Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Every year is your year

The last few years I see more people saying how the year we're leaving has sucked and the next year is going to be better. Myself included a few times.

Every year is good and bad. It is the yin and yang. This is real life, not a perpetual good trip. Why do we expect carefree, easy living when everything in history and our collective adult life experience tells us that expectation is unreasonable, like Poison told us Every Rose has its Thorn? 

Especially as we get older, the reality is that there is no sustained period of time where everything goes our way, no one gets sick or dies, nothing breaks or costs a shitload of money we did not anticipate spending, nothing brings us to our knees, we make no mistakes, we deal with no loss of anything, we have no shock or disappointment or rage or upheaval. Sometimes those things happen in succession and life seems like a lot because it is a lot sometimes.

I'm not saying some years aren't harder than others. We have bad or devastating things happen that can be hard to recover from. When we don't recover within the time frame we've set up for ourselves, we think we're not okay. Not dealing with things like we expected to can take us by surprise. 

When we lose something - a loved one, a friendship, an opportunity, a marriage, a way of life, a job, whatever it is - we grieve. Grief changes who we are as people - to survive requires some internal rewiring. Likewise, when we gain something - a loved one, a friendship, an opportunity, a marriage, a way of life, a job, whatever it is - we expand to adapt, and expansion requires internal rewiring just like grief does. Trying to move forward out of grief or expansion using our old ways doesn’t work because we're not the same as we were before that loss or gain. We can't take the same paths and expect them to lead us to where we want or need to go. Life requires alternate routes and we need to give ourselves permission to take them instead of clinging to old ways that block us from going forward.

We also go into every new year thinking who we are on January 1 is who we will be on December 31, forgetting that every grief and expansion will change us a little (or a lot). 
Maybe we didn’t do one single thing we planned to this year. Maybe instead we survived some things that were unexpected and fucking hard, looked good doing it, laughed when we thought we didn’t have it in us, learned something we had no idea we needed to know, helped someone when we ourselves needed help, showed someone that it’s okay to not be okay, and about a million other small but really good things that we sweep aside when we push a year into the not my year category. 

If you come through a year where some things were great, but then some things were really fucking hard but to date you’ve survived 100% of the hard things and also laughed, connected, hugged, enjoyed, shared, learned, exchanged smiles, saw beauty, felt the sun on your face, heard music, tasted deliciousness...how can that NOT be your year? Give yourself credit and cut yourself some slack. You’re out there killing it being human, and you’re going to do it again next year. 

Here’s to 2020. 

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