Welcoming 2016

I encountered a FaceB0ok post a few days ago in which the author figuratively flipped the bird at the year 2015. All of the comments were in support of this flipping. 2015 was assigned blame for illness, job loss, and a plethora of other struggles. All were looking for better stories in the coming 365 days. The collective sentiment was goodbye and good riddance to 2015.

I could sympathize with their bitterness. 2015 was no picnic for me either. When I look back over the past twelve months, the most prominent memories revolve around the care of my parents as their aging process began to take a really serious toll. I can’t say I wouldn’t change a thing. It was one of the hardest days of my life when my dad passed away three weeks ago.

2016-01-01But there is a feeling … something along the lines of gratefulness for the experiences in 2015, even the really difficult ones, that helped me grow as a person.  Just about a year and a half ago, I began to feel a personal shift. The path of my life had felt pretty stagnant for a long time, and this shift was so welcome. It involved a spiritual awakening, a feeling of strength to handle whatever life would throw our way. It brought an understanding that problems don’t exist to beat us down, but to make us stronger. I began to see that all of us here in this world are more alike than we are different. It brought acceptance and a sense of relief for the inner struggle I’d been battling for so long. Over the past year, this shift has continued to open my eyes exponentially to the reason we are all here, bumping into each other and doing this thing we call living. I have rarely, if ever, wished that I could go back to a certain time in my life and if this is what growing older is all about, I’ll continue to believe that forward is the only way to go.

My younger years always seemed to find me looking ahead in search of the day when there would finally be enough time, money, stuff and happiness. I was constantly on the lookout for the point when all problems would be resolved and life would be free and easy. But lately I have the sense that this is where “it” is at; right here, right now. And with that, I more quickly appreciate every experience for the opportunity it brings to grow as a person, to accept differences in others, to love more deeply, to be thankful for all that is good in my life.

2015 was a tough one. But it was also sprinkled with joy and fun and love. I guess I wouldn’t give it back if offered the chance. And I won’t lie. I hope 2016 goes a little easier on us. I won’t be making any of the typical kind of New Year’s resolutions. I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing. It seems to be working. Whatever lies ahead in the next year, I feel ready and capable of facing it. Bring it on!

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9 thoughts on “Welcoming 2016

  1. Good morning, Tee. That’s the spirit! I think it’s typical for some people to look to a New Year as being hopeful change for the better, so by default, the past year is seen as bird flipping worthy. Without the lows, how would we know the highs? Since I’ve known you, it seems that we’ve gone through similar life transitions – kids growing up and out, parents getting old and passing on – leaving us to struggle with our roles in the whole thing. It’s all good, especially with good people to share it all with. Happy 2016!

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    • I keep making note of my ever increasing age, and I think that’s why I’m able to look at the past for the value in its experiences rather than feeling sorry for myself for the tough stuff. And it definitely helps to have a friend such as you to share similar experiences and perspectives. Thanks for being there for me through it all!

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  2. Happy New Year, Tee! I know 2015 was a little rough for you, but I have a feeling it’s going to make for a terrific 2016. I know you’ll be able to take what you’ve learned about yourself and your family into 2016 and make it a great year. And as always, your stories will continue to be a great inspiration to me. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings!

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    • Happy New Year to you, Shadowrun! I hope that 2016 will be terrific, but even if there are rough patches, I hope to keep using them to learn and grow. Thanks for being by my side through it all!

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  3. I had an ok 2015. I never expected much more each coming new year as the saying goes, what will be will be…
    Things might go bad, but thank God nothing that I cannot cope.
    I just wish I have more friends….

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  4. Happy Belated New Year! I agree that 2015 has been hard on you and your family. I am a bit like you, ours was not much better and I am glad to see it go. A lot of memories, both good and bad. We can only look forward to the future with the hope for brighter and better days. Best of luck for you and your family in 2016.

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