I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately, thinking back to where I was physically and emotionally five, ten, 15 years ago. There have been many turning points and milestones along the way, including the day I knew for (almost) certain I would never have children of my own, to the day I left my family of friends to start fresh in a new city, to the day I said “I do” and married my generous, kind, funny, supportive, and challenging (in good ways) husband.
I’ve also acknowledged some steps in my healing process, and one that feels incredibly significant to me from this past year was decorating a tree for Christmas. Last year I just.couldn’t.do.it. It was too hard, the wounds from my losses felt too deep. I would have no little ones to ooh and ahh over the colored lights, no one to mix fudge and bake Gram’s Coffee Cake with me, only a handful of presents under the tree versus the pile of loot I had always assumed Santa would drop off for my family. I couldn’t see why I should bother, because the only person I was going to create any kind of holiday festiveness for was me.
It was in those moments that I made the decision “Next year will be different”, and I made good on my promise to myself. My husband and I picked out our tree over Thanksgiving weekend and hauled all of the bins of fake holly and other Christmas stuff up from the basement. It still took me a couple of weeks to get up the courage (yes, courage) to unwrap the mementos and place them around our home, but I did it. And I was okay. It wasn’t all merriment, but I did catch myself taking in the pretty wreath in the kitchen and the fancy dishes on the table and the lights on the tree and actually smiling. It wasn’t perfect, but it was progress, and I am patting myself on the back for that.
’Tis the season to look back and look forward, and now that I’ve done the former, I’m eager to get started on the forward part. Here comes 2019! May she be filled with moments of joy and grace, with dear friends and new opportunities, with the achievement of new levels of healing and hopefulness.
I wish the same for you. Happy New Year! xo Kathleen