Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Welcome 2013 -- I have looked forward to meeting you for quite some time!

While last year was an emotional roller coaster - which prompted the early anticipation of a new year around June - I am not naive enough to think that 2013 will be smooth sailing.  I guess that comes from living more than 50 years:  I have learned that life is cyclical and there will always be ups as well as downs - joys as well as sorrows - conflicts as well as resolutions.  But I am also learning that I cannot expect my inner joy to rely solely on outward circumstances, for that only results in frustration.

Last year I tried to informally participate in Ali Edward's One Little Word project.  That is, select one word to guide my thoughts and actions throughout the year.  I selected the word BALANCE because I felt that my "all work and no play" mentality for the past decade had eroded my ability to have fun.  While the word served me well, I soon came to realize that it was an unattainable goal.  As mentioned above, life is cyclical and the notion of finding balance every day is nearly impossible --- some days demand more time and energy spent on work while other days demand more time and energy spent on relationships.  I do think I learned to add more playtime to my life in 2012, but I did not find that deep inner joy that I craved.

In pondering this connection between chaotic life and inner joy I came to realize that my true goal for 2013 is PEACE.  And in coordinating this one word with possible New Year's resolutions, I have decided to eliminate that "R" word from my vocabulary.  Resolutions set me up for failure - for I tend to be an all-or-nothing mentality.  One slip and I am doomed.  So I will choose to adopt the phrase New Year's modifications:  slight realignments in my current lifestyle that will help me focus on bringing inner peace to my sometimes hectic and frustrating life.

PEACE will guide my eating choices, for what I put in my body will affect my physical being.  As Florinda posted on her blog today, I want to eat more fruits and vegetables, less sugar and refined food, and drink more water.  I refuse to put any quantifiable numbers to this list, for that is where the fear of failure enters the picture.  Rather, just make more conscious decisions about what I eat because I want to maintain a healthy body to accomplish all my bucket list items (which continues to grow with each passing day).

PEACE will guide my exercise choices, for my bucket list involves a lot of travel and I need a fit body to accomplish all these meaningful goals.  The word exercise, however, has always had negative connotations for me and as a result, I am never motivated to truly embrace its role in my life.  So again, I will borrow from Florinda and say that I plan to sit less and move more.  That is easy enough - and knowing that the ultimate goal is not to complete a certain workout regimen but simply to become fit for traveling adventures will help keep me focused.

PEACE will guide my time management choices, for I know that work AND play are both integral components of life.  I have developed a good morning routine, complete with writing morning pages and maintaining spiritual devotions, and I have learned to compartmentalize my teaching life between the hours of 7:30AM and 4:30PM.  I now need to focus on developing a good evening routine that provides time to spend with family and friends (for I am learning that even an extreme introvert such as myself cannot live alone all the time) ... as well as time to pursue outside interests such as photography, reading/writing, and paper crafts.

Along these lines, PEACE will also help me to live in the moment - to find beauty in the ordinary - and to embrace the now.  Yes, I can always learn from the past, but I do not need to dwell on it.  And yes, I can prepare for the future, but I do not need to worry.  Today should my focus in living a full life.

And finally, PEACE will guide my financial choices, for I know that impulsive purchases only provide temporary happiness, and true long-term joy comes from debt-free living.  We have spent the past two years making up for lost time.  The much-needed home repairs had come to a critical point and since we had officially become empty-nesters, the timing seemed right.  However, new windows, new siding, and new decorated rooms (a beach room - a Paris room - and a Tuscan kitchen) have taken their toll.  So while I have great aspirations of travel and photography and crafts..... I know that peace will be found in delayed gratification and finding contentment in possessions already owned.

PEACE.  SERENITY.  JOY.  It is the desire of my heart - and worthy of my attention in 2013.

I wish each and every one of you PEACE in this new year.


  1. I wish you peace in your life and peace in this world. Happy New Year, Molly!

  2. Hooray for Peace! Great word for 2013:)

  3. Peace is a beautiful word and I hope that you find some this year. I'm with you on "resolutions" which is why I call my things Things and try not to make vast life-changing decisions at the first of the year. Balance is tough to achieve and "failure" can feel so devastating. Wishing you Peace AND Joy Molly!

  4. Here's to a year of peace for us all--and more fruits & vegetables, and less sugar :).

  5. Thanks!I wish peace,as well.I like your resolution.

  6. Such an excellent post and I can identify with much of it - peace is such a great word! And a good feeling to strive for. My biggie is always peace of mind as mine is over-active. I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be a good year! Wishing you much peace and love and joy! Silke

  7. You always have a way of inspiring me Molly. I had a terrible year in many ways last year but yet so many joyful, wonderful moments as well. I realize that all years are like that even if some are harder than others. I'm finding the joy in every day, even the difficult days. Peace to you and your family.

  8. Love your word for this year! I still am thinking about mine. I participated in Ali's project last year but not once did I create any scrap pages. I'm trying to still do the one word but once a month I would like to get my photos printed and then start scrapping the easy way, which I'm using Becky Higgin's new line to do that!!

    Here's to a peace filled year!


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