CHEERS

Guess what time it is? Time for reflection, anticipation, regrets and promises. We are just days away from a new year, and for the first time, I am so ready to say good-bye to this current shit storm, and am looking forward to the next.

I have always given a big fat eye roll to all that were bidding adieu to the passing year. As if the calendar actually matters. As if the ticking of the clock and the dropping of the ball could wash away all the sins and injustices of our lives. We kiss our loved ones, breathe a sigh of relief because we survived the last 365 days, and we believe that when we wake up in the morning everything will be just fine!

And it totally will! We will wake up, rested, refreshed, reset, and move on with our day. And it totally won’t! Our problems don’t come and go at the stroke of midnight, we aren’t Cinderella, sigh.

This has been my most trying year. My life has been rocky, my marriage has been rocky, and my children have been rocky AF! People that I love have died. People that I love have almost died. My animals have died (not the ones that I could do without either, those chickens are indestructible.)  Money sucks (I know, join the freaking club) and everything, literally everything is breaking. And even with all of that, I am still waiting for the OTHER shoe to drop.

It’s just been one of those years where everything that could go wrong, has.

In fact, if I could describe the feeling of this year with one word it would be…

Drowning.

I feel like the last 364 days have been me holding my breath, treading water, sinking, and kicking as hard as I can while gasping for air. And I really need a break. I need dry land. I need to kiss the ground of the beach after the battle for shore. I need sanctuary, a haven.

However, I know that no clock will bring me peace. I won’t breathe a sigh of relief at midnight. There is no magic number of days that I will have to endure this stage of my life before the pendulum finally starts to swing back up. I know that every day is just a continuous climb to the top of this mountain, and every day faces new challenges, and tomorrow may be even more difficult than today.

I had fully anticipated this last year to be spectacular. We were moving, we were going to grow and get closer as a family. We were going to have new adventures and new animals and all of our dreams were going to come true. That didn’t really happen, like, at all. The bad definitely out weighed the good.

But there was still good. There were moments this year that I wouldn’t trade for anything. There are people in my life this year that weren’t there before, people I didn’t even know that I missed that showed back up completely unannounced, people who I am just so thankful for. I am doing things that I never thought that I would, I am growing as a person and finding the things that ignite my heart and soul. So I am not going to write off the entire year and wish it never happened. I am going to be thankful that I had another year at all.

I am going to be thankful that I am still breathing. And at the end of the day, isn’t that all that matters? If we can just survive, isn’t that what counts?  We aren’t promised a privileged life or even just a life without suffering. We aren’t even promised tomorrow. What we are promised is that we can handle our life. Even if that means that God must think we are a complete bad ass because the shit keeps on piling up.

WE. CAN. HANDLE. IT.

We have to believe that we are given the children that we have, because we can handle them. We have to believe that we have been given the marriage that we have, because we can work through the challenges. And we have to believe that when everything falls apart and we just can’t handle one more moment, that we have been given the people in our lives to help carry the weight for us.

There are people who have been placed in my life, that I didn’t want or choose, that would drop everything at a moments notice to help me if I needed them. And there are people that I would crawl over broken glass for if they so much as breathed that they needed my help.

I fully anticipate this next year to be amazing. Even though nothing is actually going to change overnight.  I am going to wake up on January 1st with the same set of problems I went to bed with the night before, I am still going to have an amazing year.

I am going to climb an insane amount of mountains, and read a stupid amount of books. I am going to continue to work on my body and learn to love it at the same time. I am going to continue to do the amazing things that I am doing because I started them months ago. I didn’t wait until after the holidays were over, or for New Years Day, I made my choices and I started them THAT day, because that was the moment I had control of.

I won’t be making promises I can’t keep. I am not going to give up coffee, or start sleeping normal human hours. I am not going to try to do anything that makes me less me. I don’t need any “New Year, New Me” goals to make life harder than it actually is. I need to love and accept myself for the crazy, psychotic, amazing, complicated, disaster of a person that I am.

If I want to change something about myself or give up something or learn something new, I am not going to pull out my calendar and see when the right time will be that I can fit it into my messy life. I am going to just do it, then. In the moment I am in. And if I fail, I won’t wait until Monday or February or Summertime or after the holidays or next New Years to start again, I will just start again, then.

So lets grab our booze and toast to a New Year and know that it means nothing more than that we are still alive. Lets stop pretending that it will fix everything. Lets stop pretending, we will be better, our lives will be better, our bodies will be better. Lets stop pretending the clock has any power at all. Whatever power is out there belongs  to us to take control of whenever and wherever we want.

Stop pretending!

Pretending is for children.

And children can’t drink.

CHEERS!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

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35

IMG_20171208_171020_770If you are reading this, it’s official. I’m 36, and I never thought I would be. I am writing this three days before my birthday, tempting fate, dangling a pork chop in front of the wolf. But still, it’s just three days.

