We had our first snow of 2020 today! It’s coming down all over Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. I shot this video near my house. It’s short, but I thought you might like it. If you turn up the volume, you can hear church bells playing The First Noel. I hope that wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you are safe and snug and enjoying your day! 🙂
It’s the last morning of the old decade, or what is to become the old decade in just a few hours. And so we rush onward into 2020, a year which sounds almost too science-fictiony to be real. (When the clock strikes midnight, if I look out my window and don’t see flying cars, I’ll be very disappointed.)
To be honest, part of me cringes at New Year’s celebrations. It’s like everything I failed to accomplish in the past twelve months is being shoved in my face. Usually I am a glass-half-full, focus-on-what-you-have-accomplished-rather-than-what-you-haven’t kind of person, but New Year’s tends to bring out my crankiest self.
This crankiness and self-criticism will pass, of course. It always does. Life is about finding a path and following it, one step at a time. But sometimes I get so focused on my feet that I forget to look up and see the wider world around me. Sometimes I need to re-orient myself to where I am going. And that’s why it’s so important to have a guiding star.
Okay, I know this is an overused metaphor. But it’s probably used so frequently because it’s completely accurate. Since the beginning of recorded history, we have been using stars to help us steer our various courses in life. Having that one point of orientation in an otherwise huge and overwhelming world is not only essential to get us where we’re going, it can help keep us off the rocks.
So, wherever and whoever you are, my wish for you in 2020 is that you find your own star, and follow it as well as you can, and as far as you can. Whether your star is family or faith or financial, or something else entirely, may each of the next 365 days bring you a step farther down your path, and a step closer to your dreams.
Christmas is almost upon us (Heaven help my pocketbook!), and I am finally starting to feel the spirit of it. The lights and music and the smell of gingerbread remind me how it felt to be a child. And that reminded me of this wonderful quote from Einstein.
There are a few different version of this quote floating around the internet, and at one point I even wondered whether or not he had actually said it (incorrect attribution is kind of an online epidemic, but I’m sure you’ve noticed that already!).
The full quote is taken from a letter that Einstein wrote to his old friend, Otto Juliusburger, in September 1942: “People like you and I, though mortal of course like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live. What I mean is we never cease to stand like curious children before the great Mystery into which we were born.” (Source: Fauxinstein Strikes Again!)
In full context, the words take on a slightly different meaning (descriptive instead of encouraging). But the sentiment is still the same, and gives us something for which to strive.
Here’s to keeping our sense of childlike wonder, throughout the holiday season and beyond. There is so much magic and beauty in the world: may we never lose our eagerness to look for it, or our ability to see it.