(Imported from Tumblr, December 2018)

I just LOVE the anticipation of a new year.

There is something thrilling and therapeutic to me about wiping the slate clean on December 31st and deciding who I’ll become on January 1. 

Filtering out the parts of me I’ll leave behind, and all the ways I’ll start fresh in the New Year- like my favorite Anne of Green Gables quote.

This bridge between Christmas and New Year’s is a careful time of reflection. After the holiday frenzy and social whirlwind, I like to withdraw into myself. To recover emotionally (closeted introvert of here) and quietly reflect upon the year- the ups, the downs. 

I like to measure the good against the bad- the love I’ve shared or the mistakes I made that taught me something. I used to keep a mental tally and label entire years as a whole:

2012- Bad, bad, bad.

2013- Didn’t realize it could be even worse. Rock bottom, I dare say?

2014- Mary crawls out of the pit.

2015- Backsliding- How did I get here again? God, save me.

2016- The best year of my life (minus Trump, damn him).

2017- Even better than 2016- is this real life?

2018- EVERYTHING IS AWESOME?!!!! Unicorns dancing on rainbows, Is that even me in the mirror?

This year I’m celebrating consecutive years of ‘good’ and realizing the hardship and struggles of so many years makes the light shine brighter. It’s that good ‘ol “Inside Out” lesson that means so much- how you come to know Joy when eclipsed by Sadness.

I can be breathlessly, wordlessly, jump-over-the-moon grateful for the past three years because I used to think the darkness that held me for so long was just who I was. But the familiar and crippling feelings of fear, anxiety and depression are moving from familiar friends to passing strangers.

I’m seeing how life strikes a balance between tragedy and triumph to keep us alive- bright eyes looking up.

I’m understanding why they say that life gets fed to us in seasons.

This has been a season of transformation.

After almost 13 years as a dedicated smoker, I was able to quit the habit.

I’ve lost close to forty pounds and am living within my ‘goal weight’– without gimmicks, fad diets or pills . More than that, I’m feeling grateful for my body- it’s strength, movement, and muscle versus the familiar battle of disdain, reward, punishment… I feel control vs. compulsion in my relationship with food, which is a big deal for me.

My husband and I purchased a home. The very first home for me to belong in. My parents struggled to keep a roof over our heads and I’ve bounced from apartment rental to family member to condo to rental house- without a permanent home- since I was 18.

Having a nest is a dream come true.

I hope whatever season you are experiencing, that you still believe in bright beginnings, new tomorrows and fresh days with no mistakes. I hope that if the darkness held you this year- or for the past several years, or for the majority of life itself, that you know you aren’t alone. I hope your sights are set on bright new beginnings and fresh starts.

The first of the year is the perfect time for that.

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