Farewell For Now...

At last the December vacation period has arrived and all I feel is this hush over the land... and then, a whisper... and it is teasing me to go and visit the world of the living breathing humans that exist offline, beckoning me to enjoy the sensory pleasures of freshly fallen snow and visual wonders of the beautiful outdoor festivals and how magical the forest looks and feels this time of the year. Branches snapping underfoot, the crunch of snow beneath my boots, the tickle of snowflakes on my face... physical pleasures that are only experienced fully when one has time to be still and live in the moment knowing that emails, voice mails and text messages do not need to be answered, at least for two whole weeks.

enjoy

A free pass to absolute freedom, to be careless and carefree. These are the final two weeks of the year that I start to look forward to in mid October as everything begins to slowly feel so noisy and saturated... and by this time, fully saturated and all-in-caps loud. It's time to turn down, tune out, dig in. To have two weeks off feels grand, like someone just handed me a winning lottery ticket.

I'm only taking off for two weeks, but in case you do not have the luxury, I've prepared a little something for you each day until I am back full-time. Here is how the schedule will look: On Monday the lovely Leslie returns with Color Me Pretty. Then Tuesday-Friday I'll post a link to something or someone nice online that may inspire you. The following week, the last week of December, you can visit again for one post a day featuring something pretty and inspirational to enjoy. Mostly visuals with links, nothing fancy or time consuming for you because honestly, I want to set an example and encourage you to take a bit of a break from the web too. If you can. It's so refreshing once you return to it all in January... you will be better for it.

And how about you, will you take off? What are your plans? I cannot wait for these few weeks to relax and refresh as I unplug and spend moments with those I love in my new country and culture. And as a result from this special time away, I can charge my creative batteries for the wonderful year ahead, which is suddenly a blank slate before me, soon to be filled with much hope and opportunity. You must be feeling the same.

And of course I cannot sign off until January 4th without saying thank you for a lovely 2009, all of you, for every kindness, comment, email, tweet, blog post, newspaper article, magazine mention, cards, gifts, and all the other reminders that I am not alone, that what I am doing matters to you as much as it does to me, and that you truly care from your heart about me as a person and aren't here merely to eat and run (grab content and move on) but you take time to stay awhile, comment, interact with others who comment, this is all so touching. This kindness and encouragement matters to me deeply, on some days when I felt like writing nothing at all, a card would arrive or an email expressing heartfelt sentiments and I would feel inspired to sit before my computer and write. I even appreciate the not-so-lovely comments and emails, the ones where you remind me to remain humble, to keep it real, and to polish some of the not-so-shiny parts of my personality because well, a good friend should be there to remind us of these things too. So thank you for all of it. Thank you for a truly meaningful year.

See you on Monday, well... Leslie will see you anyway with another installment of Color Me Pretty and a special announcement from her to all of you.

xo, Holly