I’m having a strange New Year’s Eve this year, 2012. I’m at my parent’s house—about an hour and a half northwest of Nashville, Tennessee. I’m the only one here and I just poured a glass of white-ish wine from an Ed Hardy bottle my Mother bought on sale a few weeks ago. I take that back, I’m not entirely alone. My eleven-year-old cocker spaniel Kasey, and my sister’s four-year-old pug Aiden, are both here as well, sprawled out in overwhelming comfort on a brown fuzzy throw someone left on the couch. I can hear fireworks going off in the distance, and as I was driving in—under a heavy blanket of rain, I even saw a few light up the sky and reflect in the deep puddles of an all-day rain.

I’ve been surrounded by friends and/or family on every New Year’s Eve for as far back as I can remember—ringing in the NEW YEAR like there is truly something transforming happening as the clock strikes midnight; like an entirely new you is born, like today is any different from yesterday. So, even though I’m spending tonight by myself, I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to be doing so.

The first part of the year was cold. Though it will mostly be remembered as a “mild winter” – we still had many bone-chilling days. I hadn’t really started running outside with a vengeance yet, that would come later in the year. In those first couple of months, I was at the gym every day, setting small goals and achieving them at a pace I enjoyed. I saw the Civil Wars, Shovels & Rope, Emmylou Harris, Mumford & Sons, Stevie Nicks, The Lumineers, and Blind Pilot; I started making my own tortilla chips, helped launch several shows on CMT and went to L.A. for my first solo work trip. I read 20 books this year (highest tally since 2009), including the Bible. I wrote a lot, launched a blog (or two) and this year, more than any other yet, I feel like I’m finally becoming the person I’m meant to be. I traveled, I hiked, I ran for hours at a time; I made new friends, I let some friendships go, I celebrated dream-making, craft beer and vegetarianism.

Some of my goals from last year:
+ Run 550 miles – I ran over 600
+ Learn how to cook some stuff – This was so broad, it was a can’t-fail. To be fair, I know I made lasagna cups, tortillas, and some other things.

Throughout the year, I made some other goals:
+ Go to church, regularly – Achieved. After a surprisingly short church-tour, I joined Crosspoint in August.
+ Run a 10k – When I made this goal, back in May, it sounded pretty lofty. I was afraid to type it. TWO 5ks. But it happened. Check out some of the training I did for Under Armour What’s Beautiful Challenge. And then…
+ Run a half-marathon  – This might’ve been the craziest thing I did this year. Both the signing up AND running parts. End result, I will do it again.
+ Give generously – There are no rules for giving. Don’t ask questions, just DO what you think is right.

December was the last and easily most challenging month of the year. My Dad was admitted to a local hospital a couple of weeks ago for what doctors called a “diabetic event” – wherein, he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, a situation that had only developed, and developed rapidly, in the preceding two months. Last Thursday, after complaining of mild chest pains and initially resisting treatment, my Dad was admitted to the hospital again, this time with a saddle pulmonary embolism—a significant blood clot located at the split of the pulmonary artery, blocking blood flow to the lungs. In the matter of two days, the clot had moved from his leg to it’s current resting place on his lungs.

On Saturday night, I hugged my Dad and said goodbye, for what I thought would be the last time.

It’s hard to type those words. Really, it’s been hard to type any of these words and reflect on 2012, with this weekend still so close at hand. We transferred Dad to Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, knowing that he may not survive the ambulance transfer, but knowing it was our only hope.  I put my trust in God, but the anxiety was hard to shake. Miraculously (and really, how often do we get to use this word to invoke the full force of its meaning?), his health turned around. There is no obvious explanation, no miracle drug or Dr. House on the case. He’s still at Vanderbilt tonight—his 6th day in the hospital, but the threat level is significantly decreased and he should be discharged tomorrow.

So, New Year’s Day feels more like a clean slate and starting-over point than it ever has. I’m excited to share goals and make plans; be even more collaborative, engaged, and consistent and share the wealth.



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