For this post, I originally wrote a long litany of all the ways this year went wrong. Trust me when I say it was a long list. I read and reread it, then reread it again. Soooo many negatives. And then I deleted everything.
The year is just about over. And with its end, I’m saying goodbye to the negatives.
Yes, this year was hard. But I lived it. I fought through it. I was scarred by it for sure. But it didn’t beat me. And sometimes in our lives, the simple act of not getting beaten can be a pretty big victory.
Which brings me to the good things. The things that—from now going forward—are the things I’m choosing to focus on.
The good things I learned from a very bad year:
- How to get up. When you get knocked down, you learn to get up. Sometimes just in time to get knocked down again, but it’s still a good lesson. Get up. Then get up again. Then get up again. Get up as many times as it takes. Eventually the knocking down will ease a bit and guess what? You’ll be standing. You might be standing alone or in the middle of a crowd, but either way you’ll be standing. Standing is good.
- That I can get angry. Really angry. Why is this a good thing? Because before this year, I didn’t really know that about myself. I didn’t have a reason to. Consequently, I didn’t know how to manage it—the good reactions verses the bad ones. Now I know. Now I know that when I get angry, I need to put my phone down. I need to get offline. I need to go for a walk, march it out, run it out, drive it out, cry it out, think it out…but not react it out. I’m not gonna lie, a few times I reacted it out. But that was 2017. 2018 is a new year. One that is taking me back to the old Amy, because now that she’s armed with new information about herself—I know that I like her better. New/old Amy doesn’t react. New/old Amy tries hard to see the good in just about everything. New/old Amy is a pretty happy chick. Welcome her back, won’t you?
- That broken hearts don’t kill you. A few times, I thought it might come close. There’s pain—unbelievable pain—when your heart hurts. Probably most people knew this already, but I didn’t. Funny enough, I’ve written about it in books. I’ve talked about it online. I’ve wondered about it in my head. But I never really knew about it. Broken hearts don’t kill you. They aren’t fun, but they do teach you things worth knowing. At the very least, I’ll have an experience to write about that won’t be entirely made up.
- That laughter is healing. This year did not provide many opportunities to laugh, so when they appeared…I marveled in them. I appreciated them, possibly more than I ever have. I looked for them. I worked to create them—with my kids, with my friends, with my family. Just because laughter doesn’t come easy doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to force them. More than occasionally, I forced them. But that didn’t make the experience any less pleasant.
- That when friends stick with you, you should never let them go. Whether it’s one person or twenty, those people are gold. That support is sometimes silent, doesn’t have to be verbal, and can be found in the little things if you know what to look for. I’ve learned what to look for, and I’ve discovered how to appreciate them. I appreciate the heck out of my friends in ways they may never know. But that’s okay. It doesn’t make the appreciation any less valid.
- That love isn’t about winning. Or control. Or validation. Or performance. Or submission. Or conditions. Or even doing the right thing. That when you love people, you should love them and not waver. I’ve wavered plenty as of late, but it’s time to start again. Because if the people who mean the world to you can’t count on you for that, then they can’t count on you for much. I want to be someone worth counting on. It’s the one legacy—more than anything else in the entire world—that I hope to leave behind.
- That only the real things are worth our time. There’s so much insignificant and shallow in our world today, and it’s time for me to abandon those things (inasmuch as I can) once and for all. I’ve made some personal decisions for myself—things that will hopefully ease the madness and distractions and burdens that aren’t mine to carry. Time to go back to the basics. All that to say—if you see a little less of me in 2018, there’s a reason for it. I haven’t gone away. I haven’t abandoned anyone. I haven’t given up on anyone. I never will. But nothing is worth losing peace of mind. Not a race. Not the grind. Not ambition. Not goals. Nothing. So…if you need me I’m here. A message or a phone call or a written letter or a text (my least favorite, fyi—but I’ll still use it) away.
So there you have it. 2017—you sucked. I hope the door hits you and bruises you a little on the way out. Sorry for that, but I do.
But 2018? I can’t wait to meet you. I’m looking forward to the ride. And I hope it somehow puts every single one of us back together.
(FYI next time you see me here, I’ll have a new website!)