2011: Shifting Ground

2012 is one day away and, like everyone does at this time of year, I find myself looking back over the year as well as looking forward. There is a part of me that wants to just rush forward, slam the door shut on 2011 and forget about this past year. But, I also feel the need to document this year a little, it was a big year, a lot happened this year, good and not so good. I thought an easy way for me to document the year without dwelling on it too much would be to just compile a quick list of my most popular and favorite posts from the past year, but as I started to look at my analytics and thought back on the post I've written this year, well, it just didn't seem like a really good gauge for what happened this year. Sure I wrote about leaving Prague, my sister-in-law getting married, birthing my second child at home, and deciding to move to Seattle. Those were big events from this year. But, what I couldn't write about was the pain we carried for those we cared about who faced abuse, divorce, law suits, loss of income, foreclosures, miscarriages, cancer, and more. What I couldn't put into words was the many goodbyes, the internal struggles with placelessness, loneliness, and the overhanging unknowns.

It felt like the ground was constantly shifting underneath us this year. Even as I watch the ground continue to shake for many I love I feel our footing stabilizing for the first time all year, perhaps for the first time in a few years. We've been tossing about in a sea of uncertainty and instability and we've finally reached solid land. I admit I had more than a little trepidation about where we were landing, but now that we're here I feel like I can finally breath with my feet on firm soil.

I feel excited about 2012. I feel excited about the future in a way that I haven't felt since our first year in Prague. I feel like Bryan and I are coming into our own for the first time feeling more at peace with who we are, what we are doing and where we are going than we ever have.

2012 may not look as exciting from the outside, we won't be gallivanting around Europe, having dinner parties with people from all over the world. We won't be living in an intentional community/farm like we had thought we might be. We wont be having a baby, starting a new career, or moving. We won't be doing exciting things, and our actions this year probably won't change the world. For the first time since we first got married our life will look prettying much the same as an other suburban family. But, I feel like it fits for now. It works for this stage of life. And at least right now, I'm excited about it.

I don't think I have ever felt so anxious to say goodbye to a year as I am to say goodbye to 2011. Nor have I ever felt so anxious to start a year as I am to start 2012. So bring on the bubbly, let's get this party started and ring this year in right!

Rejoicing in the journey, Bethany Stedman