Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Not Wishing Away 2016

As a whole unit, 2016 was hands down my very worst personal year.  I lost my baby, I lost love, I lost trust, I lost direction, I lost faith in humanity, and I lost myself in the mix.

But I refuse to wish away this year.  Or any year.  As much as I pretend I am aching for a change at the stroke of midnight on January first, I am in tears at the thought of leaving this year behind.

My Sadie was alive for five months in 2016.  I had five precious months and 11 beautiful days with her, and it breaks my heart to see distance grow between our last cuddle and conversation.  I fell into a full on panic attack the other day when I started thinking about my birthday in February and her birthday in April of this coming year, without her here in our cozy little home together.  It terrifies me.  I honestly have no idea how I am going to get through those days.

For every minute I felt alone in my lifetime, my Sadie made them better.  She knew all my secrets and loved me anyway.  

I also went through some huge personal breakthroughs.  And even though many of them ended in tears, I've worked hard to find silver linings and lessons along the way.  

But lean in because I am about to tell you the most honest statement of the year...

I don't feel strong enough to leave 2016 behind.

It's true.  I am working on getting stronger.  I am working on everything.  But I'm scared.  Scared about distance, scared about failure, scared about success, scared about the unknown, scared about the inevitable, scared about not being able to figure anything out, scared about moving backwards instead of forwards, and incredibly scared about the thought of more loss next year.

I've let fear rule my little life, though, for far too long.  In part, I've discovered, because I start with a big picture.  The completed project or idea.  And then the daunting fear of not knowing how to get from zero to 100 will paralyze me.  

So one of my goals for this new year is to just focus on the next step.  Just the very next step.  Find my way forward a single step.  The way a child works on a math lesson.  I need to take my personal bubble back under control.  New management.  And we're starting with the basics.  I am only allowed to focus on one next step at a time.

2016 was the year the house came crumbling down around me.  2017 is going to be the year I build it back up, brick by brick, one at a time.  Cracks will remain.  They are always going to be there, in the corners, like battle wounds from days when my foundation came apart.  But the house will be stronger and beautiful in a new way.

I'm going to get there.  And I'm going to laugh and smile along the way.  Because even when life is gloomy, life is still pretty damn funny too.  And next year, I am just not going to lose sight of the humor as much as I did this year.  For more than 20 years, my personal mantra has been, "You have to laugh at yourself, you'd cry your eyes out if you didn't."  {all the bonus points if you can tell me where that's from!}  Fewer tears and more laughter are on my agenda next year!

That said, I'm just going to be here in my little corner of the North Pole savoring what's left of 2016.  The lows might have been low but I'd never trade them in for the highs with those I love so dearly.


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