It always takes me awhile to get back into the swing of post-Christmas, post New Years, post-holiday freedom. I cry a little when a wonderful trip with the twelve people in the world I love the most ends, sigh a little when my daughters go back to school, and get high a little on some wine as I drink to the reality of a new year setting in.
This year reaching reality took me sixteen days. The first two days were spent throwing up eleven times, the next few spent recovering, and the following few spent wallowing in a little sadness after leaving a family trip and then my girls going back to school.
BUT, after a two and a half hour Starbucks visit with two of my best friends (not exaggerating), eating a full bag of pink Valentines M and M’s, (also not exaggerating) and buying a new calendar (yes I still like the old fashioned ones!), I think I am back on track.
And I am excited. My daughters are all in happy places. My husband is in good spirits, and the dogs are not in some state of needing a vet visit for leaking anal glands. Life is good.
My “New Year” is usually more new for me in August when the school year starts as that is when my life changes the most, but January is also a very reflective time for me.
On January 23rd I will be celebrating twenty-four years of surviving my brain aneurysm. In the years immediately following my aneurysm I lived life to the fullest. Celebrated every moment. Loved everyone. Forgave those who had hurt me. Accepted others for who they were and did not judge. Didn’t dwell on little things. Appreciated life itself, every bit of it.
Over the years time went by and sometimes I forgot these things. I forgot to forgive, I forgot to accept, I forgot to let the little things go. But as life went on I learned something. I learned that God and the Universe don’t want me to forget these things and every time I do I get a reminder:
My dad got cancer (thankfully survived!), I had a breast cancer scare (thankfully survived!) and then BAM this December a dear friend of mine had a massive heart attack at age 45. He did not survive.
So this year, for 2019, I shout to the universe, “I have learned! I have learned! I have learned! No more reminders. Please. No more reminders. I am listening…..,”
But even as I shout this out loud I know in my heart that I am human and I know that human things will get in my way sometimes. I know that sometimes I will get in my head. I know that sometimes little things will seem big even when they are not. But I am going to try harder. I am going to breathe more deeply. I am going to embrace this day and this year in the very best way I can and know that life is a true treasure and is not a guarantee.
So I say twenty-shine-teen because I have decided that this a year to shine in and bask in all the glory of life and all it has to offer. I say twenty-mine-teen because it is my job to embrace the year and only mine. No one else has the power to control how good or bad my year is, only I do. I have to choose my reactions, my actions and my choices. I have to choose my 2019.
So I am choosing to start my year with great gratitude for those who mean so much to me:
To my dear friend Tim; I will miss you. You led a life of joy and seized each and every day and I hope to embrace your attitude and zest for life as I move forward. I will never forget your smile, your laughter and your love towards everyone you met. I am so blessed to have been a part of your life in so many ways. I will think of your smile when I need a reminder of how short life is and how important it is to live each day. I will love you always.
To my dear husband and daughters; I am so excited for the year ahead and all the adventures we will have together. There is no one I’d rather share them with. Forgive me for the swear words I say, the mistakes I make and the over protective Mama Bear and wife I inevitably become despite trying not to be. Thank you for loving me no matter what and always supporting my dreams and for letting me support yours.
To my dear true friends; I love you for accepting me for who I am, forgiving my mistakes and knowing I am not perfect and am far from it. Know I will be true to you and that my intent is always good even if the result of my actions may not always be. Thank you for accepting that sometimes I drink too much, swear too much, vent too much and take things personally too much and for loving me anyway. Thank you for always being there to hug me, listen to me, wine or tequila with me and also for supporting my writing and planning our fun times around it.
To my dear Mom and Dad; your guidance, fifty years of marriage, support, unconditional love, generosity and encouragement have gotten me through absolutely everything in my life. What an example you are to Craig and I and our girls. I can only pray to pay it forward at least half as well as you have and thank you along the way. Every January I think of my aneurysm and how I would not be here today without your doctor research, strength, patience and love. To you I owe my life in all ways.
To dear Davey, Kristina, Declan, Ellie, Alexis and Nate; families that puke together stay together. Thank you for starting the year off taking care of me and my girls when I could not even get out of bed. Thank you for bearing with my loud voice, big sister bossiness and my high familial expectations, wishes and constant desire for togetherness and cousin time. Please know it is all out of deep, great, huge love for you all, always.
To dear Jan and Sonia; Your faith in me and love for me are a huge part of who I am and my trust in this glorious universe. No one could ask for better teachers or mentors than you and I love you both deeply from heart and within soul. Thank you for keeping my on the right path and helping to guide my journey.
To my dear readers; your feedback and support of my writing means the world to me. I am launching a book this year and cannot wait to share it with you and hopefully many, many more books to come after that. It is because of you that I am encouraged and excited to write. Thank you for being the type of readers with whom I can share honest and raw emotion without fear of judgement or rejection. We all have our own truths and I so appreciate you reading mine.
And to my dear Angels; I know I do not need to write it here as you know, but my love for you goes beyond words and I am most grateful to know thanks to you that “all is well” and “all is as it should be” and I will forever be grateful for you coming to me January 23, 1995 and never leaving.
So, it is with great gratitude and love that I am sixteen days into 2019 and ready to shine on to an amazing year ahead. May each day bring more sunshine than rain, more smiles than tears and more laughter than sadness. May we all remember that every single day we get to open a new gift, the gift of that very day itself. May we all realize that each morning is an opportunity for a brand new start and we can say,
This is the first day of the rest of my life!
HAPPY NEW YEAR, sixteen days late.
With love and blessings,