Leaning In

“What’s your theme for 2017 going to be?” my friend asked.

I could barely remember what my theme for 2016 was. If 2015 was hard with the death my mother, 2016 was … um… I don’t even know. Rich? Full? Exhausting?

And where did 2016 even go? A snap of the fingers, and — poof! Good thing this isn’t a 2016 recap because I can’t remember.

My life is rich and full, mostly because of these people —

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Christmas 2016
Starting on the top step — Amanda and Philip
Owen and Emily
Sam and Donna
Me and Bud
Jacob, Helen, and Laurel
Karl, Henry, and Mary

But my 2017 theme is coming from the exhausting part of my life.

My theme is “Leaning In” — the idea of embracing my challenges.

On Christmas Day,  I was standing in the laundry room, seeking solitude and a brief escape from an irritating situation, Helen asked if she could help.

“What can I do about this?” I asked her and told her what was bothering me.

Among her suggestions — write it out.

Write it out.

That’s why I had started this blog in the first place — to make sense of the difficult, to find good in the bad, to untangle the knot — all by writing it out.

So — leaning in. In 2017 I am going to lean in — and part of my embrace will be to write again here.

I thought of three general concepts that relate to leaning in —

  1. Leaning in, as a horse leans into a harness to pull a heavy load. Head down, not high and haughty. Muscles straining– it is hard work. Moving forward, little by little, not giving ground, but gaining and pressing on.
  2. Leaning in, as in a team huddle. Sharing strategies. And concerns. Supporting others — and they supporting me. I can’t do it alone.
  3. Leaning in, as one paying attention to detail. I can’t gloss over things, nor do I want to. Little things are sometimes so much more important than big — and I need to remember that.

Specific goals for 2017 —

  1. Postaday — I’ll write again (or try to), but I may also dust off old posts that I have taken down. My daily posts will be a mix of old and new.
  2. People — I need to cultivate relationships with people who can be part of my team huddle. Again, I see this as a mix of old and new. Friendships needs attention and time. I need to reach out to others on a regular basis — get together with other people, share joys and sorrows, pray, laugh, eat, walk, send cards, write letters, talk on the phone.
  3. Pursue beauty — I toured the Lackawanna Coal Mine once. It was dark and scary, but men found something of value there. Same with my life. I need to look for those places of beauty and goodness. They’re there. I know they are.

So forgive me if my writing muscles are a little rusty. It may take me some time to get my groove back —

But 2017 — here I come.

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12 thoughts on “Leaning In

  1. Thank you for coming back strong. You don’t know what an inspiration you have been for so many years. Seeing your post this morning gave me such good cheer! Golly, I’m glad you are back!

    • Honestly, Pam, I think about (and have tried) writing for different blogs, but this one is me, all messy and imperfect. It’s the encouragement from people like you that keep me going. Thank YOU!

  2. Such a beautiful post, thank you for your strength and insight, so looking forward to your writing this coming year.

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