Bye 'Ten!

It was a big year. But from where I sit today, 2010 is crumpling together smaller and smaller. And so this blog's work of snitching miniature instants from the swirl of the year seems, today, aprospos.

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This really was the best year of my life (photo credits to my hubby).

We watched True Grit yesterday, and I imagine this year as one of those open wildernesses, beautiful and bare, with striking jagged trees and auburn plains. Rooster Cogburn grovels, at one point, "Looking back is a bad habit." Only sometimes, Rooster.

My journal tells me that this year held some biggie things, but here I go a-looking back at the tiny ones. I made stromboli and scones for a house of girls, talked to my roommate until it was always way too late way too fast. I got up early to call my fiancee across the ocean, and reached for his face on my computer screen; I longed, and longed. I said goodbye to a family of 9 and all the billows of smoke over those glorious mountains. I realized how hard being a parent must be, how much mine have given me I can never repay. Back home, my parents listened to me cry for missing the girls at the Ranch.

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I moved from rural Tennessee, to suburban Jersey, to small-town Scotland. That makes for some oh-so-good stretching, some yanking out of comfort zone-ing. Never fear that, I learned. But I still do.

This year I walked through Times Square in a wedding dress. For the past 4 months, I have reached over each morning, not to my skype screen, but to find my husband. It gets better every day.

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This year, we cried. My favorite moment of the year was teary.

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And we were together after almost a year five time zones and over 3000 miles apart.

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With 3 hours until our flight and no passport, we somehow made it on a plane together to our first home, in Scotland.

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There were apples in our garden to cook, and friends with accents to have to tea, trips to be gallavanted, and coffee mugs to be held. There was home.

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There was so much change in everything from climate to friends to family, so much saying goodbye: living internationally is tiring. But this year I gained so much goodness. In the open, flowing field of 2011, I want to practice what I've learned: not to fear. He is here. To stand in the winds feeling them move around me, but not to fear. To walk on when the grass is high and walking is slow and I cannot feel the ground. Too much of my life is spent avoiding pain, when everything I've experienced tells me that pain is when I know and feel that life is more than this. Comfort is not my goal for 2011; learning to live in joy and contentment is.

This year will be another year of moving and of new starts, and I'm already cringing the exhaustion and leaving. But, 2011, get this. In all your unlit alleys and rolling, blank plains, there is light.

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He is with us; never fear. Happy 2011!