First – Happy New Year!!
Today is Jan 1, 2019. New Years Day. A day when we start anew, thinking about all the things we are going to start doing, all the things we are going to stop doing, and all the things we are going to do better. No pressure. Right?
Ugh! What a way to start a year! Think about it. If this is how we start our year, can it really end well? We do our best, yet we disappoint, and no one more so than ourselves.
When the end of 2018 was approaching, I had recently achieved some pretty big goals I’d set for myself, even pre-2018. The greatest of which was creating this blog. (Pat on the back) Months in the making and still only the beginning, it taught me one thing: Patience and perseverance, and the right balance of both is key to achieving our goals. Ok, somewhat cliché, but so what? It is exactly what I’d proven to myself again and again in 2018. Yay me! No sarcasm intended – Seriously.
I went into the holiday season thinking about how I could maintain and sustain this applied learning toward and into 2019. I would have ample time to focus on my blog, continue the good habits I’d started, and continue to grow at the steady pace I’d set. I’d have time to write the blog posts I’d been contemplating of late, and I would far surpass my goal of two posts per month… and then life happened. Dammit…
The holidays didn’t exactly go as planned, starting with one of my (3) kids being hospitalized for the days leading up to Christmas, without any guarantee of being discharged before then. So we worried. We sat, we paced and we waited… and all of a sudden, I realized something – nothing else mattered. There was no place else I wanted to be. Nothing else mattered because my wife and I quickly realized that as long as we had our kids home (in town at least), and a few dear friends and family to be there for us, then we couldn’t and shouldn’t ask for anything more.
As much as our situation ‘sucked’, it was exactly what we needed and wanted in order to remind ourselves of how fortunate we truly are. Things could have been a lot worse. The doctors agreed to release my son on Christmas Eve. Yay! We were able to have the simple yet wonderful Christmas Day celebration we had planned at home. I even invented variations of my famous stuffing and mashed potatoes in sans-gluten and -dairy versions (another pat on the back). Sure, plans got cancelled, and one more child was down for the count with flu and high fever, but I muddled through, never feeling more than slightly frustrated at our situation. If you know me, you know that’s a HUGE evolution in my character!
Fast forward to New Years Eve: My ailing son is feeling well enough to chill with friends for the day and night. It’s just me and my two daughters, one sick, and the other having no plans due to the aforementioned cancelled trip. I was dealing with my sick daughter’s breathing issues in any way I could (she was susceptible to croup as a baby, so I knew all the tricks), as the countdown to 2019 ensued.
Needless to say the evening was pretty sucky. No fun. My very first time in memory to have not spent NYE celebrating in SOME way with family and dear friends. Despite it all, I made the most of it. I heated up some store-bought appies, and the three of us watched bad-ish movies on i-Tunes, doing all we could to stay awake until midnight… and all I could think about was how OK it all felt. Once again, there was nowhere else I wanted to be. I was home, I was with my peeps – both would tell you their my favs anyway…
And it felt good. Liberating. And just. Plain. OK.
I feel now like I’d been forced to take a creative pause from all the frivolous holiday activities, traditions, and hubbub we’d accumulated over the years. No pressure to have fun, no pressure to be somewhere, no need to entertain or be entertained. No obligation to follow tradition. I was shocked with how good this uninvited and downright disruptive situation felt. So good.
Here we are on New Years Day. I slept in a bit, went to the gym for my almost-daily workout, grabbed my Starbucks, and on my drive home realized what the very last part of 2018 taught me: Life can really suck, and how we deal with the suck can be truly wonderful. More wonderful, in fact, than the no-suck option – as if it’s even an option.
Going into 2019, here’s my mantra (I’m kinda done with resolutions).
Life sucks a little every day, and that’s a wonderful thing.
I thank the powers greater than me for challenging me this way, and for enabling me to rise to these challenges the best way I can. And when I don’t, allowing me the patience to know that I can.
Happy New Year my dear friends and loving family. I’m not worthy of, though incredibly thankful for, every one of you! In particular, my spectacular partner in all of the suck – Simone. Come home soon Baby, I miss you.