Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Here's the thing: I love, love, love end-of-year and New Year top ten lists and reflections and resolutions and envisioning.  I like that this time of year encourages introspection and listening to our lives.  I love how differently people approach the end of one year and the beginning of the next; how some make traditional lists of desired experiences or changes, and others choose a word or phrase to set the tone for the next twelve months; how brave individuals look back at their year and notice where they thrived and where their heart has grown weary or trapped, and ponder how they might move a little closer toward freedom and love in their lives; how critics round up the best films and books and television shows of the year, and I put twenty books on hold at the library and watch to watch all the movies, ever.  I am drawn to this flurry of remembering and of looking forward because I am a list-maker at heart, and also because so many significant events fall around the end of the calendar year for me--my birthday, our wedding anniversary, and of course, the actual new year--and so it feels natural to pause, observe, and do what I can to be sure I am living a life of intention, where my outside circumstances match the interior priorities and values I hold.

Here's the other thing: we were robbed.

Our bedroom was ransacked, boxes turned upside down and left without care, our personal things picked through and some of the things that were so precious to us, taken away.  Our mattress was shoved off our bed, our drawers opened and rummaged through, cupboard doors opened, everything askew.  It's so violating, to imagine these angry and aggressive strangers in my home, taking what they wanted for their own purposes.  Chris' journals, his precious thoughts and records of his prayers and growth as a person, were taken.  Every love letter we've ever written to each other, gone.  Why?  What could they possibly want with those things?  My guitar was taken, wrapping paper, little knickknacks,  jewelry, and I'm so angry because I didn't invite those people into my home and they came and saw my little world.  It's aggressive, shameful, rage-inducing.  I feel jumpy in the place that has been my refuge for the past two years.

The first night, even though we picked up and restored the bedroom almost perfectly before getting into bed, every time I closed my eyes I saw the violently disturbed version in my mind's eye.  It was haunting, to see this space where I sleep and pray and read and talk with my husband destroyed like that.  It will be hard to un-see.

So instead of remembering 2014 and dreaming and praying over 2015, I was getting a new bank account and printing out IRS reporting forms and itemizing stolen object costs and trying to get enough sleep despite my anxious tendency to wake up early and not fall back to sleep.  The last week was more about getting through the day with grace and coffee than it was about re-evaluating priorities and listening for the Spirit of God about next steps in my life.  I felt robbed, indeed, not only of these specific items from our home, but of the chance to spend a week of vacation listening for God and dreaming with Chris and making plans for what I might do with my one precious life.

I know it's not too late to live a year of intention and adventure and beauty, but I still feel the loss of this last week.  I suppose I have to grieve and then move forward from that disappointment into my praying and dreaming and planning for 2015.

Although I had envisioned doing much more than this, what I have for now is a small list I had prepared in December, pre-robbery, of six goals for my twenty-sixth year. Over the last two years I began a new tradition of forcing friends and family to make a list of goals or experiences they'd like to have during the next year of life--the number is always semi-arbitrary while attempting to be semi-related to their new age (i.e. if you're 24, you might make 4 goals or 6 [2+4] ). Here is what I hope for from the next year, so far:

  • Write for ten minutes every day
  • Listen to Serial
  • Travel with Chris to a place new to both of us
  • Sign up for a CSA box
  • Send 26 handwritten notes
  • Learn and listen from people not in power, both in writing and in person 

Here's to these goals, and even more dreaming and envisioning--for twenty-six, for a third year of marriage, and for 2015.

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