One of my goals for this new beginning we call a "year" is to write more. Lately, my brain is alive and filled with thoughts and ideas swirling around my skull, begging to come out. I'm not sure any of it is worth writing about or listening to, but since I have this wonderful place here, I can't see why not. Eventually I feel it might all make sense one way or another, if only to me, which will suck for you. Another reason I'm sitting here tonight to write is that these ideas and thoughts fueled my workout today. As a result, my legs are so damn sore from hopping back onto the treadmill, I can hardly move from the couch. Taking a month or two off of working out isn't like it used to be when I was in m 20's. My hips and legs ache like I'm assuming an centenarian does after walking out to the mailbox and back. Can anyone relate?
Recently, and coincidentally, in two separate conversations, the concept of "life seasons" was introduced to me. It's not a new way of thinking, but it was news to me. Hearing it was more of an AHA! moment, as I don't believe in coincidences. At first it wasn't obvious to me, but last year was the start of a new season. In the fall of 2011, I was leading a very ordinary life. This might imply to you (or you may read this as to say) that my life is today, extraordinary, but that's not it at all. See, to prove this to you, I will tell you that I married my college sweetheart, which to me, seems quite ordinary. Boring even. But he also helps to explain why I don't believe in coincidences. Not one bit.
My husband is from a city 6 hours from where I grew up. We lived three states apart for over 18 years. When I was a junior in high school, I applied to a handful of colleges. The first one I chose to visit was the last one I visited, and the following year I showed up on their doorsteps with my best high school friend to begin the next chapter of my life. But while I was still in high school, I talked my parents into letting me attend an outdoor camping/concert festival that even I knew was not appropriate for my underage self. But again, perhaps the persuasion was easy on purpose. Because when I put on my shiny new college sweatshirt and wandered the grassy knolls of the concert one afternoon, I was approached by my now husband. He noticed my sweatshirt not because it was flattering (it was the late 90's after all, when coverage and ponytails were HOT), but because he attended the same college as a current freshman. We had a brief chat, learned we'd be in each other's dorm next year, and parted ways. It wasn't until five months later (two months into my freshman year in college) that my roommate and I were drinking at a party so as to get the courage to approach the "man" with the unique name that we remembered but swore he wouldn't, and who would later become my husband. Coincidence? I seem to think not.
This new season started for me in October 2011, when I opened up this blog and began to pour my heart and new found, or unfound, creativity into it. Even though I'm blessed with wonderful husband, and three beautiful children whom I have the privilege to stay at home with, I suddenly felt another sense of purpose and direction. I say this because my family is what drives my ambition to be and do the best that I can. And a happy and driven me affects them in a wonderfully positive way.
The past year of writing and creating for Dwell on Joy has been an experiment of sorts. I tried new things (sewing), shared my love of cooking, my love of gift giving, and apparently my love of food photography. The blog has introduced me to wonderful women online, whom I will probably never meet in person, who all receive the same kind of affirmation from what they do. The blog makes me think more, and take in moments and life with a totally new perspective. Most importantly, this blog has given me faith. Faith that perhaps God has a greater purpose for me. Faith that from now on, will guide the content of this space in this new beginning and new year. I look forward to this journey with you. Who says there are only happy endings...I prefer to think of happy beginnings!