December Reflections

JOY 2013

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Soren Kierkegaard

This year did not exactly go as planned. It was difficult to get into a rhythm of writing and creativity and then, mid-March, my father-in-law went to join his beloved. His death was sudden and not expected. So, I suppose you could say that “reflection” is what most of us have been doing all year.

The big, extended, family Christmas celebration was held on the first Saturday of this month. My husband and his eleven siblings gathered with their spouses, children, and grandchildren — and there was joy. Oh, there were tears and there was laughter, but joy was abundant.

JOY Blue 2013

Unfettered JOY — it’s what I’ve felt for most of this year and the feeling that most often sweeps over me as this season continues. A gift embedded in the memories of my in-laws; a remnant of lives shared with great love.

I was lucky enough to find JOY ornaments and purchased two: Red for our Santa Christmas tree and Blue for my sister’s.  Spreading the JOY from California to Michigan.

Jolly Toes 2013

“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

JOY — it’s what I most feel when I am with my husband, when we are lucky enough to steal a moment or two together. Accomplishments for 2013 have not been stellar, though there have been a few. Perhaps, just maybe, this year was meant for smaller leaps and simpler bounds.

Jolly Jingle Tennies 2013

A year for keeping family and friends close, being present for every day living, and fulfilling tiny desires — like a pair of Christmasred Converse high-tops with green & red jingle bells to herald in the season.

This post is part of a Blog Circle on “A Year in Review” for December. Please visit my creative colleagues as they share on their blogs, too.  You can find Naz Laila’s, blog here, and circle about visiting Ginger Deverell, Amy Riddle, Sandy King, Monica Martin, Laly Mille, and Kathie Gadd.

Stay Jolly and Embrace Joy!


  1. Love that Robin … ” this year was meant for smaller leaps and simpler bounds “.. that is beautiful. And you’re right.
    Sometimes we use a smaller measure to calculate our gain. You sound peaceful in this post and I love your pictures. Well done. All the best of the season to you and your family and it sounds like you’re ready for 2014. Hugs to you XX

  2. I agree with Sandy Robin, “this year really was meant for smaller leaps and simpler bounds”! So beautifully put!!! Some years are just like that. They are meant to bring you back to the present and enjoy the things in life that sometimes can be taken for granted.

    I am so sorry about your father-in-law but it sounds like you all have had much love and joy to celebrate no matter what! Bravo!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours and I wish you the very best in 2014!

    Hugs, Kathie

  3. I love the reflections of your year. Life ebbs and flows, as we navigate our way through it. Some years are meant for family togetherness, and that is a good thing. I can relate to losing my father in law suddenly, and the tremendous loss felt by all. I hope 2014 brings you whatever you are hoping for. So glad to have “met” you!

  4. Always enjoy what you have to say, Robin! You have helped me put my own ‘hustle’ into perspective. I just thought I was overstretched; my day job is my creative biz, husband works his business in the daylight hours, only 9 grandchildren, no large extended family gathering this year-just four days with my whole bunch sleeping/eating here(18 heads and mouths). The years that include the loss of someone so special are draining. Possibly the new year will give you a boost to move forward; honoring the past and digging into the future in a fresh way. Peace and love.

  5. Hi Robin, I love that quote – “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” It’s so true. I recall reading/ seeing this quote from a woman at the autumn of their life “I had a great life, I just wish I had realized it sooner”. It’s so hard to see where we’re at in the moment. I admire your wisdom to know that this is a year for simpler quieter things – we all have those years but somethings it’s hard to lean into it and embrace it. Keep feeling the joy and it will take you through to your next steps on the journey. Sending love. xo

  6. Hi Robin! I am finally taking a moment to go around our last circle before our new one next Thursday. I love how you talk about the little joys. It reminds me of your previous Thanksgiving post. Have a very sweet 2014… xo Laly

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