i suppose most people take the opportunity on New Year's Eve to reflect back on the year. tonight i find myself flooded with memories reaching way back to when i was a little girl and at the same time i'm drawing inspiration from two amazing ladies in my life - my grandmothers. last winter i welcomed 2012 surrounded by family in the Bay Area as we celebrated my mother's mother's 80th birthday. my Gram is quite dear to me, more so the older i get and appreciate her love and wisdom. how does she inspire me? a few years back i discovered the secret of her vitality. every winter she goes into a determined hybernation. she slows down, drops some of her regular activities for a few months, sleeps a word, she rests. what a novel idea in our culture today! ever since she told me about this annual ritual, i have given myself permission to try and do the same, sans guilt.  it takes a special kind of strength to embrace stillness and i deeply admire Gram for modeling this way of life.

i'm welcoming 2013 on the beach of my childhood in la jolla. when i was young, my grandparents had all 10 of my cousins and 3 of my siblings and i for a few weeks in the summer to "Camp La Jolla." It was full of swimming, sun, sand and seaworld outings. i usually think fondly of my grandfather when i'm back here, but tonight i'm letting myself sit with a sense of admiration for my Baba. she was quietly behind the scenes those many years, making sure everything ran like clockwork - not an easy feat with 14 kids underfoot i'd imagine! she coordinated our much loved beach dinner parties, and so much more. i walked into our room this afternoon and there it was - the unmistakeable scent of La Jolla. i have just a drop of it at home, in the leather playing-card box my grandmother gave me a few years ago to remember this place by. when i'm feeling a bit blue, that earthy smell fills my body with sunshine and grand-love. my Baba has lived a full life. she inspires me to see the world, to live near the sea and to take care of myself.

tonight i'm raising my glass of champagne to my grandmothers -- to these strong women who guide me.  for inspiring me to live, as appropriate to seasons of life and of the year, both a bold and quiet life of love.