It has been more than a hot minute since I’ve set my fingers to firing off wisdom and wit on the world wide web. Since September 2016 to be exact. But I’ve got all of these thoughts swimming around in my head and you, lovely readers, get to bear witness to my musings.
Every year as the calendar winds down, I like to reflect on the 365 days gone by and what it has meant to me. 2017 will fondly and painfully be remembered as the year of change. I left my job/career, started grad school, lost my life-coach/mentor/friend, bought a house and moved, found out we were pregnant, planned an international conference, and struggled through a brutal semester of accounting, economics, and statistics. My year-end post on facebook sums it up quite nicely:
“I love that these are the highlights of 2017. New house, new baby, engagements, haircuts (😂), and time spent with friends and family. While this year has been a good trip around the sun, it also included grief, loss, and some growing pains that are bound to come with so many life changes. Overall, I feel incredibly lucky to have an amazing tribe that sticks together through the good, the bad, and the ugly – we’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, and now we reflect together as we set our intentions for 2018. May your coming year be filled with more love, more laughter, moments of clarity, and unending joy. Love and peace to all ❤️✨ #2017bestnine#incredibletriparoundthesun#2018thebestisyettocome“
That being said, there are definitely things I want to leave behind as we enter 2018 – like the grief and feeling of debilitating loss after the sudden absence of such a driving force in my life. I’ve been finding ways to deal with the sadness and live in a way that would honor the impact he had on me. I also want to leave behind my incessant need to please people leading to an inability to say no. And of course there are always things I want to shed, like unhealthy habits and a tendency to make excuses for them.
As we move into 2018 (how is it already the 19th?!) I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want this year to be for our family. I gave up making resolutions a long time ago as they just served as another avenue for feelings of personal failure! But what I do like to do at the start of each new year is to set intentions – usually just a word I will focus on for the year to keep me grounded and remind me of my goals. This year, the word I keep coming back to is embrace. It has so many meanings – to hold someone closely in one’s arms (ie hug), but also to accept or support something willingly and enthusiastically. So for me, I want to embrace the future – the struggle, the fear, the unknown, the joy, the challenge, the (fill in the blank) without running scared. I don’t want to hide or retreat when things get tough.
Another blogger and fellow human struggler said it best in an Instagram post, “American culture hardwires us to chase comfort and label anything challenging as ‘bad’ – so when hard shit is just hard shit and that’s all there is to it, we squirm. We try to rationalize it away. I think that’s crap and that we should learn to live with pain, because it’s one of the only things we’re promised in life. Learning to live into, and not run from, pain (or challenge) is how we become brave humans. Lord knows the world doesn’t need any more comfortably addicted little bitches.”
So here’s to brave vulnerability and embracing both joy and struggle in 2018. May you find it in yourself to live into pain instead of running from it, and hopefully encounter some joy along the way.