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November 2012
Next month:
January 2013

out with the old + in with the new year


 The sun is out, 
I rush to the window
Suddenly I just want to let go
Of the past and start all over again

So I say come on, 
Open your eyes,
And see what's outside, 
there's nothing to fear,
It's a new year

Snow is falling
Beautiful and white, 
Nothing but 
Blue skies and green lights, 
Doors are open
But nothing's in the way

Let's make a list
Of things we wanna do, 
No breaks allowed
Don't look down
Just jump, 
let's fly away

And we sing,
Come on, 
Open your eyes and 
See what's outside 
There's nothing to fear, 
It's a new year
 It's a new year 

Kate York
"New Year


Out with the Old . . . 

Oh, 2012, what a year you've been! 

2012 started out bursting with amazing possibilities -- I'll be leaving my job to work on Positively Present full time! I'll finally be living the dream of being a writer! -- and, like most dream-come-true scenarios, it wasn't exactly what I'd pictured. In some ways it's been absolute bliss working from home, spending time dedicating myself to what I'm most passionate about, publishing my first book(!!!); in other ways, it's been hard keeping everything on track and doing the business-y things that I don't at all feel passionate about (I'm lookin' at you, taxes). Like most jobs, it has good days and bad days, but overall I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity to focus on what I love. 

On a more personal note, in May my whole world shifted when my sidekick Bella was diagnosed with a terminal illness. I love her like a member of my family so when she got sick, everything changed. She was always my world, but she suddenly became the entire universe. 2012 was spent doing things I'd never even contemplated before -- finding creative ways to give her seven pills a day, dealing with the emotional stress of watching her grow thinner and thinner, dragging a shaking pup to (now every-other-day) vet visits, and struggling to find creative ways to get food into the mouth of dog who isn't very hungry. My new work-from-home lifestyle was suddenly dominated by a sick-dog checklist. It's been a lot -- a lot of stress, a lot of work, a lot of heartache -- but I wouldn't change any moment I've had with her. Though I wish with all my heart she wasn't sick, I'm so thankful I've gotten as much time with her as I have. And I'm hoping 2013 brings me many, many more months with her. 

2012 was filled with incredible highs and devastating lows. But, in all it's ups and downs, one thing it's been for sure is life-affirming. It reminded me how valuable and fleeting every moment is, and how important it is not to let the good moments slip away. As tempting as it is for me to look back on the year and think, "Ugh. 2012. The year Bella got sick," this year has been so much more than that. There have been so many amazing, dazzling moments that don't deserve to be shadowed by one heartbreaking diagnosis. 2012 might have been tough, but that old cliche "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" certainly proved to be true. 

That being said, I'm definitely ready for some 2013 action...


. . . in with the New! 

New Year's Eve is always a time to look back and remember the highlights of the year. The trouble is, when you've had some low points, it's hard not to let them take priority in your mind. (Just look at all the news recaps of 2012; they're dominated by the negative things that happened this year.) Right now, as I look back on 2012, I'm trying to focus on all the positive things that happened this year -- and I want to make sure I do the same in 2013 too. 

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend's mom sent me a link to this post on Facebook: A Year Full of Blessings Remembered, which states: "Start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. On New Year's Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year." I wish I had a jar to open tonight, filled with all the wonderful moments of 2012. But since I don't, I'm going to work 2013on creating one for 2013. This year, every time something wonderful (or even just good) happens, I'm going to write it down, fold it up, put it in a jar, and a year from today I'll open it up and recap a year of happy memories. 

Usually I'm not a big fan of looking back (after all, this is Positively Present), but I tend to make an exception when it comes to NYE. There's something magical about recalling the (positive) things that happened in a year. Taking a moment to celebrate those happy moments reinforces the idea that, no matter tough the year was, every year has something good in it. I'm really looking forward to starting my 2013 jar -- and to making the most of 2013 -- I hope you'll be doing the same. Wishing you a very positive, very present 2013! 


