After drifting through that peculiar period when no one knows what day it is or what they’re supposed to be doing, we are back to the eve of another new year. It’s the year’s most ambiguous stretch of time, a strange space where we just sort of sit, wait and reflect.
I made it through the first holiday season without one of my closest family members. I wiped tears almost every day and tried to replace them with faux fa la la la la’s. But in truth, it didn’t work. The season was awful. It lacked genuine joy or heartfelt happiness. It simply was a stance of survival for the sake of the kids.
Unexpected loss creates crippling grief that breaks you down to the very core. Right down to the sentiments of the season and the merry madness. And now that the tunes are changing and the décor is getting dismantled, I am wobbling in that dubious bend that we all sort of coast through until January 2nd rolls around.
Most years, I am excited about a new year. I love embracing the strength and the mindset that it takes to initiate change and some polished perspective. It’s the month where people jump-start their resolutions and launch lifestyle changes that are supposed to encourage a better self. We expect the start of a new calendar year to serve as the catalyst for some fresh spirit and sparkle. The natural date that’s been burned into our brains telling ourselves that it’s time to abandon a horrible habit or reminding us that we need to do more of something and less of another.
But then January officially makes its appearance and instead of casually cruising through the delight in each “new” day, we’re halted by the horrendous holiday hangover. It’s sort of sour. Somewhat sad. Not terribly inspiring. And for some of us, it’s COLD AF and does not drive us anywhere besides the couch. It just doesn’t scream a glorious time for goals.
For someone who is a highly motivated individual by nature and is usually guided and groomed to go, I now see why a new year isn’t always filled with copious amounts of energy and enthusiasm. I understand why people hate the idea of what it’s supposed to embody and why resolutions are ridiculous. Because this year, I am one of those people.
Walking away from 2021 scares me. So much took place in the last year and I’m not over any of it. People are quick to scrap every crappy thing that happened in the last twelve months so they can find meaning and motivation for the next twelve. I have a lot of crap to scrap, but I am still trying to find space for everything that took place. And I don’t want to mistakenly scrap what I’m actually supposed to wrap.
I have my monthly goals written out. They’re small and don’t require mountainous effort. They’re enough to keep me moving and they will allow me to feel incrementally composed. But as far as a hot-shot verdict for the coming year, I’m just aiming to manage and mend.
Grief is hard. It rips a lot away and it never replaces what it stole.
Heartbreak is hard. An organ that doesn’t physically break but feels broken in every other sense.
Loss is hard. There is never anything that ever takes its place, only futile attempts at filling the void.
Separation is hard. The connectivity that once existed becomes a gap that may or may not ever get refilled.
It takes time to recover from heavy impact.
It takes time to recover after you’ve wrestled with the wicked.
It takes time to heal from all of life’s bumps, bruises and bulldozers.
So please forgive me as I tiptoe into 2022 with trepidation. I just need more time to find firm footing, again.
Happy New Year. 2022, please be kind. At least kinder than the last.