it’s been a year of grappling. yes, yes it has. there’s been grappling with things that could be decided with wishbones or the magic 8 ball or using my roll-on deodorant as a crystal ball – things like eat-in-or-out and do-i-or-don’t-i sign up for that bootcamp. then there was more advanced grappling that required more advanced divination techniques walking or writing or stitching.

the year began with grappling about whether to buy the house or not, whether to move or stay put. then once we decided to buy the new house, i grappled a lot with things like where to place furniture, what to leave and what to take, wall colors, floor coverings, and best use of space. as the grappling wanes and we get settled, i begin to see that anything’s possible in a house that loves you.

on and off throughout the year, i grapple with difficult people – one in particular. do i go eyeball-to-eyeball or do as i’ve been taught and take the so-called high road (the road i was taught to ALWAYS take, the road that feels so much like cowardice)? i write to distill, write for clarity of purpose, and set up a meeting. when we part hours later, there is no grappling at all as i silently thank her for giving me the opportunity to finally stand up to a bully. thank her for this feeling of powerful satisfaction and self-confidence i have seldom known.

when the calendar reaches the one-and-a-half year anniversary of the day my best friend from graduate school broke up with me, i grapple with whether it is time to write that letter or wait a while longer. i write the letter, and feel quietly satisfied, knowing whatever her reception, i’ve done the right thing.

when my cousin’s son “went off the deep end”, i grapple with whether to speak flat-out or take the usual vague, watered-down approach. flat-out won, and i have to tell you: it feels really good to speak unencumbered with syrupy words and hollow platitudes. i traveled light, and i like it. i like it a lot.

yes, i grapple . . . and whenever i think myself out of something – when i let my head overrule and overrun my heart – i look back and wonder what would have happened if. but, oh, oh, oh. every time i listen to my self, trust my self, heed my self . . . i stand a little taller, feel a bit surer, and say thank you. a lot.

the stories are mine, but credit for the kindling goes to gwen bell and her best of 2009 blog challenge. today’s prompt: what one word best describes your 2009?

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