It’s the 6th of December and I just finished packing for our Overseas Christmas Adventure. On Wednesday, I finish up at my job, and not just for the year. On Friday, we fly out. We’ll be gone a month and it’s unlikely I’ll be posting any updates while I’m away, so this may be my last post of the year.
There’s something significant about traveling at this time of year. Choosing what to carry with you and what to leave behind. Leaving one country, arriving in another. Time in airports, on trains and buses, with nothing to do but reflect. Celebrating Christmas in a place where you have nothing but a bag full of clothes and the people you love the most.
If our life is a TV series, this is the final season. The season in which everything changes. The season of big decisions and big milestones. Our housemates are having a baby, we’re traveling overseas, and when we get back, I’ll be starting a new job, a new adventure.
I’ll be honest, I started the reflecting early. My resolutions for 2014 were this:
– Make Major Life Decisions
– Query Project 1 and write Project 2
– Find Wonder and Adventure
And I did. I made the decisions that needed to be made. I queried The Sea Wolves and signed with an agent. Project 2 was derailed a bit by revisions on TSW and a fun Project 3 — a story that was like a pressure release valve when I needed it most — but I’m coming back to it now with a new vision and a new dedication. I found wonder in the woods and by the sea and after a year of Writer Beth I’m finally embracing Adventurer Beth once again.
Sometimes it feels like you’re stuck in the sand and no matter how much flailing you do, you just aren’t making it any closer to your goal. But you are. I am. We achieved some things this year, you and I.
I don’t have a clear vision of what 2015 might look like, but I know what I’m taking with me on the journey. I posted this photo to Instagram originally, and this is the description I gave:
“The succulent, because even in the desert things can grow. The teacup, because we ask for what we need and it is given to us. The notebook because words are precious and powerful and should be carefully curated. The pencil, because mistakes can always be erased. The fox, because cute 😉 #LIVEfree2015″
Every item is important in its own way, but the notebook is particularly precious to me. I started this journey with just a notebook and an idea, and I want to get back to that. That simple gratitude, that wonder, the slow, miraculous unfurling of stories under my pen.
There’s something holy about this: a notebook, an idea, and time for dreaming.
Maybe I lost track of that that somewhere between full time work and querying, computers and ambition, but I’m going to get it back. That’s what this trip is about for me — returning to those days of free hours and a free mind, undirected dreaming, a well of inspiration that starts somewhere in my soul and spills forth from there.
Christmas is my favorite time of year. It encompasses everything I believe in: family, faith, gratitude, compassion, giving, love, joy, peace and pine trees. It’s a time for reflection, for choosing what to bring with you into the new year.
Christmas is always significant to me, but this one feels particularly important. I have a feeling I’ll remember this Christmas for a very long time.
Whatever this time of year means to you, travel or home, ham or Chinese food, I wish you peace, joy and a little bit of time to write.