After our visitors left, we sat down for an early dinner. Every year, we write a list of our hopes for the year. We keep it inside our wall calendar and review the list on New Year's Eve. Our hopes for 2008 included good health for everyone, job satisfaction, harmony in our home, more time with friends and a long list of specific wishes for each family member. On the whole, even though 2008 felt like a big struggle a lot of the time, most of the important wishes were fulfilled, while a number of smaller ones (like going skiing) were not. Overall a good year.
We then took out scraps of paper and pens and took turns writing down all that occurred in 2008 which we didn't want to take into the new year with us. This included sibling fights, fears, hurt feelings and scraped knees among others. It was surprising to see how many things the girls wanted to leave behind, but also what they wanted to hang on to (like tears for example). When we couldn't think of another item to write on our paper scraps, we built a fire and took turns balling up our scraps and throwing them into the flames.
Some of the biggest blessings of 2008 were the Hobbit's continued health, as well as that of the Wizard's grandmother. We added two more pets to our family and had more time with just the four of us to enjoy. The Wizard and I overcame one of the most challenging years of our marriage, in which we both had to examine how much we meant to each other. In the end we chose to love each other more for who we are and who we are becoming, and 2009 is beginning with our relationship in the best place it has been in years. 2008 brought a lot of work stress for the whole family, and we will continue to learn how to balance full time working parents with the needs of our family and my studies. Financially 2008 has been a fair year, and we are hopeful in spite of the economy that we will be okay, provided the house and the cars hold up!
There is much work ahead all around. But we're all quite excited for 2009 and all the gifts and blessings and lessons it will bring into our lives.
I wish you all light, health and many blessings for 2009.