2016 Was a Flaming Pile of Garbage – For This I am Thankful

I can’t seem to form much in the way of a hopeful end of the year post.  2016 can hit the road and take with it all the awful shit it brought our way.  As god awful as this year has been, I’m also thankful for all the hard work, all the hope, all the growth, all the realization, all the listening that many of us had going through this year.  If 2016 showed us anything, it’s that we have got to feel all these damn feelings.  From elections to death and pain on an epic scale around the world, to our most beloved icons leaving us too soon, we as a collective group of humans have been through the wringer.

The sadness and mourning runs deep.  And make no mistake, it is real.  If you are grieving over a loss, whether you knew that person in real life or not, then you are grieving and you have permission to honor that.  Whether it be for Carrie Fisher or for a child in Aleppo, we didn’t know them.  But we can feel that pain of loss and grieve all the same.

What we cannot do is neglect those who are here.  Those who we just believe will always be here.  They won’t.  So knock off that taking anybody for granted stuff.  If this year has taught us anything it’s that what we think we know to be true, isn’t true.  Those we believe will live forever will certainly not.  TELL YOUR PEOPLE HOW YOU FEEL.  SHOW THEM.

I am ashamed to say that just a few years ago, I took my parents for granted.  I even had the nerve to complain about them.  Then I had these babies and every single thing shifted.  My gratitude to them rose to epic heights and my appreciation and gushing to them and about them never ceases.  Because I get it now.  All they’ve done, all they’ve said, all they’ve ever wanted was for us.  For this I am thankful.

You know how you think things about people, like …. she’s a really good mom or she’s really talented or he’s a really thoughtful friend or just even hey I appreciate you and you’re doing a really good job …. but you don’t say it out loud or maybe you just say it to a friend rather than to the person you’re talking about?

Say it to THAT person.

You may take for granted that they just KNOW how you feel when in reality those are the people that don’t actually hear those words of encouragement all that often and could really stand to hear them once in a while.

It matters. It can make all the difference. Trust me.

For me, this year has been an eye opener of who my friends are and who I can lean on.  Who I can rely on to fight the fight with me as we move forward into 2017 and the unknown beyond.  Who do we have?  The people I can count on for a laugh in the midst of terror or the ones I want to be around.  You can tell a person by the company they keep is never more true than now.  Look around you. Are you with your people? Are you with people you want to be like?  Do you want what they have or are you cringing?  We have the power to change and cause change.  In our own lives and in the lives of others.  For this I am thankful.

It starts and ends with us.  We have a lot of death montages in our future chock full of all the greatness we’ve lost this year.  What will your death montage say about you?

Look, I have lost motivation so many times this year I cannot begin to tell you.  But the thing that matters is not the devastation and sadness, it’s what you do with it.  How you recover.  Everyone is in recovery from something.  I am going to be in recovery from 2016 for a long time.  But 2017 demands that I stand up and get moving on what is next.  Resistance and fighting for what is true and right is calling me.  I am thankful for these kids for one million reasons, but just one is that they are watching and they need me to stand up.

For this I am thankful.

2016. You can kiss my ass.  I won’t dare say bring on 2017 because life ain’t playing.  We need to heal but as we are healing we are growing and learning and using all that to better ourselves and those around us.  Even those that may not want it right now.

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As always, I say to you, the ones in deep pain.  Struggling with your own or loved ones addiction and alcoholism.  Mental illness.  Fertility issues.  Loss and devastation in ways I cannot begin to understand.  I am here holding your hand.  I have so much hope stored up and I share it with you.  I believe in change and kindness and love.  I do.  I am a hopeful fool.  For I have seen the miracles after the nightmares.  BECAUSE of the nightmares.

I carry on in love and hope, as I always do.  I am feeling all these feelings as I never have before, even in 15 years of sobriety.  And I don’t see it letting up any time soon.  But I am suiting up and showing up.  Because 2016 was a flaming pile of garbage, I’ve got way more fire in my belly than I had last year at this time and for this I am thankful.

More forgiveness.  More kindness.  More grace.  More fighting for what is right and for those without as much of a voice or society deems unworthy.  More meeting people where they are.  More love.  Just love.  These are my resolutions.

Happy New Year my dear friends.  You are so worthy.  You are more powerful than you think in big and small ways.  We have much work to do.

All my posts on alcoholism and recovery

All my posts on gratitude

All my posts on infertility

 

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