L is for Leaving Behind {Blogging Through The Alphabet Link Up}

L is for Leaving Behind {Blogging Through The Alphabet Link Up}

L is for Leaving Behind

L is for Leaving BehindIt is the start of a new year and I have been agonizing about a word (or phrase) to focus on this year. Last year I chose ‘family’ and that was truly a good choice. I needed to focus on my family last year. Our little family came together as a cohesive unit and really cemented the bonds that needed to be strengthened.

But this year needs a different focus and I think it should be ‘leaving behind‘.

In Japan, there is a concept that at the end of a year you start fresh and leave regret and sadness behind you. At least that is what my daughter’s Karate Sensei told us. He said that you can think of it as stuffing all the bad and sadness and evil in your life into a backpack. This is kind of where you put it anyway. I think you usually carry that backpack with you through life until you bend and break. But when that backpack is full and you approach a time of renewal (like at the start of the new year), the Sensei told us that you need to put the backpack down. Just drop it and walk away. Leave it behind and look to your future without the burden of all those things you put into that backpack.

Much of what fills my backpack is secret and deeply personal. But a lot of it is fears that I am not capable of homeschooling my children in the way that they need. Sadness that those days of endless crafts and group art activities are over now that they are teens. Hurt that I made the mistake of starting them out in public school when I should have homeschooled them from the beginning.

My own backpack is pretty full and I think it is time to drop it. It is time for leaving behind my fears and sadness and hurt so I can live bathed in Grace and light and goodness.

And that is why this year for me, is about leaving behind.

Is there anything you would like to leave behind?


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  • Mother of 3

    We are approaching those teens years and I am finding it quite tough to get anyone to participate in art or crafts. I keep trying but I know those days are just about at an end. It is sad and I try to focus on all the newfound time I have on my hands… I’m not doing all that well with it; truth be told. I feel guilty that we aren’t doing as much fun stuff in our homeschool which is silly because I offer all the time and no one wants to do any of it!

    • Kirsten West

      You know it is really good to know I am not the only one feeling like that. I have noticed that every so often, my teens gather at the table with colored pencils or paint and spontaneously have a group art evening. It is still there, just on their terms and not so much on mine anymore. I think it may be hard, but it really is a good thing.

  • What a wonderful phrase to embrace. A great idea and I think we all have things – big or small – to leave behind.

    • Kirsten West

      Thank you.

  • Charlotte Gochnauer

    This is a great phrase for the year. It is so hard to not look back on our lives and have regrets. But there is grace! And looking forward, there are great things ahead. 🙂

    • Kirsten West

      Yes, especially the grace part!