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Behind and Beyond: Reflections on the Brink of a New Year

Posted Dec 31 2012 12:27pm

Happy New Year from The Infertility VoiceI love New Year’s Eve. It’s such a precarious, if invented demarcation between the old and the new, the past and the future, a sliver of the present in transition. For many, it’s the tabula rasa, the turn of the wheel, a moment of both ending and beginning. How fitting that Janus, the two-faced Roman god who faces both his past and future, should be the inspiration for the month of January.

I’ve reflected on 2012 through my blog posts, but it’s hard to encapsulate and reflect on my year just in the words I’ve written here. There’s so much that happens beyond the blog, beyond these words, those little moments that might not be captured in paragraphs or even photos – those memories that stay in our hearts. 2012, by all accounts, was a momentous year. There were good moments. There were great moments. And there were dark, awful moments too.

And on this precipice of tomorrow, I look forward to 2013 with an open heart full of excitement at the possibilities and changes to come in my life.

I’m in New York City right now, my husband napping next to me. We’re doing the Times Square extravaganza, but from the rooftop of one of the buildings in Times Square with one of the best views of the spectacle that is the Times Square ball drop at midnight. (He’s here for work; I’m just tagging along for fun.) We had such a great night last night: dinner with his sister and her boyfriend, then just hanging out around the city. Checking out the ice skaters at Rockefeller Plaza. Pressing our noses against the glass windows of SNY Studios to watch the last quarter of the NFC East Championship Game (GO REDSKINS! NFC East CHAMPS! What a way to end 2012!) and getting a slice of cheesecake at a posh bistro and bar in the Upper East Side.

As I dragged my bite of creamy cheesecake through the strawberry sauce on the plate, I looked at Larry and said, “Ya know, a year from now, our lives are going to be very different. Let’s savor this, shall we?” He smiled. I can’t wait for tonight, as freezing cold as it might be.

These are the small moments to savor before life changes in bold new ways in 2013.

. . .

Commit to one act that will change something about the world, that will change you and other people for the better in the long term, that is difficult for you, that will take effort… Give yourself a year to do it. Remember the love of Newtown for a year. Make it something more than a New Years’ Resolution; commit to it for long term, for the teachers and staff and 6 year olds who smile at us, gap-toothed and hopeful, from their school photos, and for the sake of fostering a fierce and relentless love in the world. Be in solidarity with those grieving families for a year. Not just for an Instagram moment.

This beautiful, inspiring call to action is from the lovely Justine at A Half Baked Life . I encourage you to take a few minutes, head over to her place and reflect on her powerful words. She talks about the fleeting temporariness of the #26Acts movement and instead challenges us all to focus on something singular, positive and powerful going into 2013.

Her post in no way diminishes the significance and power of the #26Acts movement, but raises valid questions on the lasting potency of such an effort. Her words have challenged me to rethink the way I do about New Years’ resolutions, and to commit to acts of purpose and change in the coming year. “This kind of work – this deep soul-work – is difficult,” Justine reminds us.

For my One Act this year, I’m focusing on answering a single question for this community:

What is the tipping point for the infertility community?

My plan to answer this question is still evolving. One key part of helping me answer this will be my participation in the Boston chapter of the New Leaders Council Institute , of which I am very proud to say that I’ve been accepted into the 2013 class. I’m giving myself a year to dive fully into this question, to explore all of the resources, research and initiatives out there and I can’t wait to share that journey with you here.

I feel like our community – so many individual parts of our community – are out there spinning our wheels competing for dollars, research and general understanding and compassion. I look at disease communities like breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease and I wonder not just where’s our ribbon… I ask myself, where’s our momentum?

It’s been growing for sure. But the infertility community has yet to reach that “moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point” as Malcolm Gladwell describes it in The Tipping Point. I’ll need to hear from you, from thought-leaders, from legislators and reproductive endocrinologists and mental health professionals and would-be grandmothers. I want to open up the conversation to anyone and everyone to help me answer this question: and then I’ll work to have this conversation heard.

I believe in myself to do my One Act this year. And I believe in you to do yours. I hope you’ll join me.

. . .

Every hour on the 10′s from noon until midnight tonight, I’m asking a reflective question on my Facebook page about 2012. I hope you’ll join me in the conversation as we look back at 2012 before heading confidently and empowered into 2013.

Go here to join in the fun all day today.

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As I stand on the brink of one year into the next, I’m reminded of another post from this year written from standing on the precipice . No matter where you’re standing as you head into 2013 – if you’re ready to light a fire and watch 2012 burn into nothingness or you’re just chomping at the bit for what’s next in 2013: wishing you much health, love and light in this New Year.


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