|Chagrin Falls 2013|
And we’re back…to the end of another year, that is.
It’s hard to categorize a year as being “good” or “bad”; I find that a year is comprised of many moments that reflect a full emotional spectrum. 2013 is the perfect example of such a year, including a great many high points and requisite low ones. Interestingly, the highs and lows of 2013 seemed extremely polar, which made it quite difficult to get my bearings at certain times and determine if I was on the “right track.” Being grounded and centered helps one in finding this proper direction, and this past week of being home with friends/family has definitely provided the sense of perspective I have desperately needed.
After arriving home in time for Christmas Eve Mass, I spent an amazing Christmas with my family. We hold onto our traditions fiercely, such as hanging stockings with care, blasting holiday tunes to a loud blare, and watching classic movies until 2 am…if we dare. (That rhyme scheme came out of nowhere…I swear.) Many wonderful memories and presents were exchanged– among my favorites were Mary Poppins and Frozen memorabilia, as well as memoirs by Debbie Reynolds and Judi Dench, and several beautiful pieces of clothing! But my favorite aspect of Christmas was watching the instant expressions of surprise and joy experienced by everyone else in the room– the sentiments that accompany gift giving are truly contagious and wonderful, and the value of these emotions are priceless.
I have also enjoyed reunions with many good friends this week, including mentors, classmates, theater people, and University Scholars. At each gathering, I continued to feel so grateful for these positive forces in my life. I remain deeply grateful for another force that has touched my life, that of a friend who left this life over the Christmas season. His spirit and dreams have left an indelible impression on me, even though we only shared a brief time together. I am reminded this season to live each moment to the fullest and embrace all that the world has to offer. The right time is always now.