thriving, not surviving.

Thrive-1It's early. 5:30am to be exact. I am the only one awake in my house and it feels wonderfully peaceful at this hour. My coffee is hot and I'm curled up on the couch in my pajamas, listening to the sound of the heater warming the rest of the house. I wish I was a morning person, that I could do this every day. I wish I could wake up before anyone else and write in the dark. The only reason I am here right now is because I went to bed at 9pm. Yes, I went to bed at 9pm on New Years Eve. I'm not even sorry. My instagram and Facebook feeds have been full of inspiring posts the past few days. Everyone is setting intentions and goals for the year, picking one little word to guide them for the next 365 days.

To be honest, I haven't given it five minutes of thought.

Which is so unlike me, come to think of it.

I am usually all about New Years. New year, new me, new you. I love a fresh start, an empty page, for my life to be a blank canvas on January first.

Coming off the tails of 2015, I can say with absolute certainty that this was one of the hardest years of my life. Transitioning from one kid to two kids was more than a year-long process, one marked by severe sleep deprivation and a deeply needy baby who could barely function outside of my arms. I have been in a fog for most of this year: tired, exhausted, worn out, drained physically and emotionally. My body has suffered. My marriage has suffered. My writing has suffered.

If I had to put a word down for 2015 it would be survive. This past year I was barely treading water, kicking my legs as hard as I could just to stay afloat. There was not a lot of balance. I think I read less than five books all year. I saw maybe three movies. I drank way too much coffee, and ate way too much takeout. I cried a lot. Every day was a hustle, and not in a good way.

Ironically, 2015 was perhaps one of my best work years to date. Coffee + Crumbs continues to grow in all the right ways. We published 156 essays, ran a successful pledge drive, opened our online shop, and just this week launched a writing workshop. I signed with a literary agent and worked on a number of book ideas and proposals towards the end of the year. I attended my first photography workshop in October and, as a result, did an overhaul of my photography site, vowing to show more of the work I want to book. My brain never stopped working in 2015. I chased every dream I could think of and walked through every door God opened. Every night after the kids went to bed, I opened my laptop and worked till I couldn't keep my eyes open. It was wonderful and tiring, inspiring and taxing.

To put it simply, I am grateful and proud and exhausted at the end of 2015.

Today, as we enter a new year full of endless possibilities, I can only bring myself to make one resolution. One intention, one word.

In 2016, I want to THRIVE, not simply survive. 

I want to play more and clean less. I want to cook more and eat cereal less. I want to rest more and work myself into the ground less.

I want to flourish.

I don't want to tread water anymore; I just want to swim.

See you at the lake?

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My favorite posts from 2015: You Just Had A Baby, Inconvenient, To Be Brave With Your Art, Mommy Doesn't Go To Work, When Love Is A Relay, The Hard Way, The Year We Didn't Sleep, When You Say Your Dreams Out Loud, Taking A Leap

and a few from Coffee + Crumbs: Meeting In The Middle, Enjoy This Time Dear, A Tale Of Two Birth Plans, Imposter Mom, Velcro Baby, The Battles We Choose