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First thing in the morning on the first day of the year and I’ve got the place to myself – for a few minutes until the kids descend, anyway.  This season’s spate of illness and otherwise related guest cancellations meant we spent a quiet New Year’s Eve with just the four of us toasting (bubbly for me and the WorkHorse, gingerale for the kids) 2013.

Our family talked about what we’d enjoyed most in 2012.  The WorkHorse and I both chose spending the summer at Northbrook.  The kids found it hard to pick a favourite.  (I think the perception of time is different when you’re young.  If you think about it, last year amounts to roughly 25% of the life my daughter can remember.  Now try and pick your favourite thing from the last 25% of your life – it’s not easy.)  We talked about what we’re looking forward to in the coming year.  The kids found this a bit easier – everyone is looking forward to some family trips we are planning.

As for me?  Well some of it’s easy. I’m looking forward to training for and completing Tough Mudder in September. And, especially looking out at the sea of snow around me, I’m really looking forward to summer returning to Northbrook.  I can’t wait to implement the garden expansion we built last fall and to start to work on adding some flowers into the mix.  Winter is certainly beautiful at the farm, and I love to see the kids skating on the rink and building forts – but I’m just biding my time until the return of summer.  For me, perfection is a morning on the front porch, a day in the garden and a drink on the side porch overlooking the barn before dinner.

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Some of the looking ahead is trickier.  2013 promises to be a sort of strange year for me.  It’ll be a time of upheaval professionally as I hope to make a big change on the career front.  To be honest, while I’m confident in my decision to make a change in my work, I feel less certain of the next step.  I’m a girl who loathes uncertainty and is allergic to change, so it’s been an odd time for me of late.  It’s not a question of lack of interest in my next venture so much as difficulty  picturing my new life.   I know that 12 months from now I’ll have a much better sense of where I’m going, but I expect the getting there to be on the awkward side.  We all define ourselves, at least a little, by what we do.  When we can’t say for sure what we’ll be doing, it leaves a little of our identity floating in the wind.

Things continue to change on the home front as well.  A lot of my energy in 2012 went into securing a spot and establishing the Boy in a new school which is a better fit for the way he learns. The Girl has plans to jump ship this year as well in favour of a specialized program at a new school.   While I know it’ll be a good program for her I am selfishly sorry to see her leave our home school, where I’ve known the other parents, staff and principal for the past 6 years.  My experience with the Boy’s new school tells me that I’ll have very little contact with the communities in the new schools and this contributes to the sort of ‘adrift’ feeling I’m experiencing.

I once read a truly awful novel in which a shy southern beauty is sent to live with her grandma for the summer.  When our heroine meets with some crisis or other, her grandma quaintly explains that in our lives we have sunshine years, rainy years and growing years.  Awful novel aside, I’ve always remembered that idea.  I’ve had a couple of very sunny years lately, but I wonder if 2013 might be of the growing variety.  A growing year isn’t something I dread, on the contrary – it’s exciting and important and always just what I need.  In any case, however I feel about it, it’s coming so I’d best embrace it.

But first, more tea.

Happy 2013 and may your year be just what you need it to be.

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