It’s hard to believe that 2016 will be here in a matter of hours. Frankly, I couldn’t be more ready. 2015 has been a doozy. We’ve tackled chronic illness, staggering student loan debt, re-entry into homeschooling, the loss of a friend, the loss of a job and twins with mononucleosis, not to mention cussing toddlers, and exploding toilets.
And you know what?
This has been the best year EVER.
And it’s all because of YOU.
About a year ago I decided that I needed a project. A little something to prove to myself that I was more than just a butt wiper and dishwasher. It seemed a bit late to take up figure skating, but since I’d always dabbled in writing, I thought maybe, just maybe, I could handle a blog. I felt like an awkward tween trying out a new move on the middle school dance floor, but I sallied forth anyway, determined to have a little fun. And what a wonderful time I’ve had! I’ve connected with so many people and watched so many people connect with each other. This blog has reaffirmed for me, that despite differences in politics, or finance, or religion, we are all so much more alike than different, and that what we all crave, above everything else, is a feeling of belonging. Today, when I open my browser and begin to type, it feels, more than anything else, like coming home. Thank you.
On January 1st, 2015, I sat down and wrote this piece. It was my first blog post ever, and I had no idea what to expect. In fact, it took me four days to figure out how to publish it. So, in honor of the New Year and in appreciation for all you’ve done for me in the last 362 days, I bring you a Throwback Thursday from New Years Day 2015. Turns out I can be grateful for more than 15 minutes.
Holiday Mayhem and Perspective from the Park
We actually made it. Truth be told, it looked a little iffy for a while.
Everyone in my house came down with the flu the week before Christmas. Everyone except me. Because if I had the flu I would get to lie in bed all day and have someone bring me hot toddies and remote controls. And then, well…
Then I might get Spoiled.
So instead, we had this:
Until we got $1,470 worth of Tamiflu. THANK YOU CoverKids!
Everyone got better just in time to have this:
Which, granted, is much, much better.
So much better, in fact, that I really feel I should stop there and just be grateful. And I was. Take my word for it. I was really really beatifically grateful.
But by New Year’s Eve it had been raining for a week, and then the front door broke and wouldn’t close, and the potty upstairs got plugged up with all the company, and the really expensive air mattress sprung a leak and landed my sick father on the floor at 3am, and well, I stopped being grateful and instead became Over. It. So, since it was FINALLY not raining, I decided to go for a walk.
There’s a park just a couple minutes from my house with a fabulous 2 1/2 mile walking trail. This trail is lovely for many reasons: It’s paved and well tended. It’s flat, which is great if you’re terribly out of shape from having five kids and being just generally lazy. It wanders through a canopy of trees, skirts a large creek, passes groomed athletic fields, and even bumps up against a historical house and a fort from the 1700s. It also passes a huge playground, but the playground is set way back behind woods and so the chances of coming into contact with other folk’s little people is remote. Sometimes, especially when you’ve spent a week mopping pee off the floor and refereeing sugar-overloaded toddlers and tweens, that’s the very best part.
So, after walking almost the whole trail (admittedly a little slower than necessary) I was nearly ready to return to reality. I was gearing myself up to deal with the toilet and the mattress, and the idea of spending my Christmas money on new door fixtures instead of say, jeans without holes. As I rounded the last bend I saw this:
I got a little closer and saw this, tucked into the wreath on the tree:
And WHAM! Just like that, my final Christmas gift socked me in the gut.
And deep, deep gratitude.
I’d take a million clogged toilets, a house with no doors at all, and a warehouse of air mattresses I had to patch with my own blood, over ever having reason to hang a wreath like that.
So, in 2015, I resolve to be grateful for my good fortune for more than 15 minutes. I’d like to say it’s going to be easy, but instead, I’ll just say: I’ll keep you posted.