The Glad Game

2 Jan

I watched the sunrise in Istanbul and now, from my hotel window, can see the end of the day here in Azerbaijan.  After five days in glorious Istanbul, we are back to reality – but what a way to welcome in the new year.

As with any travelling experience, I never want it to be over and am sad to see it end. For many reasons, though, it seems infinitely harder going from the life and adventure and touristy-times in Turkey back to serving as a volunteer in AZ. I love my life here, but I find myself at times easily falling into strange and bumbling funks.

However! It is a new year, friends. 2014!  Unlike 2013, I will spend this entire year in country, which seems both daunting and amazing all at the same time.

I make a lot of commitments on this blog that I don’t always fall through with (book challenge, anyone? though more on that later…) but I have discovered a resolution I both love and find to be a perfect commitment in this Big Year of Big Things.

Growing up, like any normal child would do, I often played Hayley Mills, a game in which I reenacted scenes from some of the actress’ famous roles in all her various forms. Like, it was ridiculous how much I loved this child star from the 50’s and 60’s. Sometimes I was finding my twin at summer camp; at other times I was dancing in summer magic.  If I had to choose a favorite movie, however, it would be the classic 1960 hit Pollyanna, in which young Hayley, an orphan, moves to a small, close minded town to live with her wealthy, crabby-ass Aunt Polly.

The whole movie is a delicious cheese-ball of sweetness and adventure and the best scene involves Pollyanna arguing with her new house staff about how to see the best in life.

As an adult(ish), I love this scene even more. I love Pollyanna and all her beautiful optimism.  At one point in my life, I like to imagine I was equally as enthused and pleased about everything, but somewhere down these last few months I’ve lost it. But its a new year. A new year, a new attitude, a new chance to make it great.

So here’s my resolution, team. Each day – and I mean each day (granted we have internet) – I am going to find and share one thing I am glad about. Three-hundred and sixty-five beautiful things noticed in this great big world. I feel so fortunate to have this experience and need and want to do better promoting and sharing all that happens in life in Az.  (Plus, another chance to play Hayley Mills? Hollah!)

Today is a two-for-one, as I missed the first of the year, a day I spent alternately tossing my cookies and lazing in bed after too much celebrations… all worth it, though, you guys. Welcoming in the new year in downtown Istanbul with friends? Perfect.  On that day, I was glad for big, corporate, pop-up-everywhere Starbucks and their giant coffees and bagels, just what a girl needs post too much wine and noise making.

And today, this day of commitments and returns to host countries, I really am glad for Azerbaijan and the welcome in from the airport. While being followed out by twenty men pushing you into a taxi from the airport and being less than forward about fares isn’t always the most intriguing and welcoming of returns, I was glad to have a friendly police officer lead us to a kind driver with a working meter, giving him our hotel address and wishing us well. There really are great people out there, no matter how often I find myself wondering where they might be.

A Big Year of Big Things – and I will be glad for all of it.

Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling.  – Walt Whitman
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One Response to “The Glad Game”

  1. Ruth January 2, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Wonderful as always. I’m “glad” I can call you daughter.

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