Happy New Year, friends! As the swirl of the holidays starts to unwind, decorations go back into their boxes, families return home and we face a new year, a new season of opportunities, I’d like to not give you a goal or something to add to your resolutions list. Instead, I’d like to challenge you with an idea. Live wholeheartedly.
You see, more than a year ago when I was creating Cottage Hill, I knew I wanted to create something long-lasting and not dependent upon trends. Something that visually inspired people and challenged their heart. As I said in my editor’s letter of The Homecoming Issue, my dream is that you close the pages, stop scrolling our journal and go live your legacy. Yes, as the editor in chief of a magazine, I actually want to inspire you to close the book and go do something worthy of an elegant and meaningful legacy. Maybe that looks like giving your husband or wife a for no good reason kiss, telling your kids how special they are to you - every single reason, creating that community garden you’ve always dreamed of, calling your grandmother just to say hi or baking that creme brûlée recipe you’ve had pinned for months, but have never given yourself the permission to take time and make it...and then maybe make another one to share with your neighbor.
Cottage Hill is named after a road in my hometown. Why? Because it was the street before turning into my great-grandparents’, my Mema and Pop’s, neighborhood. And it was in that neighborhood, in their tiny yellow house that I learned importance of living wholeheartedly - not just from them, but from all of the family and friends that gathered there. Somehow they managed to entertain all of the family in their little home, not only feeding us if that meant Christmas dinner was spread out the dining room and into the living room couches and floor, but also making room for everyone to dance to Tijuana Brass on the record machine, again out the living room and into the kitchen.
No, my family wasn't perfect, far from it. But they created a legacy. A legacy of living wholeheartedly no matter what you had, how you looked or who you knew. Something that I feel, can be easily lost in this image-based world.
So as I said, no goals this year just an idea - live wholeheartedly. Remember how comforting your husband’s cologne smells when you kiss him. Watch with such care every brilliant expression on your children’s faces. Feel the texture of earth on your hands and under your fingernails when you cultivate that garden. Listen to your grandmother, hold on to her words like a treasure. Savor every bite of that creme brûlée. And friends, walk across the street or next door and meet your neighbors.
Stop trying to conquer fear of vulnerability and instead, let fear be a reminder that you are alive and you can feel something and what you want deep within your soul whether that’s love or respect or beauty or truth is so important to you that it conjures such a strong emotion. To be alive is to feel it all - the breathtaking and the heartbreaking. To live wholeheartedly is to dive deep into the waters of what really matters in this life and I can guarantee you, what matters cannot be found in the metrics of success, but rather, a person's eyes.
“But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” This is living wholeheartedly. This is Cottage Hill. Ready to join us in this movement?
Check back on Monday when the Cottage Hill team is back in the office. We have real weddings, resource-based inspiration, original stories and previews to The Homecoming Issue all month long!