December 31st…well, didn’t you sneak up on us out of nowhere.
It’s amazing to think we’re on the final day of 2021.
I’m conditioned, like so many of us, to kick into reflection around this time of year. Instead of looking forward, I turn my head and gaze over the past 365 days.
It’s hard to absorb everything. The good, the struggles, the surprises, the blessings. Part of my brain urges me to stop looking backwards and to focus solely on what lies ahead. In the discomfort, I wonder why it’s so hard at times to press pause. I am used to fighting my way toward the new year. Plow ahead. Keep going. Don’t look back.
The past couple of years have been different.
I’m not quite sure when this mindset shifted toward a much softer approach to landing my feet in the new year. My guess is that it is intertwined with children growing up, stepping forward into their own lives. Watching them, I am reminded once again of the precious nature of time.
slow down, baby girl…it’s not a race.
In one of my infamous cleaning/decluttering sprees on a day off this fall, I came across a newspaper article published in The Globe. The short piece from 2012 featured my company in its infancy.
Every sentence honoring what now feels like another lifetime.
So much has changed since this article was printed.
The business name: Babycakes, not yet Bisousweet.
The location: a tiny kitchen built at an airport in Stow, MA instead of our current facility in Shirley.
The products: oh…the products. Rugelach. Cupcakes. Pies. So many old companions we have retired over the years as the business grew and we became increasingly more busy.
The customers: The list highlighted just three local stores, one which stopped carrying our products when we ‘got big’.
The language: singular, not plural. ‘Her business’ instead of ‘ours’.
What is remarkable to me is how much remains the same.
Our dedication to creating memorable products from scratch.
Our commitment to excellence.
Our goal to pay attention to details every step of the way, from handcrafted cookies to packaging that makes the person picking up our product feel special.
Our customers: it’s heartening to me that two customers mentioned continue to be partners and supporters of our company and our products. Snaps to Idylwilde Farms in Acton & Volante Farms in Needham…thank you for believing in us for so many years!
The sentence that stands out the most, however, is the last one.
If only she could fly her pretty packages out, folks around the country could enjoy her treats.
‘if only‘…once a dream, now reality.
On the edge of 2022, I am so grateful for the nudge to reminisce provided by this wrinkled, faded newspaper clipping.
If I could climb back into the woman leaning awkwardly on a table for a posed picture, what would I tell her? Would I encourage her to keep going, to move more quickly? Or, would I whisper in her ear, tell her to relax, and remind her that life always unfolds as it was meant to be?
A handful of years ago, I worked with a life coach who introduced me to picking a word for the new year. It’s a tradition I adore and try to force onto everyone around me. It looks something like this: ‘Common! Pick a word! Pick three! No? Not interested? Can I pick some for you?’
dainty & demure, as usual
The first word I chose was sparkle.
After that came grace.
Last year, I chose three: communication, fortitude, cultivate.
From fanciful to acceptance to pushing me outside my comfort zone to something deeper.
I’ve been trying on different words for size since the beginning of November. I carried many into the proverbial dressing room, carefully stepped into the letters, gazed at my reflection, and promptly decided to keep searching.
And then, over Thanksgiving, I watched Ted Lasso. And, much to the horror of my children, I said out loud – I want to be Ted Lasso.
It wasn’t a fleeting thought, either. (Sidenote: If you haven’t yet watched Ted Lasso, this non-binge watching tv human highly recommends you add it to your list.)
Ted created an impromptu sign that he taped above the locker room door.
Yellow construction paper. Blue marker. Black athletic tape. One word.
Yes, I thought.
Within days, I Ted Lassoed the bakery. Two yellow signs displaying one simple message.
A reminder to everyone on The B Team.
A reminder to myself.
A quiet whisper to the younger me in 2012.
When we believe, we can do anything, obstacles and challenges be damned.
When we believe, the little things remain little things, and we have the strength to continue moving forward with ease.
When we believe, we radiate this vibe and sprinkle the seeds of possibility throughout the universe. An open invitation beckoning for others to join.
My word for this year is BELIEVE.
May everyone find their way into their own dressing room and find the word or words that will carry you into 2022 and beyond.
Wishing everyone good health, peace, joy, laughter, dreams, inspiration, and sweet traditions in the new year.