One thing that can unleash incredibly depths of anxiety in me is allowing a major milestone or heck, even a common milestone such as the passing of a year, to go by without stopping to acknowledge it and honor it in some way. I like to have my time to sit with it, soak it in, and gather what meaning I can before sending it on its way.
I haven't had time to do anything close to that for a while now and it is keeping me up at night, so here I am trying to muddle through it all at 2:30 a.m.
I am immediately brought to tears when I think of the year that has passed.
It has been, without a doubt, by far the best year of my entire life. I am sorry to see 2010 come to and end. It has been such a good year to me. To us.
As the year began, our family was blindly feeling our way through the fog that had been months of sleepless nights, my crippling post-partum depression, and multiple stressful events and illnesses. We were just beginning to experience the fruit of the work we had started doing with Zane to help him learn to finally finally finally sleep through the night on his own. As a result, I was also beginning to experience the benefit of getting regular normal stretches of sleep at night. I was beginning to emerge from my depression and like a damp-winged butterfly struggling to free itself from the confines of its cocoon, I was beginning to feel my strength return.
There was much newness and tender tentative hope for the year to come. And oh how those hopes would be met, and then some.
There were so many joyful moments, so many adventures. Trips to the zoo, the museum. Going to parades together. Playing at playgrounds. Farmer's Markets, Hot Springs, Swimming Pools, Splash Parks, Yoga, Music, Storytime. Breakfasts out as a family, happy dinners together as a family. Morning walks, evenings spent in the backyard. House guests, playdates, traveling. The best vacation of our lives that also just happened to be a really simple one. Discovering caves, playing in rivers, going on hikes. Riding on trains, rolling in leaves, sledding in freshly fallen snow. Lots of cooking and laughing and every once in a while stopping to catch our breaths to exclaim to one another that we were having "the best year of our lives".
We soaked up as much as we could get of this year. We grabbed our life and we lived in it fully alive and aware. Maybe in some ways for the first time ever.
I reunited with a precious friend from my teenage years, who has quickly become a staple and a gift in our lives. My husband's sister came to live with us for four months, and taught us how to be a family in bigger and brighter ways. I had the opportunity to support and celebrate my sister as she finally realized her dream of becoming a mother in a bigger way that any of us could have anticipated. We were loved by so many amazing friends some who have walked with us for years, some who are just recently coming into our lives.
I did a lot of hard work in therapy, and found myself free from burdens I had carried for far far too long. We made big decisions together, drunk on our progress and momentum.
One of those big decisions was to move. We spent the last several weeks moving from the home that my husband owned when we married. The first home that was ever truly mine. The home where we learned to be husband and wife, where we struggled through years of trying to conceive a child, the home where we first found out we would be parents, the home where I labored for hours before finally heading to the hospital, the house we brought our son home to, the home he has known all of his two years, the home he took his first steps in, the home where we became a family.
This decision means we have started off 2011 in a new place, both literally and figuratively. We have so much hope for this new place, this new beginning. We made this decision in part to allow us even more of what we loved of the year that has passed. Only time, and effort on our part, will tell if our hopes will be met.
I am someone who prepares for the worst. I hope for the best but can't help but prepare for when things go awry as I am convinced they will. What goes up must come down and all that. After such a good, such a full, such a nourishing and freeing year, it is difficult to hope for more. It feels greedy.
But what choice do I have? So here we go....jumping head first into another year. With simple but big juicy hopes and dreams: to share even more laughter, to welcome friends and family with open arms, to continue to grow, even when it is difficult, and experience greater freedom and joy, to rest, to give generously, to love much, and to live fully and authentically this amazing life we have been given.
I hope the same for each and every one of you.
Happy New Year.