Sixteen hours into the new year and I feel pretty good about 2013.
I rang in the new year at a party that included my sister, her husband, and some of our Latino friends. I mention that they are Latinos, because, in my humble opinion, Latinos know how to throw a party! Maybe it's my love of (Latin) dancing that leads me to that conclusion. Dancing is an important element of every Latino party. Salsa, merengue, bachata - my body can't help but move, and last night it got to.
As the year began I exchanged texts and conversation with friends not at the party, then got a few hours of sleep.
St. William has hosted a World Day of Prayer for Peace interfaith prayer service every January 1st for many years. I hadn't attended one until this year, when I was asked to preside. What an incredible honor. What a beautiful way to enter into the new year - with prayers and reflections from diverse faith traditions, all focused on peace.
This morning before the service I was anxious. I had written a few of the things I was going to say. What if my words weren't just right? As presider, a lot of responsibility for making the service run smoothly fell on me. What if I forgot something or my timing was off? When I took a moment to consider my nervousness, I reminded myself that the people attending would be there because they were interested in peace. They were not there to judge me and would, in all likelihood, forgive me if I messed up...if they even noticed. That helped put things into perspective and calm the nerves. After the service, I breathed a sigh of relief. It had gone well.
From there I went to my best friend's annual New Years Day Pajama Brunch. I love the event for a couple of reasons: 1) it's not often I get to go out in pjs (though I didn't do so this year, since I came from the prayer service) and 2) I get to see long-time friends that I don't otherwise see. This year's friend-seeing was no disappointment. I am ever amazed at the high-caliber of people I am blessed to know.
Later in the afternoon I had a conversation about a new monthly blog I'll be writing focusing on nonviolence (more details about it in future posts). I read a little, visited my grandma, who is, unfortunately, starting her new year in the hospital because she has pneumonia, and then picked up some food. There I ran into a former student and his dad, as well as another friend.
And now I sit writing, a warm furry creature snuggled up to me.
If the first 16 hours of 2013 are any indication of the way this year will go, I am in for an awesome year. The blessings are already pouring down on me in torrents. I hope with all my heart and soul that your year is starting out as joyfully as mine. Whether it is or isn't, I wish you much peace, joy, and love throughout this year.