Our trip to Ireland was awesome. I enjoyed everything about my time away with most of the family. I sure did miss Chenin and Sean, and of course all of my other family from afar.
Our visit to Ireland was everything I imagined and more. It wasn't so much the spectacular lights, the sampling of many Guinness beers over dynamic and wonderful family time and conversation, the countryside or even that I was sharing all of this with our very special family. It was experiencing the history in Belfast that will stick in my mind. Growing up, I loved studying history. For the very first time in my life, I was able to see where the "troubles" experienced between the Catholics and Protestants all began. As I was at the Peace Walls and the Memorial Wall enjoying a moment of silence for those lost, it seemed to validate my often struggle with organized religion. I know I was not alone in the power experienced in that moment in time. Regardless, for me, it was the single most poignant moment of my Ireland adventure.
While away, I focused on me. Probably for the first time in a very long time. I took a great deal of time to reflect on life, where I was, where it might be headed, the amazing gifts and miracles that came my way in 2011, and what I desired for my life in 2012 and beyond. I enjoyed some very healthy moments taking stock and investing time in myself.
Celebrating the New Year, will be just that a celebration of life. As I was driving feverishly around Ireland and Northern Ireland with the family, having the absolute pleasure to witness history, green hills, stunning and beautiful countryside, peaceful walks and a calm pace; simplicity became my friend.
Nevertheless, celebrating 2012 will certainly include my family, both new and "known," and some of the same things I was so fortunate to discover and experience in 2011. As I close out today's blog, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Hal Borland. Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.