Before you even say it, I know. We don’t “cross our fingers” because it’s not about luck. But after that year we just went through, it can’t hurt.
I was hesitant to start blogging this year. There’s so much negativity in my life right now, and I don’t want to blog that kind of vitriol. I just need something, though. Something to give me an outlet. Something to keep me motivated. So I thought maybe if I set a goal to blog once a week, it’d motivate me to do something, anything, that would make me feel like I’ve accomplished something.
I don’t want to rehash the last year, you can read about that in my previous post. I do, however, want to talk about what I’ve learned in the past 12 months. Maybe you can take something from it.
- Even the big stuff can be conquered. I faced two job losses, a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment, and a cancer diagnosis for my mom. Home life is chaotic, as post divorce home life can be. I’m still dealing with after effects from my surgeries. The list goes on. But the miraculous part of it all is I got up, every day, kept moving, taking things one minute at a time, and I conquered it all. Yes the consequences are still here, but I’ve learned to cope with each and every situation that, had you asked me a year ago, I’d have told you would have crippled me.
- It’s okay to sweat the small stuff. Yes, we are not supposed to worry. Yes, everyone will tell you it’s all for a reason. They mean well. But when there’s so much BIG stuff going on and your nerves are shot and your emotions are duct taped together, the small stuff feels pretty big too. It’s okay to take a moment to be terrified, or angry, or worried, or scared, or every stinking one of those at the same time. You’re allowed that luxury. The only stipulation is that you get back up and don’t let it take over a whole day, a whole week, or worse.
- What’s important to you will not always be important to those around you. Even the people who love you the most. You are an individual. What someone else sees as insignificant, may be the most important, earth-shattering thing in your world at any given moment. Don’t let them discount your feelings. Let them blow you off and go on about their business, but don’t let them make you feel wrong for being hurt or upset by whatever is making your heart ache at that particular point in time. I’d like to say that if they really love you, they’ll get it eventually, but that’s a lie. People are wired differently and they may never truly understand why you can’t just get past something.
- Rejoice in the little victories. When I got my diagnosis, I prayed so hard that each test would be the one that finally said, “Nope, false alarm. No cancer!” That never happened. So I learned to rejoice about each small victory along the way. They removed my whole tumor. I don’t have to have chemo. I can feel my fingers again. I finally pooped! (Yes, after a couple of surgeries and a fair amount of pain pills, you DO rejoice over a good poop. Trust me.)
- Be absolutely ECSTATIC over the big victories. You no longer take anything for granted when you’ve been through a particularly bad stretch, and you learn to be thankful for everything, so the big things seem like a given. But stop what you’re doing, even for just a few minutes, and squeal, jump up and down, meet someone for lunch, plan a night out, or just flat out party when the big things happen. The reason? Because you never know when the next opportunity will arise.
- You don’t need money to be happy. This is pretty self explanatory, but there have been moments this year when I’ve been exhilarated that we had money in our account for a few groceries. There are a lot of things I wanted to do, places I wanted to go, and things I wanted to buy that a year ago would have disappointed me a great deal. This year? Not a chance. I have my family. We are pretty healthy. We are happy and warm. Those are the things that matter.
I won’t lie. I am beyond ready to kiss 2015 goodbye. I just don’t ever want to forget what it all taught me, because then the struggle would have been for nothing. Here’s to a much better year ahead, and perhaps fewer lessons to learn. (Please, God? Just a little break. Let these soak in first? Thank you.)
Happy New Year, y’all. Savor every moment.