January 17, 2014

A new start

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"Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." - Carl Bard

If you're reading this, maybe you've been around a long time, maybe this is your first time. But, like many people, I always feel a renewed sense of purpose in January and I am reminded that that feeling is what got me writing this blog 6 years ago this month. Wow, I can't believe it has been that long. My motivation for it has gone in and out over the years and life has taken me in other directions, but some things never change: I still like to write and I still love to cook.

I have several friends who said they are relieved that 2013 is over as it was not a great year. It was a rough end of 2013 for us for sure. I had some health problems, I got pregnant, we had a miscarriage, and I fell into a slump that lasted through the holidays. A pregnancy loss is such a hard thing to go through, physically and emotionally, and it has been a real roller coaster ride.

But I am feeling so good about the way things are now, about our little family of three and how we will be stronger for what we've gone through and I just know it's all going to be okay --better than okay. Some things just happen and they change the course of our lives. But good does come out of bad and peace can come from loss.

"Grieving for the child you have lost does not diminish the profound love for the one(s) you have."

This is something I read in a collection of essays on pregnancy loss called "A Silent Love" by Adrienne Ryan. It's something I can't stress enough. Friends, family, strangers, everyone has something to say when they find out you've suffered a miscarriage. And a lot of times it is something along the lines of "Well, at least you have one perfect child." I know they mean well and it's not an easy topic to discuss. But I want to make it clear that there is the love--boundless love it seems-- for the child you have and also profound gratitude. And then there is the love and hopes and dreams for the child you wanted and lost. The two are separate and each deserves its own space.

Our little girl is growing up and giving us so much joy everyday and every year. It's hard to believe the amount of love we have for her could keep increasing, but it does. Each new stage has its own set of discoveries and moments to savor (and challenges too), and I can't help thinking that there is a reason we have been given only one. She's our one and only. The ways that this has shaped who she is and who we are and the ways it will benefit her now and in the future are becoming clearer to me everyday. Our family is perfect the way it is.

I didn't know I was going to write about this today. I planned to write about the delicious granola bars I just made that have me wanting to mine the depths of all the recipes out there using nuts, grains and seeds, and how I have so many ideas about what to bake and cook these days. But there it is. I said it. And it feels good because I finally feel good.

I guess my renewed sense of purpose in the kitchen--and the fact that I chose something like wholesome grains, a feel-good granola bar, to get my creative process flowing--is no accident. And since this is getting to be long-winded, I'll save the recipe and photos for the next blog -- very soon.
Happy New Year and cheers to fresh starts.