Want to kick off the year positively? Pick up your copy of Stay Positive: Daily Reminders from Positively Present today and receive your daily dose of inspiration and motivation for making 2013 your best year yet. Learn more about the book here.  

positively present picks: week of december 24, 2012




"In these bodies we will live. In these bodies we will die.
And where you invest your love, you invest your life." 

Mumford & Sons 





101 Creative New Year's Resolutions : in case you're looking for one!

26 Moments that Restored Faith in Humanity in 2012 : so inspiring

Friendship in Your 20s : answers to some very FAQs

10 Essentials for Any Good Relationship : #3 is super important

2012 Was the Best Year Ever?! : apparently things were good this year

10 Things to Make You Happier at Home : at-home happiness is so vital

The Power of Negative Thinking : interesting WSJ article...

2012's Funniest Autocorrects : these will crack you up, hahaha!

4 Ways to Stay Resilient : important lessons from (wo)man's best friend

Love Love Love : my new Pinterest board for Valentine's Day

A-Z List of Personal Development books : nice round-up by Sources of Insight



Check out this week's Positively Present playlist on YouTube

"New Year" –  Kate York
"Sweet Nothing" –  Calvin Harris + Florence Welch
"Stars" –  Grace Potter + the Nocturnals
"Joy" –  Tracey Thorn
"New Ceremony" –  Dry the River
"Miss Atomic Bomb" –  The Killers
"Up Against the Wall" –  Family Fiction
"The New Year" –  Death Cab for Cutie
"Younger Days" –  Mount Moriah
"Restless Heart" –  Matt Hires
"Body Work"  –  Morgan Page w/ Tegan & Sara
"Breathing Underwater" –  Metric
"Glycerine" –  Bush w/ Gwen Stefani
"Slow It Down" –  The Lumineers
"The New Year"  –  Beach House


An Abundance of Katherines
John Green

West of Rehoboth
Alexs D. Pate 

Fingerprint: The Art of Using 
Hand-Made Elements in Graphic Design
Chen Design Associates 

my wish for you this christmas . . .



It's been a weird pre-Christmas week. The health of my little pup, Bella (who's been hanging in there like a trooper!), started going downhill about a week and a half ago. Since then, I've been going to the vet every other day so she can have an IV treatment of fluids and electrolytes. Every day she gets the treatment, she seems to feel a bit better and manages to eat a little bit of food. Every day she doesn't get the treatment, she seems to be in rough shape. Needless to say, the Christmas cheer around here has been in constant flux. One day it seems like a Christmas miracle ("She's getting better!"); the next feels like it's all coming to an end ("This is it..."). I don't know how long she will continue to receive the IV treatments. There's still hope that she will get a bit better, but chances are very slim. 

As sad as it's been for me, I've been trying really, really hard to make good use of all the tips and tricks I write about here on Positively Present. I've been trying to focus on the positive and appreciate every day -- every moment -- I still have with her. It's a constant struggle not to allow my mind to wander to the future and how heartbroken I will be when she's no longer with me, but I'm trying my absolute hardest to make this most positive, most present Christmas yet. 

You see, Bella loves Christmas. More specifically, she loves presents and Christmas tends to be a present-filled season. As sick as she's been, once she hears the sound of tissue paper wrinkling or wrapping paper tearing, she's on her feet and alert. This video provides a small glimpse into her gift obsession...


Bella Loves Christmas on YouTube (click link if you can't see the video)


None of those gifts have anything dog-related in them, but she's still incessent about getting her paws on them. Ever since she was a puppy, she's been that way. Which is why I'm determined to make this Christmas one of the best she's ever had. And that brings me (in a very round about way!) to the point of this post: my wish for you this Christmas.

This Christmas, I wish you a day filled with appreciation. Appreciate the people and animals in your life. Hug your dog. Kiss your cat. Tell the people you love how much they mean to you. Life is short and our Christmases are limited. Don't let this one pass you by without appreciating it -- and all those you spend it with. I wish you love. I wish you happiness. I wish you a Christmas filled with memories and gratitude. Merry Christmas!