Dear 2016

Dear Year 2016,

Hiking Red Rocks in the January sunshine.

Hiking in the January sunshine.

Welcome! Welcome to our lives. We have been eagerly anticipating your arrival, and you couldn’t have come a moment too soon. You see, 2015 was a big, great year, but it was challenging in many ways that we are happy to get past. I think we’ve learned a lot from 2015 – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and now we’re glad that you’re here to give us a fresh start.

In 2015, PeaceMeals saw a lot of changes and strategic re-thinking and logistical infrastructure-building. The nitty-gritty of making PeaceMeals useful to all sorts of people. I graduated from culinary school, PeaceMeals partnered with some cool organizations, and we grew our repertoire of recipes and skills. Folks gathered for PeaceMeals in Wisconsin, Colorado, and Washington DC.  As you can see, there has been a lot of moving over the past 12 months. In 2015, I learned much about courage, and the importance of building a home, no matter where you are (and whatever “home” means to you!).

But as 2016 begins, PeaceMeals has settled (for now!) in the DC/Maryland/Virginia region, and I am excited for it.  We will launch some repeating groups in this area, and to offer PeaceMeals’ services in different ways to individuals and organizations. We have some cool stuff planned for you, 2016.

But beyond the daily work, PeaceMeals never wants to lose the mission of hope and healing and vitality around the table, no matter what this year brings. More now than ever,

we need to cultivate real time with the people and communities that nourish us,
we need to choose the nutrients and practices that nourish our bodies and brains,
we need to choose to savor the small joys that have been given to us.

2015 taught us that both worry and joy are every-day choices, despite circumstances.

Joy is not mindless, Pollyanna-esque optimism that says “Relax! Everything will be ok!” Rather, joy is choosing to savor the good that does exist for us today, if we have the audacity to look for it. When the going gets rough, we can choose to give in to fear and give in to our physical manifestations of it (including stress responses like emotional eating or not eating, anger, overwork, wallowing in guilt, isolation, negative self-talk, etc.). OR, we can choose the small responses that build a vibrant life (including cooking a good meal for ourselves, savoring what we eat, spending time with people who matter, self-care, leaving work at work, etc.)

2016, for you, we choose joy.

In fact, we declare you the Year of Jubilee.

 

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