2019 has been a year. Such a year that I haven’t even thought much about how it’s the end of a decade — another thing to process at another time.
Parents of dear friends have been ill this year. Parents of dear friends have died. Spouses of friends were ill this year. Spouses of friends have died. A beloved teacher died this year. My mother had hips replaced, my father-in-law lost much of his sight, My mother-in-law’s unflagging energy has begun to flag.
Predictions about the environment became more dire this year, people became more clear about what divides them and less interested in bridging those divides.
My career aspirations took beatings surrounded by the kind of circumstances that make me question not just if I’ll ever be able to achieve them, but if they are really worth achieving.
What I find myself thinking about, as much as lack of money or milestones (perhaps I am processing the decade after all) is how, at an age by which I’d expected to be “reaching back” to assist others, I instead find myself continuing to wait for my own air-mask to drop from the airplane ceiling as we fly through increasing turbulence.
It is hard to know what kind of movie I’m in — Is it a movie where the hero experiences a crisis of faith, but stays steadfast to the goal and it makes her success ultimately sweeter? Or is it a movie where the hero realizes her goals have been false, and finally notices the more authentic life that has been there all along, just waiting — in girl-next-door-like fashion — to be loved?
Why did I name this post Thanks, Part 2? Truthfully, I started writing it the other day, and now I can’t remember! But rather than change the title, I’ll rise to the occasion: 2019 has been a year — the kind of year where when people ask, all you think to say is “I survived.” And, if you are me, you might say that with a dry tone deprecating tone.
But, actually — that’s huge. The gift of survival. To arrive at the end a year in one piece; to have another year to try to figure it all out (or not)?
I’ll take it.