Great Expectations

I’ve been struggling to find the words to say…perhaps the reason why blogging hasn’t been much on my radar in recent months. I, as I always do, had built up great expectations about my birthday (I love birthdays! Mine, my kids, yours…I love them all!), which quickly fell apart as one kid got sick, another got upset, and I spent my evening checking temperatures and buying medicine instead of eating out with my family.

The funny thing about expectations, though, is that amazing days surprise us when we are not expecting them. My birthday turned out to be fine, just not what I anticipated, but the two days that followed it are some of the best days I’ve had with my kids in recent memory! Even with colds and coughs, we’ve had a ton of fun together; Friday was a day off from school, and we spent the day creating a backyard bird habitat, putting the finishing touches on our newly painted kitchen, and building a functional wood catapult. Trips to Home Depot, kite flying, and just being…these are the days that make it all worthwhile. The birthdays that “work out” are wonderful, but the ordinary days that turn extraordinary are the ones worth living for. They can be exceedingly simple (a backyard campfire followed by a living room camp out) and yet make memories we will all cherish.

Am I disappointed that my birthday wasn’t a big celebration? Nope. Because at the end of the day, I have a family who loves me, friends who care, and a life that, for all its challenges, is truly spectacular. Runny noses, coughs, cranky tweens and all. 

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With brave wings she flies

Some say our destiny is tied to the land, as much a part of us as we are of it. Others say fate is woven together like a cloth, so that one’s destiny intertwines with many others. It’s the one thing we search for, or fight to change. Some never find it. But there are some who are led. – Merida in Disney’s “Brave”

bravewings

It is a new year and a new season…I have been a blogger for most of my adult life, launching my first blog in 1999, back before blogging was a “thing.” A lot has changed since then, and while I’ve written online sporadically in recent years, it has fallen to the wayside and I miss it, both in terms of the art of writing and the community fostered by the interactive nature of blogs.

Each year, I select a theme for the year, rather than focusing on specific resolutions or goals. This year, my theme is “brave” – a scary concept when I consider what the year might entail as I claim this word as my own. I will need to be brave this year, as I face challenges, explore new job opportunities, seek to protect my children, and venture into new places and relationships that are yet unknown. In honor of this theme, my dearest friend sent me a lovely necklace for my birthday, inscribed with the phrase “With brave wings she flies.” These words inspired the birthing of a new place to write, and thus, here I am.

Some of you already know me, and to some, we are yet strangers, or better yet, friends in embryo. For privacy reasons, I will go by “CW” on this blog, the initials of my pseudonym. (How’s that for cryptic?) As a brief introduction if you don’t know me, and a catch-up if you do…

This week, I celebrate a birthday, one that leads me closer to 40. Not a monumental birthday, but one that reminds me that I am entering a new season of life. I embrace it and look forward to the journey.

My life has changed dramatically since I began blogging so many years ago. 5 years ago, my 10-year marriage ended abruptly. I now have the privilege of raising my two children as a single working parent – a challenging but truly enjoyable adventure. I will graduate with my Master’s this coming May, with a degree in a field that is still in the early stages of opening its doors to women. It is time to be brave, in so many ways.

Let the journey begin.