Well, here we are. It’s the last few days of 2014. I don’t know how it’s been for you, but a lot of 2014 has felt like this for me:
And I know I’m not the only one. Just in my circle of friends, we’ve had deaths in the family, threats of foreclosure, divorce, illness, ends of business relationships, books cancelled, plans shot to hell. There have been some good things, too. Property bought. Business relationships begun. Toxic ties cut. Friendships and partnerships started. But the highs have been not nearly high enough to drag most of us up from the lows, and at times this year’s treatment of me and my loved ones has felt like Achilles dragging Hector’s mangled corpse behind his chariot.
My husband and I have been trying to close on a house since December 2. Our new closing date is tomorrow, 12/30, and I have no idea yet whether or not we’ll actually manage to sign the paperwork and transfer the keys. Especially since we were supposed to do a walk-through today, and no one could FIND the keys.
It’s the last few days of the year, and instead of celebrating, I feel like this:
This year has punched me in the teeth repeatedly. This year was the tenth anniversary of my older breath’s death. My mom’s sister died suddenly on my mom’s birthday. I’ve watched relationships around me crumble, seen friends suffer and suffered some myself. My career is going through tough new growing pains, and I spent a large portion of the year struggling to even put words to the page. The first house we were under contract for, hubs and I ended up not buying, and the fights we had during that time were among the worst we’ve had in the ten years we’ve been together.
I’m so ready to see the back of this year, I may well just sleep through the ball dropping and do my celebrating once it’s actually 2015.
“So, what?” you’re asking. “What does any of this even mean, beyond serving as the biggest buzz kill since they offed The Mother on HIMYM?”
Honestly, I’m not sure. It probably doesn’t mean anything. Lots of us have had crappy years. Some people will have crappy years next year, too, and some people will have great years. Still more will have highs that balance out the lows, and 2015 will pass in a blur of excitement and disappointment.
I don’t want to bid farewell to this year on a negative note. I know there’s every chance 2015 won’t be remarkably better. But if I give in to the negativity that has threatened to crush me and mine almost every week since this time last year, I won’t be able to get out of bed tomorrow morning.
This has not been my best year. But when I think about where I was last year, in spite of all the suffering I’ve experienced and seen, I know things have improved in a lot of ways. My professional situation is better, even if it feels like I’ve taken three giants steps back. Hubs and I will likely have a new home very soon, even if it doesn’t happen in these last days of 2014, and our relationship is even stronger than it was before we got started down this road. My friends, despite some very serious troubles, will come out the other side stronger, and we’re lucky we’ve been there for each other. My poor family has been through worse.
And while it feels like tempting fate to try to count my blessings, like searching for the silver lining will only cause a cave-in of the mines of Fate, I have to hold on to the wonderful things that have happened this year. Things like seeing my writing friends at Sirens Con in Portland, experiences like learning to spin and making my own yarn, bonds like the ones I share with my husband and my best friends—those are my talismans against another year of struggle. Even when things got bad, my loved ones held my hand and helped pull me through it—and, even better, I think I’ve done the same for some of them.
Yes, this year sucked. But I bet all of us can find a few nice things to say about 2015. And in spite of that irrational (and incredibly common) fear that focusing on the good might bring on the negative, most of us have a few bright moments to cling to, a few friends to hug tightly, a few smoldering hopes and dreams that only need a breath of air to spring back into the burning fire that keeps us going.
Even if 2015 isn’t a whole new world, it is a good breaking point, a natural end and beginning. Maybe it won’t be your best year yet. Maybe it won’t be mine, either.
But maybe… just maybe… it will be.
Happy New Year.