Is there such a thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ year or are there just good and bad moments? This perspective shift to help focus on blessings instead of trials.
What kind of year have you had?
Has it been a ‘good’ year, or have you had a ‘bad’ year?
A few years ago, I commiserated with one of my Mom friends about how difficult that year had been. Both of us were exhausted.. having young children will do that to you.
Both of us were struggling with persistent health issues, relationship issues, … other issues.
Have you had a ‘good’ year or a ‘bad’ year?
It seems like some years just kick the stuffing out of you, don’t they?
Too much death
Too much illness
Too many broken relationships
Too many depressing problems with no clear or immediate solutions
I don’t know about you, but some years I feel like I am limping across the finish line on December 31st. During those years, I cling to the hope that next year will bring some relief, maybe even some joy.
But wait a minute! Hold on! STOP!!!!!!!!!
What am I really trying to say? What am I saying to myself?
Are ‘bad’ years really that horrible?
I mean… ‘bad’ years aren’t all bad, right?
Maybe you are struggling with serious health issues, but work is going well. Do you like your job or at least like your coworkers? Have you had any cool opportunities through your job? That isn’t half bad, right? Regardless, if you have a job, you have a lot to be thankful for. This is more than many people have. It is a true blessing.
Maybe there is a long line of broken relationships you are mourning this year. However, I imagine you also have a few friendships that have deepened considerably this year. I know I am incredibly grateful for my close friends.. and quite frankly, would be lost without them. You are not alone. There are many people who do actually love and care for you.
Maybe you have a three-nager. That means your kid can be sassy, defiant, and mean. It also means they can be super funny, thoughtful, and.. self-sufficient? Oh, and they are potty-trained? You don’t need to bring the stroller everywhere? Hold on! That is a resort vacation compared to life a year ago when you had to haul half the house with you every time you went somewhere. You are a Mom. You ‘get’ to be a Mom for your amazing little kids who are likely the light of your life. Wow. What a privilege!
I could go on… so could you.
An Important Shift in Perspective
Here is the point: The older I get, the more that I realize there are no such things as ‘good’ years and ‘bad’ years. Sure, some years you are dealt a challenging hand. Some years you experience extreme periods of joy. However, oftentimes the joy and the pain happen at the same time. Sometimes you can’t appreciate the joy unless you survived or endured the pain. The joy and pain coexist.. and that is the way it is supposed to be. We don’t have ‘good’ years and ‘bad’ years. We have years. We have ‘good’ moments and ‘bad’ moments.. and they all swirl together to form this thing called life.
And life just… happens.
Why it is so important to focus on blessings.
Personally, if I am being honest, I have a pretty great life. A life full of craft projects I have made with my daughter. They are literally hung up all over our house. A life where I get to pretend to be offended by my husband’s corny sense of humor as we brush our teeth in the morning. A life where I get together once a month to discuss great books with some of my Mom friends.
A life where I am free. Free to worship, free to work, free to pursue my dreams. Free. This freedom, this life– it is such a blessing.
Does that mean the bad doesn’t sting? Nope. I mourn every single day for what has been lost. But even through the tears, someone will make me laugh, or I will eat a great meal, see a fantastic movie, linger over a satisfying conversation.
In the midst of pain, life is still worth living. And the more I focus on those blessings.. the more I realize that yes, it will be okay.
I don’t need to wait until next year for relief. I can look for it in the everyday ordinary.
I don’t need to hope for joy.. there is so much to be joyful for right now.
So, please have a Happy New Year… and remember, it is just a year. It is just time.
However, this time is sacred. This time is your life.
And I hope this year, you will have the ‘time of your life.’
Happy New Year and thanks for reading,
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