Everything is on pause, the fire is burning, the lights are dim and I have surrounded myself with my favorite candles to take in the last few moments of another incredible year. Today may be just another day but this year it seems especially significant. I am appreciative of this holiday which encourages self reflection and a focus on the future. We all have the chance to ask ourselves what the past has meant to us, what have we learned, what do we want to take forward and what do we change? At the end of the day there are quite a few things I would prefer not to take with me into the future and knowing I don’t have that choice I am going to think about the good I will take forward which far outweighs the trials which accompany me.
This year I have so many successes and joyous moments for which I am thankful. I surpassed the longest time I have every lived in a city as an adult and dug my roots a bit deeper with the purchase of my new home (and sold the other). I had the opportunity to grow a team at work, expand my role and continue to work on what I enjoy and am passionate about. I had many visitors and had so many weekends with friends from across the country. I traveled to my family cabin and took a full week away, spending quality time on the lakes, rivers and in the woods. I tried at love and met new friends. And then I was served my toughest challenge, teaching me I am the luckiest girl in the world because I know more loving, generous and kind people than one can imagine. I would say that’s not a bad year when I really think about it.
Just a couple of days ago I was sitting with a friend enjoying the afternoon sunshine when a stranger near us started up conversation. It turns out he wasn’t so strange and is only one degree of separation from my friend and I, how small our world is! Anyway back to the point; this stranger told me of a project he is working on to help children pass their time undergoing chemotherapy which led to a conversation about my upcoming chemo treatments. This man then asked me a great question, “Do you feel loved?” and my immediate response was “Overwhelmingly”. He then proceeded to point out how I was actually lucky to see this love and outpouring from friends and family during my lifetime. Reflecting on this statement I realize how true this really is. How often do you offer your unconditional support to those around you and tell them how you feel about them and what they can achieve or accomplish? Or let them know that you are there for them through thick and thin? Or just tell them you love them? I can tell you that I can hardly remember having these conversations except for when friends who were in times of trial. This short conversation was a good reminder of all of the good that is coming from a tough situation and that as long as I accept the love and support being thrown at me I will be able to get through even the darkest days.
Today, before I had a good reflection on my year, I had a tough morning (a snip-it of a dark day). It is my first day without house guests, family or helpers and it was really the first time I quietly thought about everything that I am going through. I had a good cry and let out my anger at the situation; this situation which I am carrying with me as we enter our next year. I took this time to call a few friends and take them up on their prior offers to call, even when the tears come, and they helped me to bring my focus back to the positive and reassure me while this is going to be a long 17 months or so, it is JUST 17 months – heck the plan is that these 17 months give me 60 more years! Following this I reapplied my make-up and got on with the day and felt 100% better because that overwhelming love I talked about got me through.
At the end of this day I am so grateful that I feel amazing, truly amazing. I am not 100% healed and I still have open wounds and large scars which will take time. Maybe I can’t raise my arms all the way quite yet but do you know what I can do? I can walk and talk and love and laugh and get dressed and brush my hair and live, I can live. So with that said, it is another GREAT day! Let’s bring on 2018 and all that will come with it!!