It's the morning of the last morning, of the last day, of the year that has changed my life and its trajectory. I watch through my dining room window as the sun peeps through the tall trees towering over the back lands. As most mornings, I stop for a second, admire its beauty, and walk on toward the coffee pot for my morning jolt. This morning, its reflection stops me.
It's been a fun year, a year of firsts, a year of statements as to how old I actually am and just what to expect from this day forward.
The list of 2017 (forgive me):
1. Italy for the second time was just as triumphant as it was the first. Include Sicily and its charm. Then Ireland for the second time. Costa Rica for the first. Keep travelin'. Keep those faraways coming.
2. Weddings upon weddings. Incredible clients, with no exceptions. I would have never stumbled upon these lives had I not had this dream of photography. You're never too old to let a new dream take hold of your life.
3. Opportunities to write for large outlets only whet my appetite for more assignments. I think I'm done with writing and then I write, I read, and I'm smitten all over again. Thanks AAA, BBC (more letters, please). Let the avalanche of pitches begin.
4. Challenges with children and the obligation to let them go. I must trust that I've done my best, done all I can, and allow them to live their lives - the good, the bad, the right, the wrong.
5. New challenges physically cause me to make changes mentally. You see, it's the mind that either gets in the way or catapults me. It will have to rise higher than ever for 2018.
I'm ready for a new year. That invisible line drawn between today and tomorrow has power, and I tend to do well with what I can't see. One thing I can see, a card I acquired at a conference in November that sits alongside my travel inspiration keepsakes on my desk. It reads, "Do hard things."
That's my first and only resolution. Do hard things. In doing that, I remain sharp and miracles happen. I don't think I could ask for anything more for 2018.
What a blessing each year becomes. I am so overpowered by God's grace each and every day that he allows me to breathe and inhale his wonderful world. Gratitude is a powerful tool. As we give it, it almost automatically returns to live inside of us. It approves us to be positive, to see the favorable, to be joyful rather than miserable, to throw off the complaints and see the positive, to accept moments as they come and be gentle . . . I think we all need more gentleness in our lives.
So from Seeing Southern to all, I wish you more gentleness in your 2018 moments, more positive thoughts, more productive exploits, more gratitude for whatever might befall you. And yes, more travel and more stories in this gift of another year.
P.S. I would be remiss if I left out THIS in my final words of 2017: GO DAWGS!
Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.