We’re 16 days into 2018, and I wish I could say, “Woo! This year is off to an incredible start!” But I really can’t. I certainly can’t say its been bad! But it hasn’t been the most kind either. We have one truck in the shop that had to be towed. Neither of us have had much work (and my panic over a dwindling bank account is real). And I feel like we are in this weird time limbo where I don’t know what day it is or what I am supposed to be doing.

In the same breath of all of that, what work we have had has been great and we both have jobs lined up. We’ve thoroughly been enjoying this quiet down time together before the year ramps up and we’re back to hardly seeing one another. (We have done a LOT of Netflix binge watching on the couch together!) And so far, knock on wood, we’ve avoided all illnesses. Still a long flu season ahead, but at the moment we’ve been very lucky.

But perhaps its due to the down time — perhaps its due to the stillness of our days — I’m finding myself reflecting a lot on time.

I can still remember as a very young girl having this very narrow comprehension of day-to-day time. I could not comprehend people not all having the exact same daily schedule. We all were to get up at the same time. We all were to be at school or work by 8 am. Everyone had lunch at noon. We all got home and had dinner around 6 or 7. That sort of thing. When our neighbor would leave at 8 pm, I would be absolutely confused as to where they could possibly be going and why. My young mind could not comprehend everyone not living on the exact same schedule.

I think even to this day, sometimes I have a hard time comprehending people having multiple phases of life. Friends I know here today that are great musicians once had very normal day-jobs. And knowing them as I do now, I have a really, really hard time sometimes comprehending that “before life.”  Or even comprehending that some day they could be doing something completely different! Even as I myself often smile and inform people I wasn’t always a bartender or photographer. I did indeed work as a reporter at a newspaper, and, yes, I do have in-office experience and have a weird love for Excel spreadsheets.

But as I look back over the last 11 years of our marriage, I see how life has ebbed and flowed for us. Job changes. Moves. Experiences. Much has happened in the last decade, plus!

I can say that, too, about Nashville in general. We often comment that this is not the same city it was even five years ago, much less ten or more. Many people I know that have lived here only a few years will comment how much has changed, and I find myself shaking my head inside… if they only knew the magic that it once held as it was a small town wrapped up in city clothes.

I think too much. I find myself often pondering the idea of, “People don’t change” and trying to weigh that against how much I see change all around me. How much change I see within me. Likewise I ponder the deep, deep dangers of stereotyping, even as I see how stereotypes happen. It’s a conflict I am always trying to reconcile as I learn more about life in general.

One of my favorite saying these days is just, “Life happens.” (I recently wrote a blog entry here with that exact title!) So what’s next with life? What’s going to happen? Where am I in time… and where am I going?

I started this year not really feeling it. I didn’t have a foreboding dread or any such thing! But I didn’t feel all, “Yay! This is my year! It’s going to be great! Woo!” If anything I looked upon it with almost a sadness… like it’s going to be a challenging year. And if there is one lesson I’ve learned over time, it is to heed those feelings that don’t really come from my gut or my heart. The feelings that are just THERE with no real cause or explanation.

So we will see what is to be for 2018 and beyond. What challenges will we face? What lessons will we learn? I’ve enjoyed the time to reflect and take a look back and a look around. I suppose it’s time to look ahead now, and dare to dust off those dreams.

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