Happy New Year! 2008 was a really great year for me with several exciting things. I found a fabulous literary agent, sold my first book, and most spectacularly, gave birth to my sweet Isabella. So I can only hope that 2009 brings similar fortune, although 2009's events don't need to include more babies - at least not right now ,as I've got my hands and head full with my four year old, Sam, who endlessly asks questions and when I say I don't know the answer he makes me look it up on the computer (I swear - kids now a days are so smart!) and my baby who seems to always have a runny nose, poor thing.
I think one of the reasons 2008 was such a fruitful year for me was that at the start of the year I sat down and really thought about what I wanted. I even wrote some things down. Not in a resolution kind of a way, but more in a list of goals sort of way. Then I taped it to the inside of my closet door as a daily reminder. I think this kept me accountable, in focus, and on track. Of course, maybe it just means I watch too much Oprah (as she always preaches about the laws of attraction and positive thinking). Either way, I saw a pay off so this year I'll do the same.
So we just got back from a long trip to my parents house in New Jersey. I find it so interesting, returning to the place where I grew up - it's been so long since I actually lived there and yet there is always a level of comfort the minute we turn onto our long, hilly, suburban road. I grew up in such a fabulous neighborhood, one where every house had children and we all congregated outside to play kickball or flashlight tag. There was such a bond between the neighborhood kids and to this day, one of my dearest, closest friends grew up four doors down. As I walk down the street and see the new generation of kids playing and some of the same neighbors that still live there, I'm overwhelmed by how different the atmosphere is where I live now - in a small, rural town where people have large tracts of property and there lacks a traditional neighborhood. I remember when I first visited this town (where my husband grew up) the first thing I asked was where do the kids trick or treat? I know, I am a bit focused on candy, but also the idea of no neighborhood was so foreign to me. So as I spent the last two weeks in my idyllic, childhood neighborhood, my head starts spinning, like how did I wind up so far from where I started?? As we drove home from the airport, travelling away from Atlanta, past the suburbans into the mountains I kept thinking, this is so different, do I really belong in a small town? But then, as fast as the doubts came, we pulled into our long driveway. I walked into our home on the hill and looked out at the five ridges of the mountains, the apple orchard to the right, the moon shining brightly, even in the afternoon, through the clear, pollution-less sky, and I felt at home. I was reminded of the lovely Reese Witherspoon in "Sweet Home Alabama" when she returns to the small town of her childhood and she tells her old sweetheart that when she's in Manhattan she feels her best, feels accomplished and successful, but when she comes home to small town Alabama, that fits, too. I get it, Reese, and I couldn't have said it better.