This time of year can be kinda tough. On one hand, a whole new year will be here soon – a beautiful blank slate to color any way we choose. We can look forward to the turning of the calendar with excitement and that tingly feeling of not knowing what lies ahead – or with the giddy glee of making new plans.
That new beginning means something else, too. It means this chapter is coming to an end. All those plans we made last January for this year will either be an accomplishment or just a vague memory now.
I always feel a bit melancholy in December. As a child I loved the holidays. There was so much magic in the air! The lights, decorations, sounds, smells and music made me happy. Now it seems like work to get from the beginning of the month to the end. I can’t help but think about my dad, and how much I still miss him. I think about how fast the year went, and how I didn’t do nearly all the things I said I wanted to. I think about missed opportunities, things I procrastinated on, things I started but never finished. Suddenly the last year becomes a blur, and I’m not sure where it all went. I’m not sure what I accomplished. I have a feeling that I could hunker down amid a fluffy blanket and a few books and hide my head until December is over and gone. If only I could.
Life won’t let me hide, so I guess I have to face this last month of the year head on. And do you want to know something? I got a lot of sh#! done this year! Okay, there’s a lot I didn’t do, but despite that, it’s been quite the year. I’ve grown stronger, I’ve learned things about myself, I’ve changed and I’ve grown. I’ve read good books, and I’ve enjoyed times with my daughter. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve screamed. I’ve been sad, I’ve been happy, I’ve been up and I’ve been down. I’ve written stories, I’ve written books, I’ve watched movies and I’ve colored pictures. I’ve knitted, I’ve sipped tea and I’ve loved and been loved. I’ve been wrapped in the arms of a mischievous teen girl, and I’ve gone out of my comfort zone once or twice. I’ve learned new things, I’ve gazed at the moon and I’ve enjoyed the orange glow of a sunset. I’ve seen rainbows, played in the rain and stood on top of a Mayan temple in the middle of the forest. I’ve encouraged and I’ve been encouraged. I’ve experienced the kindness of strangers and the support of family and friends. I’ve gained insight, gained wisdom and lost bitterness and cynicism. I’ve been afraid, and I’ve been strong. I’ve been true to myself and I’ve lived.
In this, the end of the year, that is all I can hope for. I can look back and know one thing for sure – I lived. I’ve survived my hardships and I am ready for what lies ahead.
Some things end. Some things are just beginning.