Hello first sip of coffee in the morning, reminding me that life’s small pleasures are worth savoring.
Hello risk. I’m comfortable with you now. (Though I’ll still wear my mask until we all get that vaccine.)
Hello laughter at all times of the day. Even when it’s 10 am and I’m trying to learn first grade subtraction while teaching high school government online. Even when it’s 10 pm and I’m exhausted from the day.
Hello Friday pizza night. You were the best night at the end of every week, especially the night that Chris proposed. I think you’re around to stay.
Hello vulnerability. You lead to connection.
Hello widow friends. You’re just my real friends now, and I’m so glad we have each other.
Hello vaccine. Yes!!!
Hello 42. I’m not scared of being older this year. There’s a beauty in those wrinkles.
Hello to my dad. And my sister Lindsay. And my Aunt Terry and Aunt Nancy and my new family up in Maine. Hello to everyone that I haven’t seen in almost a year, even if I have to say it on Zoom for a while. It won’t be long until we can wrap our arms around each other.
Hello new cookbooks, new flavors and new skills in the kitchen.
Hello to living life at a normal speed. I don’t need to fast-forward anymore.
Hello to embracing the uncomfortable and talking about hard things.
Hello gratitude. For the pantry I can stock and the medical care I can access. For the school where I work and the teachers who help my kids at their schools. For my kids and my dad and most especially for Chris.
Hello to embracing the memory of Shawn – in our home and in our family – while also moving forward together as a family of 5.
Hello nights out in crowded bars with great music in the background. Not yet. But sometime this year, it will be reality. I can’t wait.
Hello to accepting help when I need it and giving help when I can.
Hello to reaching out to others who are grieving. To seeing their shock and pain and holding space for it. And to saying, “tell me about the person you lost.”
Hello to letting go. Of the pieces of the past that are painful. But also of things from the past that I need to let go. Sometimes, that earring is just lost in the bathroom forever. But sometimes it shows up again.
Hello gin and tonic. I like you more than any beer.
Hello to running hard and riding fast down hills. I’m not a great athlete, but I can’t wait for the adventures I’m going to have this year.
Hello to finding a second love – one that’s never second place – and living a life I want to live with him.
Hello to imperfect days with lots of cold pizza and kitchen dance parties.
Image Credit: Becky Hale Photography.