I’m not going to sugar coat it: this year was pretty shit. We had multiple significant family illnesses, including hospitalization of our precious baby boy. My mom got into a whack car wreck. Our 3 year old kitchen flooded and needs replacing. I had a difficult pregnancy including gestational diabetes. I dealt with THE WORST bully of a parent at my job as a teacher.
I honestly can’t wait for 2019 to be over, and I’ve heard the same from a few friends.
But the thing is, I know that time is a social construct (or whatever) and that a tick of the clock doesn’t mean a magical erasure of all of life’s struggles. There’s no guarantee that 2020 will be better than 2019 was.
The good news is, I also believe in counting your blessings, finding the silver lining, and practicing gratitude.
Which lead me to really search for and reflect on the positives from this last year and what I can take away from it as the burning ember to remember 2019 by, despite all of the shit. In searching, what I found, throughout all of our trials and tears, was this one continuous golden thread:
You see, throughout all of the trials me and mine experienced this year, the thing that never failed to pull through (and to surprise me every time) was the loving embrace my fellow humans were so quick to sweep us up in. People I barely know. People I know well but don’t hear from often. People I see every day.
When my mother crashed her car, the car salesman (an old boyfriend of my sister’s), took care of finding her a new one at a great price. The man who caused the accident took full blame with no argument.
I watched a community of loved ones far and wide rally around a dear family member when they faced a significant diagnosis.
When I couldn’t carry the weight of the harassment I was experiencing at work on my own, I was lifted by coworkers I didn’t know well and who weren’t required to support me in that way.
I encountered countless compassionate healthcare providers on my journey through gestational diabetes and pediatric angels throughout Cash’s 4 day hospitalization.
Long-distance social media friends sent coffee and Postmates when they heard about our precious babe. My mom, who lives on a fixed income, flew down last minute to help us through.
We’ve felt the kindness of plumbers, contractors, airbnb hosts, and insurance workers as we navigate the water damage in our kitchen.
I’ve watched my in-laws drop everything to help others this year, including picking up our kids last minute multiple times.
I’ve been continuously supported by, checked in on, validated by, buoyed up by, and embraced by my dear ones, far and wide.
So although 2019 was probably the weirdest, most trying year for me in all of my 33 years, the overarching theme, the glimmer I’ll cling to in it all, is love. This year has reinforced my deep down belief that despite everything, despite the world whispering otherwise, that people are genuinely good. And that love is all you really need.
And so it is that I will leave this gleaming pile of poo of a year with a heart full of gratitude for proof of the love and the light that is within all of us.
What will you take away from this year? What intentions will you set for 2020?