And so I find myself on the other side of the holidays. So many good moments with family and friends. So much to be grateful for.
Between Christmas and the new year I visited my siblings in Illinois. Five of the 7 of us were sitting around the dinner table. Nineteen years separates the eldest from the youngest. I am third in the birth order and my two older siblings were there, as well as the two youngest.
We had been given a box of old photographs by a cousin who was thinning out her mother's collection. There were many photos of the three of us oldest when we were very young and many of the cousins too. We enjoyed trying to identify who and where and when. Nearly all of the photos had never been seen by my younger brother or sister. People they didn't recognize and places they hadn't been or were too young to remember.
Naturally our conversations included memories only the eldest of us shared. One such memory caused me to say that I was always so easily scared as a child, quickly brought to tears. And that I still felt some of that fear much of the time today. Almost as one those around the table responded in disbelief. Then someone asked how a scaredy cat could live alone on a farm for nearly three years.
I brought these thoughts back with me and have been turning them over and over in my mind.
for 2017 my polestar will be "Be not afraid."
Fear is a thief. Fear is a disabler. Fear cripples creativity. Fear causes dis-ease and therefore impacts every breath you take. Fear causes you to wear a mask of pretense.
Fear is a choice.
And I refuse to choose it.