But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we’ll hold your hand
Hold your hand
~Mumford & Sons, Timshel
I heard the click of the belt and held on tightly to the saftey harness as I heard the words of the worker echo through the intercom: Enjoy your ride!
The rollercoaster started out on a flat stretch, the wind whipping my hair into a frenzy and I glanced down at my oldest son who was grinning from ear to ear.
Suddenly we were headed towards a steep hill. The rollercoaster seemed to grunt and groan against the weight of the all it’s passengers as it chugged up the hill. Slowly. Steadily. Working hard but never stopping or backing up.
Our car reached the peak of the hill and in just the briefest of moments we were able to see for miles around. A short pause and my breath was taken away by the view.
And suddenly we were flying down the hill, the rollercoaster seemed to be moving us along effortlessly and I could hear laughter all around me as we all felt the glee of moving easily, fast.
When it pulled back to the home station, we breathed a sigh. Of relief? Hand in hand my son and I walked away. So grateful for the ride.
Our family spent the week after Christmas in beautiful California–the place I was born and raised. When I was 17, I moved from Central California, a place I still love, to San Diego, a place I still dream about. I never found my way back home. Instead I grew up and placed roots in San Diego. After finishing college I was a teacher there for 7 years. I met my husband, got married in Balboa Park, and we had three of our children there.
As soon as our plane landed and I saw the familiar scenery of downtown mixed with the Bay, I felt lighter. I knew immediately this was the perfect place to start the New Year. It felt like home.
There is something comforting to me about January 1st. It feels like a fresh start. A clean slate. It feels like forgiveness. A second chance. And I can’t help but feel thankful for the year that is behind me–it feels like a gift to be given this life, to spend it with my people–and I’m grateful for that.
We arrived in San Diego on a Saturday and drove to my inlaws house. They live at the top of a hill–so high it overlooks the city and you can see for miles–to the Pacific Ocean and on a clear day you can make out Catalina Island. I was tired from traveling, the time change and yet the next day I found myself lacing up my shoes, my heart longing to run California.
In the past, I would have hopped on the treadmill to avoid the hills–so steep that your lungs feel like they are struggling to get just one good breath. Not this time. I knew what to expect and I wanted to embrace the hills–because I knew once I got out of that first half mile there would be rolling hills and flat areas and it would feel like a breath of fresh air to be enjoying running–one of my loves.
As I worked through the rolling hills I was reminded of 2014. Full of ups and downs. There were times throughout the last year where I felt like was struggling against the pull of life. And other times where I felt like I was flying easily–coasting. Sometimes it was easy, other times the struggle was so hard I didn’t know how I was going to make it to the top of my hills–but for some reason, only known to my heart–refusing to give up. There were moments where it was simply life–like the straight stretch of a roller coaster–my hair would whip around me but I could calmly look around and appreciate what I was seeing.
And when I look back at 2014–I can say: Thank you for the ride.
Looking around me as I start 2015, I know I’m blessed–never alone in this ride. I’m surrounded by my family–the people I love most on this Earth. I get excited thinking of the new dreams and goals I get to chase–the chance to even try is such a gift. Even knowing I’ll sometimes succeed, sometimes fail—but never alone with my family and God by my side–makes me look forward to what’s to come. The New Year feels like possibility, with all the hills, valleys, and straight stretches set out before me. And I grab the hands of my loved ones as we hop on for the ride.
Never Give Up,
What was one of your highlights of 2014? What are you looking forward to in 2015?