The Gift of a Year

January 3, 2010

The Christmas gift I enjoyed most this year was a used book my sister sent me. It was simply perfect as my sister had gushed for almost an hour on the phone about the effects the book had on her earlier this summer. The Gift of a Year: How to Achieve the Most Meaningful, Satisfying, and Pleasurable Year of Your Life by Mira Kirschenbaum walks you through the steps to take a year for yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to shave your head and enter a nunnery. Nor does it mean leaving your friends and family in the dust literally. It is about focusing on the one thing that’s been ‘missing’ in your life.

Looking back on 2009, I lived the gift of a year without really knowing it. I merely decided to fulfill my childhood dreams by doing things differently. Acting in German television shows, doing commercials and video skits, I enjoyed my year immensely. Now that I know what to call what I did (gifting myself a year), I  decided this year would be the year of beauty for me personally (my husband and I name each year something by selecting a focus. Last year was the Year of the Book. This year is the Year of Entertainment). Whether I commit an act of beauty, marvel at the beauty of nature, or surround myself with beautiful people, I have decided beauty, both inside and out, might be just the thing to keep my focused and in alignment with my truest purpose.

So it was perfect timing when I came home after the long six-hour drive from the Swiss Alps to our home nest where a copy of Shannon Honeybloom’s new release, Making a Family Home was waiting patiently by the wood pile. The book’s premise is to be conscious about how you design your home by taking into consideration the sensory aspects and the hidden meaning behind the space. In flowing prose, Shannon conveys her own struggles with raising three small children in her Austin home. The isolation, the challenges, the taxing nature of early parenting can all be alleviated by using the home as the basis on which to build our lives. Beauty, joy, love and warmth are what nurtures our souls. The lovely photography by Skip Hunt augments the book’s message: home is where the heart is. Fill your house with love, no matter the location.

How will you gift yourselves this year?

3 Responses to “The Gift of a Year”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    I am so glad you found it helpful! And, I’m your stepmother now? (P.s. I sent it to you. :-)) Glad you had fun in the Alps! Happy New Year!

  2. Shannon Says:

    Thanks for the lovely review! I am enjoying exploring your website. I lived in Germany briefly in high school and I loved it and I love the German language too! We have some things in common — both writers, actresses, mothers, and trying to slow down in this busy world. Thanks again! Warmly, Shannon Honeybloom

  3. powerofslow Says:

    Wonderful to hear from you, Shannon. We do indeed have a lot in common. Welcome to the Power of Slow!


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