As I sit here squinting at my screen (because I haven’t put my contacts in yet) and trying to eat my breakfast while being swarmed by fluffy little food bandits, I stare out over the freshly de-Christmased living room and feel both sad and strangely satisfied. The holiday season is over, the sparkle and lights packed away again for another 11 months, and the “new year” looms before us misty and unknown. 2018 was an intense year, for me personally and for the world in general. For my little family unit, the year was full of painful new beginnings and even more painful goodbyes. Andy and I both started new jobs, which, while fun and exciting in theory, have left us both hustling to beat that steep, steep learning curve and too exhausted most evenings to do more than lay on the couch together and watch Netflix, occasionally reaching out to provide a reassuring hand squeeze to whichever of us has had the worst day. That being said, we are both starting to get our shaky baby fawn feet under us. I don’t feel like I am going to throw up when I pull into the parking lot anymore, and Andy is stressed, but frankly killing it and I couldn’t be prouder of him. Not to brag, but my husband is kind of brilliant and I can’t explain how incredible it is to see so many other people finally realizing the same thing.
We also had to say goodbye to Andy’s Aunt Charlene, who was quiet and reserved, but one of the loveliest people I’ve met. When Andy first introduced me to the family, she and her husband were two of the first people to take me under their wings and make sure I felt like I belonged. We also had to say goodbye to my beloved furbaby Octavian. He was my partner in crime for 14 years, and while I love all of my cats, there will never be another like him. On the list of hard goodbyes was closing up my dad’s estate. Dealing with all of the legal shenanigans that came with him passing without a will and selling the home that I grew up in felt like more than I could handle sometimes. Now I am sitting on the other side with the last i dotted and the final t crossed, and I feel like it is time to focus on letting go and moving on.
Just thinking about how much has happened, I can’t believe we actually made it through, but we did and while I know logically that tomorrow is just another day, and I’ve never been much of the “new year, new me” kind of person, I am ready to shed the baggage and anxiety of the past year and step into the potential and cautious optimism of a new phase. Even if it is merely symbolic.
Image from here.