Here we are, a full week into 2018. After a fun and festive Christmas with family, my husband and I enjoyed celebrating New Year’s Eve with great new friends. We made it home just in time to put on our pj’s, get comfy on the couch with our doodle Sawyer and watch the ball drop in frigid NYC. So long 2017.
As I look back, 2017 was a year of many ups and downs, which ultimately ended in loss and heartache, similar to the year before. Losing one family member is difficult, but losing two in less than two years is almost unbearable. I’ve always been a cup half full kind of gal, but I have to tell you I hit a big fat wall with this one. How many times have I gone over that week in my head, trying every scenario that would provide a more favorable outcome? As much as I look forward to the fresh start each New Year offers, I have found myself clinging to 2017, trying to stop time so I can remain connected to this past year with my only brother. But life doesn’t work that way, does it? Time marches on. Sometimes we go willingly and other times we find ourselves being dragged along, our heel marks trailing behind us. Why is being in the moment so damn difficult?
I used to make resolutions. Each New Year’s morning I would sit down with my pretty journal and a cup of coffee, enjoying the quiet of the morning while everyone slept. I would carefully plan out my year, my goals, my hopes and dreams, etc….As I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser, I’ve slowly walked away from that tradition. You know the saying, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Well, there is quite a bit of truth to that. I’m discovering that for me, life is truly about the moment, realizing that it can change at anytime, and being ok with that. It’s about embracing all the good that comes into our life, such as finding a soul mate, having children, a great career, or even something as simple as putting together a jigsaw puzzle with your favorite girls, or a spontaneous playdate during a freak snowstorm in Charleston. Along with the good, however, we must also accept the difficult moments and the lessons we learn from them. Those are the moments that forever change us, that force us to sink or swim. We have to be able to carry the burdens too, as challenging as that can be sometimes, because it’s those experiences that force us to grow.
One of my favorite episodes from The Office is Pam and Jim’s wedding. If you’re a fan like me, you know and love that episode as much as I do. If you’re not a fan of the show, check it out on Netflix. It’s the best!! Throughout the episode, Pam and Jim decide to take mental pictures of all the unforgettable moments on their wedding day. Those memories that can’t be captured in a photograph. I find myself doing that more often these days. It forces me to be present and connected to what is happening around me. I still have goals and I love to daydream, but in 2018 and beyond I want to take a mental picture when I’m outside with Sawyer before bed, standing on the deck and gazing at the big beautiful moon, the twinkling stars, and the vastness of our universe. When I’m on the phone with a dear friend, I want to take a mental picture of our conversation and laughter, and when I look at an old photograph of my brother and I, I will take a mental picture of that too, seeing the memory of that day through my tears. As I stumble through this year and this life, I want to learn to take the good with the bad and not beat myself up if I’m having a bad day. The sun will come out tomorrow.
Snow day in Charleston
Here’s to a year of living in the present moment.
I wish you all the best in 2018.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt