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.
That looks an amazing bit of kit that Little Buddy and his face tells the whole story.You have been an excellent Mum and are an excellent Mum.
Moving forward I hope things get better.
Meredith, you are a true inspiration. My husband of nearly 57 years passed away in Feb. of this year after spending over 5 yrs. of being incapacitated by a hemmorrhagic stroke. Since then, I have been literally frozen, sleeping a lot and doing next to nothing. Today, after reading all that you have been through, I decided I must join the living. Thank you and may God bless you and Little Buddy.
Dorothy in Va.
Bless you and your lovely family Meredith you are strong and a wonderful inspiration to us all it makes the things I'm going through so small in comparison to what you have been through. I hope with all of my heart that 2023 is a better year for you, Happy New Year my friend sending lots of hugs your way. xx
Happy New Year to you and your family. May you continue to move on with grace and may 2023 being you peace and happiness.
You made me laugh with the comment about being a therapist as well as a mum. As a Special Ed teacher and I mum, I totally get it!
Thanks to you for sharing your pain and your growth with us. It is a huge turning point when you are no longer ruled by fear and anger. I love your new New Year's Eve tradition! Just look at the excitement on Lil Buddy's face--and your fur-boys!
What a beautiful post. You've got this...and the blogging community is with you all the way.
Yep, that driving system gets a big thumbs up. He looks very pleased with himself that he can drive. Better look out. It won't be long until he is old enough to drive a real car. (I'm sure he'll be wanting one of those too. I sure did when I was old enough.)
Happy 2023 to you and your family. I'm betting on good things happening all around next year.
Happy New Year! I love your burning of the bad new tradition!
Hello dear Mere:
Your New Year's plans sound like great ones. It's always much better to think of all of the things we're greatful for than the trials we've had. So much of life is compromising and trying to decided the best course of action. I pray 2023 is a year of peace and healing for you. I pray for more rest for your soul and your physical body.
LB looks thrilled with his gift and the fact that it will also help him with is therapy is a great bonus isn't it? The boys look content with life too and I absoluitely love the vintage ornaments. They're precious.
Wishing and praying for the best for you in the new year Mere.
Blessings and love,
You are such an incredibly strong woman. I am happy to read that you're finally starting to see some light through all this darkness. All you can do is take one day at a time and go forward. I think of you and Little Buddy often and you betcha I'm part of your cheering section.
As for those people you thought were friends that have now disappeared from your life, that happened with me too, after I lost Phil. I know not the same circumstances, but I think what happens is that some people cannot handle the emotions of tragedy and so they retreat. They don't know what to say or how to act, so instead they don't say or do anything.
Much love, light and blessings to you and your boys for 2023.
Gosh, I remember when LB first came to live with you, and now he's a big boy who looks extremely happy. You've done a great job with him. I'm so sorry this has been such a hard year for you and sure hope that 2023 will be a hundred percent better!! Hugs and best wishes for the coming year.
Happy New Year!
Dear Mere, you deserve all the very best in life and are on the right track to rise above and relish your new path. Take care of yourself above all else -- body, mind and soul. I had so many friends disappear over the past couple of years -- some moved away for good while others just drifted away and I've learned to let go. ** I think I may be behind the times because I have never seen a contraption like the one that Little Buddy is sat behind. ** Wishing you and the boys all the very best for the new year. Stay strong and be true to yourself. Big hugs.
I like these inspirational words you have chosen to write for us and of course yourself. May you move forward with grace and hope. Lots of Love from Jo x
We live in order to learn, that's what I say considering the year past. I lost my son in August. Although I know he is fine and this makes me happy, I am still so sad beyond words, especially at the beginning of the new year. However, We have to be brave and face life.
I wish you all the best!
Some people are not meant to be in our lives forever. For whatever reason, they take an off-ramp while we continue on our way. I heard somewhere the analogy of rockets and rocket boosters: some people are like rocket boosters who aren't meant to go to the heights we eventually attain. They simply drop away once they've reached their level.
I hope for many Good Things for you in 2023, Meredith. May you and your family have a year of happiness and wellness, and most of all, Love.
Sending you blessings. 2022 was a hard year, but on looking back I too have found many things to be grateful for. We will endure.
Happy New Year! I've got high hopes for 2023. It better not let us down.
So good to hear from you and see little Buddy again and the lovely dogs! I do like your end of year tradition of burning the lists.
I turned 75 in December and woke up feeling so old but then I gave myself a good talking to and started to think of all the good things I have and there are many.The bad things I ignored. I then got out of bed and went off round the town with £75 I took out the bank and gave £5 to all the charity shops in town and £10 to the two hospices. It felt so good and it was a small way of paying back for my good fortune.
I also met friends and acquaintances while out and spoke to other people I hadn't before so it was an uplifting experience for me too. Also I didn't spend the money on "stuff" which I didn't need and would have to de-clutter some day.
You are such a positive person with the right attitude to life that you will win through...can't wait to read your 2024 New Year post!Love to all.
Megan in Wales X
Thank you Meredith for your positive words. Love seeing Little Buddy so happy with this his driving system Christmas present from his loving family. Love always.
I admit anger at reading the portion of your post about the dreaded upcoming depositions and mediation. You have had so much on you already, and now the courts will add to your stress. You had to prepare your old home for sale, move you and LB, find a new home during an inflated real estate cycle. You created a welcoming new home while dealing with LB's school situation.
It seems it always falls to the woman to do the hardest work, doesn't it? You are much admired. I hope these legal things will proceed peacefully and productively for you so that 2023 is your best year yet.
Happiest of new years, Mere. There is something particular poignant and yet joyful about seeing out an old year that was grim in many ways and then welcoming a new one, a clean slate with the potential to bring peace, happiness, healing and joy. We all know there will be bumps along the way because there always are, no matter how lucky we are or how well we plan. But your phrase of going forward with grace is the one and only way to get through them. You've learned that the hard way this year and now I hope the new one brings some ease in heart and mind.
I've enjoyed seeing Little Buddy grow -- older, more confident, happy. I know you'll get the school thing worked out. You are strong, courageous and kind. A triple threat! Here's to a wonderful new year for you. (And by the way, I love your new New Year's Eve tradition.)
Happy New Year, Meredith. Wishing you peace, joy, and good health in 2023!
Sometimes we hold on to things we think are comfort, but eventually realize are weight holding us back. Letting those things go is so scary, but so liberating.
May the new year bring you calm and joy and happiness! I think of you often, and I am sending you hugs xx
I haven't visited for awhile, and am sorry to read about the heartache of this past year. You are an amazing, strong woman, someone whom I've admired for your compassion and incredible hard work.
I hope that 2023 is a MUCH better year, and that you will be able to move forward in a positive way.
Little Buddy is so cute on his new machine.
So happy to see a post from you, and sorry I missed your Christmas one which I have just also read. Before Christmas was busy, and I am sorry not to have been in touch. What lovely gifts for Little Buddy, I'm so glad he got them all, he looks thrilled indeed. And I'm glad you have made it through such a difficult year. Onwards and upwards my friend. I hope this month isn't too hard and that you are able to work out everything that needs to be worked out, including schooling. You have a lot on your plate and I am cheering you on. I'm glad you have settled into your lovely new home. It must be very good to have a haven of your own. I am wishing you peace and happiness and contentment and a thousand good things in 2023. With all the love, CJ xxxxx
I too like your new tradition of burning the lists! After the year you have had, 2023 has to be much better! I like the driving set up. What fun Little Buddy must have with it! I hope the extra attention on school work helped. When things don't go as well as I had hoped, I often wonder if I needed to have that journey/experience. Did I need a lesson or did I need to meet someone? I do agree with you to choose positivity at the end of every day and don't allow the negative stuff to infiltrate your positivity! Best wishes to you both on a terrific 2023!
Happy New Year! May 2023 be the year of ease and peace for you and your family!!!
Hugs to you and Little Buddy. I wish you both a year of peace and joy and blossoming.
I'm so sorry the past year was so hard. Here is to a better 2023 for us all.
ı am sending you best wishes and love for the new year.
Happy new year. Little Buddy looks so happy, how wonderful that it is helping him as well as being fun. I hope you have a better year and everything gets resolved so you can fully move on. Sending hugs and prayers across the world. x
Happy New Year! All the best to you and your family!
Hope you've had a great start to the new year, Dear Meredith. Wishing you only good things.
LB has a good smile and thankful he has something to drive and have fun on. Safety will be there as well!! I hope that your new year is going to be better than the hard years you have been through. There is always something to be thankful for in life. Daily!! God bless and happy and blessed days and years ahead!!
I hope 2023 will bring peace and calmness to your family. Little Buddy looks over the moon with his driving. The dogs are looking gorgeous and full of mischief. Take care, Cathy x
Miss hearing from you. I hope you and LB are doing well!
I read all your post regularly, and I check every day if you maybe publish something new. I can imagine how busy and stressful life is for you recently, but I really hope that everything is coming in place, peace by peace, and that future for you and your sons (and dogs, of course :) ) is bright and full of happy moments.
Many greetings from Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Hi Meredith, I hope this year is not bringing anything you can't cope with and survive well.
I found the first year after divorce was the most difficult, but then when that first year is over, you realise you have survived and are free to be your own person and live life the way you decide.
Very sorry you no longer keep in touch here as many of us are cheering you through this tough time and hope you and buddy are doing well. 💕
I just wanted to say hallo. Wish you all the best! xxx Regula
Hope things are going along much better as this year is progressing! I think of you and LB often. He's growing up way too soon! Take care. Lots of hugs from Washington.
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