The Forecast for 2014

For my last question of the week in 2013 I had hoped to come up with something great ---instead I find myself a little unsure of how to end this.

Growth is never completely linear -- and I recognize that not many people made it through 51 questions with me. Either real life got in the way, it was too hard, they lost interest or maybe there didn't seem to be any visible forward progress --- whatever the reason, I know not many people made it all the way to the end. For those who started with me and stuck it out, I thank you. For those who joined in late, I encourage you to go back to the beginning and finish.

I believe I mentioned before how it wasn't always easy for me to post a Question of the Week --and especially to do it on time. In the course of making and keeping this commitment in 2013, I discovered a few things.

1. Asking a question of the week is a lot harder than I thought it would be -- as my husband and kids will happily remind me of any chance they get, I originally thought about asking a question of the day....eeek! I learned that while I am always up for answering questions myself, choosing which question to ask a general audience is hard for me. I prefer the ability to ask questions one on one -- and to tailor the next question to the specific person and their answers.

2. I realize I don't like having a set deadline for my posts--never before was I a procrastinator at anything, yet  I found myself procrastinating on my question of the week often. I also did not like feeling that I couldn't release a post anytime the spirit moved me, who knew that I would be weird about deadlines?

3. I now understand that true growth comes in bursts and spurts, and it is not without set backs, disappointments and failures.  However, once you can look back and see how far you've come, it is worth every bit of effort. (Take note those of you who gave up on the questions -- you can always try again).

4. We all have a unique perspective on what being "brave" means. Some have said that I am brave to write what I write on this blog, as if they'd be too afraid to do it. For me writing about my life and what I have learned isn't brave at all, it is just truth. And since truth inspires me, and writing my truth is a way for me to process my experiences-- I feel it should all be shared; the good and the not-so-good. 

Question of the Week #52 / What is the bravest thing you have done in 2013?

Remember that everyone's idea of brave is as unique as they are, so all answers will be different. I am in awe of the true bravery I saw in others around me this past year. Some examples:

My almost daughter who took off on a true adventure joining AmeriCorps for 9 months, leaving everything and everyone she knew and traveling to 31 states while living out of a duffel bag.

My friend who survived a physical attack from the boyfriend she loved and who had to endure the heartache and guilt of letting him go and ending the unhealthy relationship.

My youngest son who faced many decisions and demons in 2013 and who grew up much faster than I wished for him to.

My friends and loved ones who face illness head on and do it with positivity, grace and unending faith.

My two friends who I have watched wrestle with their own grief and emerge on the other side to be beacons of light for their families who are losing, or have lost a loved one to cancer.

The many teachers I have met in the last year who face huge roadblocks and resistance from the children in their classrooms, yet who return to work day after day in an attempt to lead by example.

The bravest thing that I have done in 2013 is to learn to love myself for who I am, with all my faults and imperfections. I realize that every day I am not going to be the light I wish to be in the world, but if I always strive to be the best version of me I can be, I am doing pretty good. And that is all a person can ask of themselves.

Thank you to those who have traveled this last year with me. I see bright things for your future and mine, and am positive that 2014 will be extraordinary for us all.