I have always loved the fact that December brings not only a rush of Christmas spirit, but also a flood of reflections. Even as a child, I waited to hear the year’s top 40 songs, or the People magazine’s list of most interesting folks, and all the many “best ____ of the year” lists that are inevitably generated as the year counts down to its last day… Save the resolutions for January, December is for reflection, and remembrance.
This year my journey has been amazing to say the least. We have had kids in and out of our home from the beginning, and to take on a few extra here and there has never been a big deal for us, but this year, we made a decision to make this home into a permanent home for 4 little ones. Adding them to the 3 we already had was something that had been in our hearts all along, but for some reason, to actually say out loud that we were willing to do whatever it takes to make this home theirs, well it has changed us all in so many ways.
The biggest lesson I learned was that there are some things I just can’t do. At some point, I have to make peace with stepping back, and limiting what I take on. For years I had loved being a part of our local PTO, and was even president for quite a while, but truly I no longer had the time to dedicate to it. It’s bittersweet to let go, because I always want to jump back in and say “wait, do it this way” but its getting easier to realize that this is just an organization that was around long before me and should be there long after me. It was just hard to say “no, I can’t do this anymore.” The second lesson I am learning (and I am still working on this one) is that I have the right to say what I need to say. I don’t have to base all of my choices on who will or won’t like what comes out of my mouth. I keep it respectful, but my opinion deserves voicing. Those who truly love me will find in their hearts that golden ability to “agree to disagree”. But the best lesson, the very best lesson I take from this year of crazy ups and downs is that when all else fails, just laugh.
Financially, this has truly been our toughest year, and yet we aren’t starving. The lights are still on. (Did I pay that electric bill yet? I better go check…) And for the first time ever, I am not running around whining and crying that I don’t think we have anything good for Christmas. We have each other, and in this house, that’s a cup that runneth over! The relationships inside these walls are what really matter.
And not just the relationships inside these walls have changed… some of my friendships have embarked on brand new journeys… I guess I’m reaching that point in life where you no longer care how many friends you have, you only care that the ones you’ve kept are genuine, true choices. I have had the chance to rekindle some friendships from growing up, and it has brought me such inner joy that I do believe I am one of the luckiest girls around. On the flip side, I have also made peace with the fact that not everyone is my true friend. Not everyone is willing to see the real me. There are people in my life that look for the negative in everything, and instead of arguing every point, I have to just accept that I know my own heart better than anyone else.
Lucky for me, this heart of mine has been renewed. My soul has a brand new fire burning in it, and I know the next year is going to be the uphill climb… I have been to the bottom- spiritually, emotionally, and financially and now there is no where left to go but up! I can’t wait to see the growth in some of my relationships, and most of all, I can’t wait to finalize things in this house so that I know these kids are HOME.
As December ticks on, I think I am going to enjoy this time of reflection, and instead of worrying about the size of the sack on Santa’s back this year, I think I am going to focus on the simple joys, like making fudge for the kids, capturing the smiles on their faces, and moving forward in my journey…
Hope you’re coming with me!