If your reading this, it means I may be a little crazy, but then again, aren’t we all.

I tend to always cry on my birthdays, and I am SO not a crier. But for whatever reason, it makes me sad. I don’t know if it’s the whole getting older thing, or if it’s how each year seems to go by faster and faster, or if it’s remembering all of the things that I wanted to do but never did. I try to prepare myself, but every year at least at some point during the day, I end up locked in my room, in bed, hiding from the world. Boo freaking hoo.

Last year was particularly dark. 35 was my magic number. It had been a long time coming, and as much as I tried to ignore it, not talk about it, pretend it never happened, it was here. I was 35, and I was going to die.

This is the part where you can judge me, or call me crazy, trust me it’s fine, I judge me too.  You see, several years ago, I was lying in bed next to my husband, he was gaming, I was reading. I heard an audible voice. Yes, it was in my head, my husband didn’t hear him, but I heard him.

“You are going to die when you are 35.”

What. The. F*ck.

Only moments after he announced my fate, and I tried to dismiss him did I recognize him. He didn’t lie before, so why would he lie now.

I was sitting in church, almost 13 years ago, not paying attention to whatever was going on around me, and he spoke, in my head. I heard him.

“You are pregnant. It’s a boy.”

What. The. F*ck.

I had no reason to think I was pregnant, I had a nine month old baby I was still solely nursing. We were up to our eyeballs with children it seemed, so we definitely were not taking any risks that would end up with me knocked up again. Why would something like that pop into my head, why would I imagine it?

I didn’t imagine it? I heard him, 13 years ago. And 13 years ago, he was right.

So all those years later when I heard him again, what was I supposed to think?

My first instinct was to talk about it, so I took the risk of sounding a little nuts and told my husband. His response was, “Oh, great.” And then we never spoke of it again. To be clear, I don’t blame him for his response, it was a ridiculous thing to say out loud anyway, and I don’t blame him for not remembering it either. If the shoe were on the other foot, I probably would never have given that conversation another thought either.

After that though, I never dared to breathe those words again. I almost told my very good friend a few times because I knew if anyone would be able to talk me off the ledge, she would. But I just couldn’t. I believe our words have power and if you are just going to throw words out into the universe, you better mean them, and be willing to watch as things unfold because of them.

So for years, I waited. Sometimes I wouldn’t think about it for months at a time, I didn’t have to, I wasn’t 35, yet. But then there were times where I wrote my children letters, so that they could know how much I loved them even after I was gone. And time passed, and the end of my life approached.

Last December, we were in mid-move. I turned 35 knowing I was about to move to the top of a mountain, in the nature, with all the monsters that live deep in the forest. The stage was being set for my finale. I thought of everything that could possibly go wrong, how painful everything could possibly be, and I decided that for the better part of the year I would just stay inside. I would conveniently develop agoraphobia and then once I turned 36, come clean as to why I was suddenly cured. It seemed like a fair plan.

But, it wasn’t fair, and it wasn’t realistic, and life had to just continue on. Then something happened that I wasn’t expecting.

Acceptance. If this was the year I was going to die, so be it. I had no control of it anyway. I decided to not tempt fate and jump out of airplanes or anything, but I did just live. I even joked with myself whenever I was doing the things that scared me, “So this is how I die. It’s a little anticlimactic, haha.”

This year didn’t kill me, but it changed me. It broke me little by little and I let it.

This year put me in a place so far out of my comfort zone, it was like we were planets away. It made me realize that I am capable of change and discomfort and I can adjust and thrive along the way.

This year took my Grandfather, someone who wanted nothing to do with me. It forced me to deal with deep-rooted family hurt and provided healing in the most unexpected ways.

This year killed my cats. It brought tragedy in doses small enough to recover from, and prepared us for a life we weren’t used to. It gave me thicker skin, when it comes to the world we live in.

This year brought brain cancer to someone I was a kid with and it made me feel things I had completely built walls against. Compassion, grief, sadness, empathy. Basically the things that make you nice. His cancer made me nice, so there’s that.

It also made me realize that life is just not fair, and that tomorrow is never a guarantee. I watched him thrive after being beaten down, after a voice told him he wouldn’t survive the year. He chose to not roll over and die, he chose to live.

It reminded me that I could do the same. I didn’t have to listen to a voice that told me I was going to die. Whether it be a doctor or demon or just some crazy part of my sub-conscience, I didn’t have to listen to a voice that said die.

I had to listen to the voice that told me to live.

So, I will not be sitting in my room, crying on my birthday this year. I will be dressed like an elf, hiking with my friends, celebrating me and being thankful for my life.

I won’t worry about tomorrow or when I will actually die. I could die when I am 36 or 106. I won’t be sitting around waiting, because…

The years don’t actually matter if the days don’t actually count.