Year in Review

I know there’s still 5 days left of 2012, but I wanted to take the time to review this year while I’m feeling upbeat and positive.

(Funny how that works, I wake up feeling good, but by the end of the day, I’m sad and grieving and lonely)

There was a lot that sucked.  There was a lot that ripped my heart out and tore me apart.

At the same time, there was a lot of amazingly good that came out of this sucky, horrible, no good, awful, devastating year.

1. Existing friendships were strengthened.
2. Closer relationships with my adult children
3. New friendships were formed
4. I learned how strong I could be
5. I’ve realized that I can survive even the most devastating of events.
6. I’m learning how to cook again
7. I’m learning how to be by myself and enjoy my own company.
8. I’m learning how to be independent again.
9. I’m becoming less tempermental… learning to go with the flow
10. I’ve learned what I DON’T want in life…
11. I’m learning how to let go of things that aren’t good for me.
12. I’m learning patience.
13. I’m learning the difference between “I can’t” and “I don’t want to”
14. I’m learning, that no matter how bad things get, there’s always good.  And if you focus on the good, the bad doesn’t have quite the same power over you.

Today’s post isn’t flowing quite as easily as other posts have… I find myself distracted.. by the lack of coffee brewed, by Facebook, by email, by an online Scrabble game I’ve got going on…

And while being distracted, I read this:

There are 31+ billion seconds in an ordinary calendar year. In so much time, there is a lot of opportunity for there to be many ups and downs. If you are in mourning, it’s very likely that you feel your dark or down moments overpower your light or up ones. In truth, your “ups and downs” live right next to each other, and life can change from one to other in a second. It is your experience of the contrast between the two that allows you to understand both states of mind.

Although society generally looks at weakness (which you might believe how you feel in your down moments) as a “bad” thing (mostly because it frightens the populace), consider what Cecelia Ahern says: “At your weakest, you end up showing more strength. At your lowest, you are suddenly lifted higher than you’ve ever been. They all border one another, these opposites and show how quickly we can be altered.”

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try keeping a record of these up and down moments you experience. Although you’ll probably not have a hard time recording the down moments, you might be surprised at how many moments of kindness, compassion and love come your way throughout a week. This exercise will also turn your mind towards looking for and recognizing those light moments. In turn, this reinforces a belief in the innate goodness of the world.

This came from the Facebook status of Hope for Widows.   It reinforces the lessons I’m learning… that bad right now does not equal bad forever.   That there’s good in everything, if you care to look.   That even when a light is being extinguished, another is being lit.

This is the year my husband died.  The year my children lost their father.  The year I went from being happily married to a widow.  The year my children went from having a two parent family where one parent stays at home to a single parent family where they will have to become latch-key kids.

This is also the year I learned who my friends are.  Who will stick by.  Who will not be able to handle it.   This is the year I discovered joy in unexpected places.  I found a happy place where I can let go of all the sad.

This is the year I learned not to take anything for granted, because it may not be there tomorrow.

2013 is full of promise, full of experiences I haven’t had yet, full of love I haven’t shared yet.    And Mark is always near me… somewhere… even if I can’t hold him, he’s here… loving me, as I love him.

Jan 2009 034



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