Today is the final day of 2014.
Since we began this project, everyone has so kindly shared of themselves whenever we have asked them to. In turn, we thought that we would take this opportunity to share our own thoughts, reflections, and resolutions with all of you, to end our year. Thanks again for reading, following, looking, sharing, and supporting our ideas and dreams. Have a wonderful and blessed New Year!
The past year has brought me a lot of the same old, same old... the kid's baseball and softball games, family dinners, Sunday football games, homework, holidays, and the day to day grind that is the life of mother of three. This year I stopped blogging, lightened the load on my freelance work and got more involved in charitable projects and my personal writing. I started running. In May I completed Muderella with some of the fiercest women I know. That was something I never thought I would do. I finally finished the two half-written children's manuscripts that were lurking around forever. Sure they're still collecting dust, but at least they are complete! I even got another few chapters done in the never-ending novel. So, in many ways it was a year of staying still, but also of moving forward (figuratively and literally).
It was a challenging year. It was not, to put it nicely, one of my favorites. It actually started out strong. It was a year of the unexpected! At the beginning of the year I was happy and full of a renewed sense of purpose and joy. I was looking forward to a year full of changes and challenges that, although scary, I was ready to meet head-on. But, as they say, 'the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry' (read as: shit happens, roll with it). The changes and challenges of a promising new year quickly became, like many years before it, one of loss, sadness and yes, pain. I spent more time in 2014 in pain than I have cared to admit, but now I guess it's the time.
Very few people are happy all of the time. No matter how blessed we are, sometimes it is hard to be the perky, smiling one. It is hard to be the always optimistic, ever-grateful one. And it's even harder to admit when you are not feeling those things, because that is what people have come to expect of you. And when you have been blessed as I have been, with a wonderful family and friends, a roof over my head, food on my table, and very few of the real-life worries that so many must deal with every day, it seems selfish to even admit that there are days when you are just not feeling it. But, I am admitting it. This year I wallowed. I swam in a sea of questions, and confusion, and doubt for a good long while. I questioned my place, my purpose, my life. Most who know me, probably never even realized. And never being one to let my negative emotions show, I wanted to quickly get myself together, move on, and finish out the year strong. I tried my best to pick up the pieces, dust myself off, and jump head first into the rest of my life. I finally got the ball rolling on the business I had started several months prior. I started this site (along with my friend and partner in crime, Noelle). I started making decisions about the next chapter(s) of my life and who and what belonged with me on my journey. With my children to motivate me and to guide my choices as they always do, I pulled it together. Yes, I still have unanswered questions about my path. Yes, there is still an element of the unknown surrounding me in some places. Yes, there are still a lot of choices to be made and things I would like to do. But, there is hope.
Luckily for me, this is exactly what a brand new year is for! Each new year, a new beginning. Although the year did not finish quite as I had thought or hoped that it would, I did learn a lot of things along the way this year! I learned that you have to walk in your own truth, no matter what that is. You can only be yourself. It is the only way that the right people will come into your life and stay there! And if they walk out, well, it is their loss... perhaps their role in your life was over, or maybe they were never meant to be there in the first place! I also learned that not everyone will be who and what you want them to be. This is okay. I learned that sometimes no matter how much you believe in someone, no matter how much faith you have in them and in what they are capable of, if they don't share that belief, you can not make them. You can try. But more often than not, there will come a moment when you will have to walk away- no matter how much it hurts you. I have learned that some people will judge you by your past- by things you have said and done long, long ago, and by the mistakes you have made, even if you are a changed person. Let them. Their judgments can not hurt you (refer back to walking in your own truth). You are not the mistakes you have made and you should only concern yourself with those who understand that and who see you for who and what you are now! I have also learned, and listen to me closely, that it is never too late to change the road you are on! It's never too late to create a new beginning! And no one is too broken to be fixed! You just have to be brave and take the risks. Some people are not that brave. I hope to be that brave!
If I had to make goals for the coming year (I am always reluctant to call them resolutions) there would only be a few. One would be to get to know myself better. It's easy to lose sight of who you are when your whole existence hinges on the existence of others. And that ties into my other goal, to say 'no' when I have had enough, to ask for help when I need help, and to understand that I can only control my own stuff. I don't have to be everything to everyone. I don't have to make the best chocolate mousse in the world. It's okay to just make a good chocolate mousse. I don't have to volunteer for every school party and function. It's okay to make it to a few and let the others go. People who love me, people who respect and care about me, they will do so whether I make them cookies or not. It's wonderful to be thoughtful, but it's also important to think of your own needs too. In the coming year I am going to try, for the first time in as long as I can remember, to balance my own needs with the needs of others. I hope that I am successful.
This year I will have hope in all things. I will hope because sometimes that is what gets you through- looking forward- even when you are unsure. There's a line from one of my favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption, that says: hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. Things may not always be exactly what you wanted or how you wanted them, but if you live in hope, you can get through the days knowing, believing that someday they will be. In this I truly believe, I truly hope.
I wish every one of you joy, peace, health, happiness, and yes, hope in the coming year.
Happy New Year!