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Happy First Day of this New Year

Yes, I am someone who loves New Years. And mornings too. We get a fresh start (OK so maybe we don’t get to wake feeling refreshed and revived every day but sometimes, right!). It has been rainy here; lots of rain and gray, so much that I felt like I was back home in Pittsburgh (Oh, Pittsburgh, don’t worry you will always hold my heart). Then today happened- sunshine is bursting through my windows and I am fortunate enough to have spent a morning snuggled near a wood burning fire cuddled by two happy cats (another is still in bed) and surrounded on the floor by two restful dogs. We are taking this holiday seriously. We are resting yet inspired and I am oh so grateful for my warm home, full belly, loving partner, family and friends.

Yeah, there is a bit of rambling on this page- a bit of reflective cacophony that I am gushing out. I have no true agenda, simply sitting down with a fullness in my chest and wanting to share a bit. I am aware of my achievements this past year, as well as those areas that could use some attention. And I don’t just mean joining the gym and eating better.

Three and a half years ago I followed a need in my heart and I jumped into some major life changes. Love makes us do a lot of things we normally wouldn’t, it’s a wonderful and crazy thing. Love brought me to Kentucky and love led me to palliative and hospice care and love keeps me fueled. I am honored to share in the love of so many families that I meet in my practice as well as the love and support I receive from not only family and friends, but also colleagues in my niche of this veterinary profession. Today I sit here and am grateful for each and every person who has touched my path. Some of those include humans and animals, who may or may not still be with us.

What has this year brought you? Perhaps the loss of a beloved friend or family member that still leaves your heart heavy. I often think that one of the best ways we can honor someone we have loved and lost is to always hold them close and to remember how they touched and will continue to touch our lives. Just this week, as I helped an incredibly strong soul gently transition from his tired body, I was reminded of my mother. The shared moment of peace, prayer, love, and tears hit that spot- and we never know when that is going to happen. Sometimes we smile, or cry, and no matter I am thankful for those moments.

Earlier this week, these words resonated within me as I reflected on how we live with sadness in our heart - “Without suffering you have no ways to learn compassion or understanding” and that the lotus flower grows in the mud, the dirt of decay. This isn’t easy- but I have pondered the thought that happiness and suffering are both organic, like garbage and flowers and we can transform the garbage we create in to flowers (see OnBeing with Thich Nhat Hanh). And I think about how working around death has taught me so much about living.

So I hope you all had a holiday filled with love and laughter- and if there was sadness, that you were able to acknowledge and nurture that as well, as it is a part of all of us. My wishes for 2016? A year of wonder as we embark on our continued journey celebrating the new, cherishing the old and growing and loving each day- because I continually try to be open to growth all along finding a peace within what is already blooming.

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