in the present moment

"Pleasant in what way?"
She thinks for a moment, wrinkling her brow.
"Pleasant like after the Christmas holidays, when you've had to much to eat. I think about the way it feels when everyone has left...My husband and I, we go to the kitchen, I make up a little bouillon with fresh vegetables. I slice some mushrooms real thin, and we have our bouillon with those mushrooms in it. You get the feeling you've just come through a storm, and it is calm again."
"No more fear of being short on anything. You're happy in the present moment."
"You feel its natural--and that's the way it should be when you eat."
"You enjoy what you have. There is no competition. One sensation after the other."
"Yes, you have less, but you enjoy it more."

(Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog)


I tend to think of New Year's resolutions as quiet, private scribbles, instead of loud, public statements. I write these tiny goals of mine in small letters on the opening pages of the Moleskin weekly hardcover planner that I buy near the end of every December. Over the Christmas holiday, I perused three book stores, and a handful of other retail stores in search for that classic black planner but was left empty handed. It seems I am not the only one who likes moleskin. Nor am I the last soul who still maps out life with a fine-tipped pen and a tangible, paper calendar. I resorted to ordering my trusty new moleskine online and it arrived New Years Eve, just in time for me to tuck away last year's notebook and carefully print my name on the front page of a new book bearing a new date. A fresh start.

If I could go back, a year ago, I would stare 2014 in the eyes and stand a little straighter, mentally preparing for all that she would bring. Most notably, that one very big thing. 

If I could go back, just a few months, I would catch him before he got arrested. I'd distract him before he left town with his friends, draw him away from the temptation to condense four years worth of high school experimenting into every Friday night moving forward.

If I could go back, I would have done some things differently. Other things, I would have done the same. I would warn my summer self that in six months, despite all our efforts, we would kick him out two days before Christmas, and that it would be the hardest thing we'd ever had to do.

Which is all to say that this past year God blessed us richly, as he always does, but he stretched us too. On New Year's Day, Zack and I had our house wholly to ourselves for the first time after a very long season. It was peaceful and calm and so good. We took down our tree and tucked boxes of decorations back up in the attic. We literally cleaned up our mess, which did much to soothe the angst and worry in my heart.

We have such plans for 2015. I took some time yesterday to copy them all down in the new moleskin. Travels and weddings, visits, adventures and eager expectations. So here is a tiny resolution, if you will: to make my private scribbled list in the spirit of happy anticipation for both the changes I can control and the changes that I can't. Onward and Upward.



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