To be honest, I have felt more anxiety over the past few days than I have in some time. As I always do after Christmas, I attempt to organize the house a little better than it was and to be “prepared” for the start of a brand new year on January 1. I suppose that in the past I’ve tried to have my life prepared for the new visitor that the new year brings. Seriously, you don’t greet your guests with boxes not put into storage, floors not vacuumed, and plates on the kitchen counter.
I’ve read many articles and blogs over the past few days in regards to preparing for the new year, planning resolutions such as losing weight, spending less money, becoming more organized. Depending upon your state of mind, you either become extremely motivated or somewhat paralyzed by the suggestions. This year I find myself somewhere in between.
I did became inspired by Crystal who writes at The Happy Type and her Why Celebrating the New Year is Important post.. As she notes, it is truly very pertinent that we utilize rituals and milestones to mark the changes in our life. We have birthdays, graduations, weddings, and funerals. Rituals mark beginnings and endings. Without these rituals we can often feel lost and uncertain of where we have been or where we are going.
In order to know what we hope to gain from our path/the new year, it is important that we take time to reflect back. Crystal notes the following quote from author Terry Pratchett in I Shall Wear Midnight “If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”
I’ve said a lot of good-byes this year.This is where I am at – feeling like I am always saying good bye and letting go.
There have been times when friends have even had to remind me of all the changes which have occurred. Although I gave my resignation before my Mom’s death, her quick decline had me in shock for the final weeks of my tenure at a place where my second family existed. Nanny’s diagnosis occurred only two weeks after I left my job and I went into caregiver mode. I then began making decisions about my Mom’s belongings and her estate, and later began to help my Aunt with Nanny’s belongings. My acupuncturist stated in August “You are continually saying good-bye to something.”
I am as comfortable as one can be with good-bye. I’ve said a lot of them in my lifetime. Loss is a natural part of life than no one can avoid. It is better to be comfortable with the fact than fearful.
I’ve learned so much from the good-byes and the year 2013.
I’ve learned that fear can hold you back from great opportunities and great opportunities await you if you take the first step.
I’ve learned that the love you give to your friends truly does come back to you when you need it.
I’ve been reminded that even in the midst of the most painful moments, there is laughter and goodness.
As the clock strikes midnight tonight I will be celebrating the ritual of saying hello to 2014.
I will also be saying good-bye to this year and this chapter of my life. I do not hate this year as the events I have encountered/endured/survived are still in the process of making me (hopefully) a better person. The psychologist Robert Neimeyer focuses his grief work upon meaning making. His theory is there is meaning in every loss that an individual encounters. However, it is up to the individual to determine the meaning.
There is meaning in 2013 and because of that, I could never hate the past 12 months. The past 12 months have provided me with a path that I would not have taken for many reasons. For that alone, I am thankful. I may not know for certain what the meaning is for some time but I know that someday it will be there.
However, it is perfectly OK to want to say good-bye. This year is done.
Tonight I am saying Hello to 2014. I will continue to grieve my family but I welcome the next 365 days and I am hopeful.
I encourage you to spend a few minutes before the clock strikes to consider what 2013 means to you. What have you learned? Where has it brought you to? Make peace with whatever the emotions are you have in regards to the year and then say “Hello” to 2014.
Happy New Year Friends!! XOXO!!!
Sheryl is a transition coach, trainer and speaker from Lexington Kentucky. As the author of the blog How to Make A Life, she uses her own life and journey as a blueprint to help others find motivation, inspiration and hope for a healthy and happy life. About Twitter Instagram Pinterest