the Gregorian calendar, and there is vacation time at our workplaces and school is out for two weeks. (Read up on the Gregorian calendar if you wish.)

These weeks of holiday down time have been full, in every sense. A few highlights, but not nearly all, follow.

The three of us traveled to Indiana to see my mother-in-law who, since September 1, 2013, has broken her hip, been moved to a retirement center/ nursing home, stopped driving, stopped living in her own home and faced one of the biggest life changes one faces in a lifetime. Although Christmas with that side of the family isn’t always the best for me as a Jewish girl, I had a good trip. I loved seeing my mother-in-law. For the first time ever, we stayed with my sister-in-law who I like and love more the more I know her. We talked, cooked, and hung out.

One of the loves of my life– the happy-birthday-girl in this post and her love/girlfriend/co-mother/close-friend-of-mine– of 20+ years got married on December 28. They live in a close in suburb of our city but they just bought a small farm about an hour away and I loved, I mean I really loved this wedding. (This is not my sentiment about every wedding.) I loved seeing my beloved friends into this new phase, I loved being on the farm where the wedding took place, I loved what I wore and the time in the car with another best friend who drove up with me. I loved arriving in daylight and the darkness that fell after we arrived. I loved looking at them and the light in their eyes and looking at the votive lights they had strewn all around the house and at the lights out the windows– from the stars above and the lights they have placed in different places outside. I loved that when I asked to see the rings they had exchanged, they said– “Oh these are rings we’ve had for years and years– nothing new.”

My friends’ son and my daughter are true miracles in the story of our two families’ friendships– in that my old friend D. tried forever to get pregnant and I tried forever to get pregnant and then our adoption took forever. And with those two sagas of forevers; the long, long stretches of waiting and hoping and disappointments– our two children were born three weeks apart and are close, beloved friends. My daughter N. wore a dress for the occasion and was a flower girl! Then she spent the night at the farm with her buddy and the sheep and dogs and chickens.

There has been ongoing wrestling with internal struggles that still plague me about work and career and hope and disappointment and my honest desire to do good work that changes the world and work with which I feel at home.

I’ve had two long, delightful coffee dates recently with a long-time acquaintance who is suddenly (and very happily for me) a new friend. And I’ve had two pretty impromptu dinner dates with an old friend with whom it was so grounding to catch up.

There have been good times with my daughter and a rainbow of feelings as I take in that she is truly entering her teen years. There is a real shift in her relationship with me and her other mom. It’s not worse or less relationship, but it’s different. I’m very much in a “ready-or-not” situation.

And then the very time-consuming mundane. A dishwasher leak that will require a new dishwasher and a new kitchen floor– the latter being installed as I write.

And there have been two fabulous hikes in the woods– just the three of us–on New Year’s day out toward our friends’ farm and yesterday in rainy-snowy-icy weather in our huge sprawling, urban, wooded park.

I send love and good, good wishes to all of you who read. I wish you a very good, growing, connected, brave, sweet rest of the Jewish year, 5774 and a very good 2014. I wish us all peace and justice and courage to tackle the challenges and to enjoy beautiful, interesting life ahead. Pictures to follow.

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