I remember the New Years Eve when we sent 2013 out with a big kick in the butt from my home. 2013 marked a turning point in my life. That was the year I got diagnosed with breast cancer. Nothing after that year has been the same.
I’m sure there are many other years before that that I would mark as turning points in my life. There are sad ones like when I lost my grandmother. She was a very important person in my life. There are happy ones like the year I got married and when we adopted our kids. But 2013 was a whopper for me. Not a good year.
So we decided to kick it to the curb and we welcomed 2014 in with hopes that it would be an awesome year. I’d recover and life would be peachy. Well that didn’t happen. I had chronic pain issues from my breast cancer surgery that I could get no help for. We had big financial issues. Then last May my pain got worse, I was bed-ridden, i finally found a surgeon, I had surgery, my dad died suddenly and my mother had a medical emergency weeks later. She’s now living with us. That’s a lot of tough stuff to happen in three years. So you can imagine why I might just be a bit cynical about Ringing in a new year with high expectations and hopes.
Kevin and I aren’t very into celebrating New Year’s Eve mostly because we can’t stay awake until midnight. I personally never liked the holiday it’s always seems too forced to me. I recall a few years where I went out on New Years and the next day didn’t feel like the new year was beginning in a great way. Hangovers are a waste! I don’t do resolutions anymore – I’ve lost too much money to the cuss jar.
This year Kevin wants to go out to dinner BC our son works as a busboy in a local restaurant and will be getting off at about ten and will need a ride home- so kevin thought it might be nice and convenient to have dinner out and then pick him up. We’d be home by 10:30. I’m not so sure about the plan. It makes me a bit anxious. Scenes of packed restaurants haunt me. But I don’t want to be a buzzkill so maybe I’ll go along with the plan. It’s only dinner.
I’m not going to put so much pressure on a simple change of date to hope that I have a better days ahead. It’s fine to toss the old year away I suppose. It’s fine to wish in a better new year. It’s good to be filled with hope of better things. But I have discovered that we just have to take what we get and learn how to deal with it -or not.
I’ve learned some things over the years:
Those crap years -they had a lot of good memories for me mixed in with the all the bad stuff. For me I will always be thankful for the time we spent with my dad in Florida last March. Though I could toss out my mother becoming so ill in 2016 -I’m very glad she’s now living with us. And what about all those talks and visits with my mother-in-law? Those are all part of this past year as much as the bad stuff is. If had to do this year over again – I wouldn’t avoid the pain I had if it meant all those other good things wouldn’t have happened. The pain sucked but the good stuff didn’t suck and I can’t give away those memories. Of course I’d love to not have lost my dad. That goes without saying.
The other thing that’s a certainty is that bad stuff is going to happen in the future No matter how many Toasts we make to the new year. We all know it. But lots of good stuff is going to happen too. It is how we handle the bad stuff that is important and how we embrace and appreciate the good stuff -even the smallest nugget of good –is important too.
Sometimes the good stuff seems overshadowed by the bad stuff. Because bad stuff sticks with us like slime. It tries to let us forget the beauty in our lives. I’ve said it before- some days you got to dig for the good stuff.
I just read a great message from the president of my husbands company on optimism. He noted that optimism is infectious. That optimists out perform realists “any day of the week.” My husband is an optimist. He has talked me out of some bad situations with his optimism. For that I’m truly blessed. I’m not sure where I’d be without him after these last few years.
I prefer to mix my optimism with realism. I’m a mixer. I’m liberal and conservative. Born on a cusp –I’m a mix of Sagittarius and Capricorn. Right now I have to dig deep for optimism. I’m a bit (ok very) worn and tentative after the last few years and especially after the last six months. I’m not at all sad to see 2016 get out of dodge. I’ve heard and read this from so many people. They are ready to see 2016 leave the building. I just don’t want to get all excited about 2017. It’s just another year. There will be ups and there will be downs.
But I’m going to pray for better times for next year and the future and I will pray that I have more good times in between the tough ones. I am slowly trying to get back into living life. I am still very off kilter but I’m trying to navigate my way. I don’t always understand why things happen. But I have a strong faith that God does know.
And that is what keep me going.
I may not be much into New Years Eve as a holiday but I do want to wish a very Happy New Year to you all. I wish you much joy and love in 2017 and beyond. (Gee – How optimistic of me).