Friday, January 3, 2014

The Most Meaningful Year of All

A fresh, new calendar has replaced a full and messy one on our kitchen wall. Down with the old. Up with the new. As I unceremoniously replaced the calendar, my shoulders felt heavy with the weight of the year we just put behind us.

Why did 2013 feel so heavy?

I scanned through the old calendar this morning. I perused the titles within my blog. There was nothing that stood out in a big and shiny way that summed up the year. In fact, the year was a bit of a blur.

It was a year of great loss. It was a year that cancer invaded the lives of too many people that I know. It was a year of feeling human.

It was a busy work-year. After a few lean years of attempting to work outside of my home I found gainful employment from within that has kept me busy. Very busy. It has all worked out in the end. After three years of instability I ended the year 2013 finally saying, "I now earn enough to pay my bills!" And this is good.

It was an expensive year. I must have forecast something great in my future because I spent and overspent. Between a new fence, a second car, vet bills and investing in my daycare I have dug myself into a nice, neat little hole. The year 2014 is the year that I will start to build a staircase out of that basement.

It was a year that was all-about-family. Our family's losses brought us together time and time again. Nodding acquaintances with cousins, aunts and uncles have become bonds. Tenuous, fragile and strong all at the same time. Circumstances have brought family together in times of sorrow but I see and hear all of us wanting to strengthen that connection by repeat occurrences in  happier times.

Old friendships have become nearer and dearer. Trust grows slowly and ever so carefully. I am feeling a deepening strength within friendships that were strong to start with. To feel such an intense level of trust-between-friends is a gift. A gift that may or may not have happened, had they not had to walk such a troubled path.

2013 was a year that fortified so many connections that I already had. Times of trouble, sadness and sorrow brought friends and family into a new light and with each encounter, life became more meaningful.

Upon reflecting on the year that has past, I do believe that the year 2013 will go down in history as The Most Meaningful Year of All.

It may not be a year that is marked by great celebrations, lavish holidays or the accumulation of material possessions. Instead, it was a year of nurturing that which I already had and cherishing the value of that which I was still holding onto at the end of a long and heavy year.

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