2017 is a prime number. I was born on a prime date, prime month and I was sure that 2017 would be my year to thrive. 2017 – My mother passed away from Alzheimer’s, my daughter’s father also passed, and I feel like I lost my daughter. She has not been the same since he passed. I just counted the ways my year hurt me. I feel hurt and pain and it has not gone away just yet. I know it will. I know I want it to. I also know that 2017 brought me many experiences that were beautiful. Family moments, moments with my grandsons. Moments by the ocean that took my breath away. Moments at work where I persevered and I got promoted. Moments where I placed my health first. Moments where I was really strong. Then there were moments where I was really weak. As I write this I realize that this is life. I am not stupid. I know.
There will be days where one will be strong and moments that knock us to our knees. This year I feel like I was knocked to my knees. Many times. I took things personally. I did not expect most of what happened. As a result I did not react like I have been used to. I did take things personally. I felt offended by the Universe that I believed always sought to help me, not hurt me. I did not accept so easily. I still do not. I know this. I also know that I must. I need to accept otherwise I will only be hurting myself.
I really wish I had thrived this year like I had planned. This is the hardest thing to accept. I do not feel like I thrived. I feel like I lost a lot and did not deal with it so well. But maybe, just maybe, the fact that I am still here, still going forward, still willing to try, maybe that is thriving. Maybe I can redefine what thriving means. I know that there are people in war torn countries who would dream of what I have. This does not help. I know it but I still feel how I feel. I am so tired of comparing my feelings to others. I am not supposed to compare myself to other people when it comes to defining success but when it comes to defining sadness, this is the measurement that people use. They tell me these things. Fuck that. Maybe that is one good thing. I no longer care what other people think about my feelings? Maybe this year I can no longer care what other people think in general? That would be a gift.
I also know that I have a good life. A good country, a good city, a good home, a great family, a good job. It is simple but I love where I live. I love my family and all the good people in my life. They never judged me this year. We all respected how we each grieve. This is priceless. It was hard to do where my daughter is concerned. I have learned to let that go too. So many things I had to let go this year. That is the hard part. The letting go. I feel sad. I had to let go of a lot this year. Practice makes perfect? Maybe.
So as I reflect on this past year I am grateful and thankful for all that I have. I know I have a lot. My two boys are priceless. My family is priceless. I have so many priceless moments that no amount of money could replace. I saw my two girlfriends of so many years in Vancouver. That is a gift. I saw my dad too. I was able to have wonderful vacations that gave me joy. I spent time alone and with my grandson Aidan. I did so many things that I love. I was able to spend the last moments, breathes of my mom’s life with her. Just like I asked. I am thankful to have had a mother so amazing that losing her causes me grief. I am thankful to have a daughter so amazing that her pain causes me pain to watch. That means she was a force to be reckoned with and anything less is something I just need to accept and know that this too shall pass. I have two healthy grandsons. I was fortunate to be able to spend the last day of this year with them. I am able to cook for them and laugh and play. Who gets to play anymore? I do. I still do. My son in law has been an inspiration. He went through hard times too and he persevered. I see that I have so very much to be grateful for. My work that has been a cause for much reflection is also a blessing. I will admit it. I am not sure what the hell I am doing or why but I know I am challenged and have a good job. I will see it this way. OK. For today.
I will try to accept that the things that happened this year must be left behind for a new year to start, even if this causes me pain. I feel like letting this all go means I am ok with losing the people I loved so much. I want to keep them with me and if I let them go………………..what happens? What does the New Year look like?
Well I have no answers right now except that I am happy to see the end to 2017. I am also sad. I am looking forward to 2018. But with a different outlook. Something inside has changed. I am no longer to hopeful optimist with belief in the Universe. No. I no longer believe that things happen for a reason. I no longer believe in the airy fairy stuff. What I do believe in is the ocean. It is real and tangible. I do believe in gratitude, goodness and kindness. I still believe in that. But I do not believe things happen for a reason anymore. I believe that I must not. I must not take things personally. To do this, nothing happens for a reason per say. It just happens. The Universe is random and chaotic. Constantly changing. Physics, chemistry, biology, this makes sense to me. Don’t think about it too much. If it feels bad, let it go. If it feels good, enjoy. Do not look for meaning in anything anymore. Things are the way they are. Let them be. Maybe that is my gift this year. A new perspective. I am willing to see it through. I know one thing. I am blessed, I am grateful even if I am sad and happy at the same time for different reasons. It was a good year at the end of the day, despite the stuff I am still working through. Maybe I can say I did thrive. Maybe by writing this last piece, having spent time with my family, being with my two grandsons, having spoken to my daughter, packing for my trip to the ocean, I can say, I made it and I did thrive. Just not the way I planned.
When I look at William and Aidan, how they are with each other, this inspires me. William reminds me of my mom. He has this look he gives me with his eyes, like the one she gave me near the end when that is how she could communicate. They are the wind beneath my wings, as is my girl. I will hold on to that. I will remember how lucky I am to have sisters and brothers who are wonderful and create family events. They dote on the boys. I will remember my second dad who shares his feelings with me and my dad who tells me all I have to do is call and vent. I am lucky girl. I must remember that. I know I have all the support I need. All I need now is to give myself my own support. I need to be there for myself.
From the bottom of my heart I wish everyone a wonderful New Year. Live, love, laugh. Thank you for giving me a safe space to write. It was so therapeutic and helped me release and express. May 2018 be a wonderful year for you all.