I am pretty ready for this year to be over as you very well know. It has by far been the toughest year of my life, and that includes the year I fought cancer with a 7 year old and 3 year old to look after, the year my son fought depression and anxiety that was so bad I feared for his life and took him to work with me, and the years of taking care of my parents and watching my mother decline a little at a time. Among all the pain, anger, fear, anxiety and sadness this year there has been light. An awakening if you can so imagine, time to gather myself and find some peace in my own beautiful home. Time to realize just how much I was made to feel small, non existent and certainly not an equal partner. I am finding myself, very slowly, and frankly that young girl with so much hope and love in her is long gone, but another version of her is out there and I am finding her one step at a time.
Christmas has been packed away and everything is clean and fresh for the New Year. My wonderful friend Lynda gave me a huge bin of vintage Christmas ornaments for my tree. Many of them were hers gathered over the years or belonging to her MIL, or from a friend that got tired of her vintage tree and wanted something more modern. Lynda has kept these for years, not knowing why she was hanging onto them and now we know, it was for me. I only used a few of these precious ornaments and a few from my boys and that was it. A newish tree for me this year that added some fun and a new tradition. I also treated myself to a new Christmas tree skirt because who could possible resist this one with Santa on it?
The bush you see losing all its leaves is one of several off my back porch. It was cold here over Christmas, not cold by everyone else's standards but cold for here. Apparently a bit too cold for these bushes. I think this bush sort of sums up my year, it looks ragged and like it is losing its life force, but it really isn't, it will bloom again this spring when it is warmer out. A little care and it will be on the way to a full recovery, hopefully just like me.
I am making a list of everything that has been bad or stressed me out this year and a list of all the things that I am grateful for. Tonight I will be burning the first list and watching all that negative energy burn up and go away. Then after reading my gratitude list I will do the same, letting all of my love, hope and gratitude return to the Universe with prayers of being thankful for all that I have in my life. This might become my new New Year's Eve tradition. I am thankful for so much and my gratitude list is much longer than my other list, see I am moving forward as positively as I can. While I have had to let go of so many people in my life, those who have not been there for me for many different reasons, I rejoice in those that have. And that includes my family, look at how happy Little Buddy was on Christmas. He asked Santa for the driving system his big brother has and then after we left he got very upset thinking he should have asked for the gear shift instead. Luckily Santa brought the steering wheel and pedals, Mom bought the mounting station and big brothers and their partners chipped in for the gear shift. He could not be more thrilled. Anything he can do independently just like other kids his age is a big bonus, plus he has to use his right hand and foot with this system, he is more involved on this side so this is therapeutic as well. I am his therapist afterall, it all has to help him move towards more independence or functional ability, or social advancement.
Also big on my gratitude list is the friends who have been there for me every step of the way, through anger, frustration and laughing disbelief at how ridiculous some things have been. Some friends have drifted away, as hard as that is for me to understand as I have helped them through very similar situations, it just is. Frankly all of it, just is. You are all on my gratitude list just so you know. Cheering me on, loving Little Buddy from afar and cheering him on as well, well it means the world to me.
Last year I picked the phrase, moving forward with grace, to represent my year. While sometimes there has been no grace to be found I think I am starting to move in that direction. I will need it as we move towards depositions and mediation starting in January. I will continue to try to move forward with grace instead of anger and fear as much as possible.
I am so thankful for all of you. I wish you a safe and wonderful New Year's Eve, as we ring in 2023, know that I am sending you love and gratitude for being here in this space with me.