Approximately one year ago to date, I wrote my first article for Main Line Neighbors. Since it coincided with my birthday, I wrote about “Beating the Winter Birthday Blues” or something to that effect. Fast forward a year, I thought I would gingerly broach the topic again because not only will I be a year older this time around, but I will be a decade older as well. That is reason enough to celebrate but also a good reminder to pause and reflect.
So, reflect I will do…
It has been quite the year nationally, globally, and personally, and while I cannot control national or global events, I found myself large and in charge of my personal events. It was a year full of turbulence and triumphs, peaks and valleys, lulls and explosions, but as I round that corner to a new decade, I realize it was a year of tremendous growth and opportunity and optimism, much of which I created – and survived – on my own.
In a period of fifteen brief months, I battled through a debilitating divorce, struggled with the demise and eventual death of a beloved 14-year-old dog, moved my young adult children out of their childhood home, bought a downsized home for myself and the remaining pets, sold and packed-up the previously mentioned home where we lived for 15 years, relocated three weeks before Christmas, and still found the energy to single-handedly put up a Christmas tree. Whew.
Words such as empowered, self-preservation, independence, and pride float around in my head as I now pause to see all I have actually accomplished in a mere year and three months. I not only demonstrated to myself but to my young adult sons my strength to persevere and my ability to turn a bad situation around so I could take ownership of my future. They stood by my side the entire time, offering encouragement and energy when I needed it most. Showing them, really showing them, that I would be fine was my number one goal.
I can check that box and sleep well at night.
I don’t say this to sound like Super Woman but rather to demonstrate we as individuals are capable of enduring, surviving, and ultimately thriving from traumatic, life-altering events. If we dig deep, believe in ourselves, and build a fabulous team of family and friends to surround us, we can do just about anything.
In addition to 2023 being the year I enter a new decade, it is also the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese New Year, which coincidentally begins January 22, the day after my birthday. And in another odd coincidence, my birth year was also a Year of the Rabbit. According to Chinese culture the sign of the Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity. The prediction for 2023? It is a year of hope. Coincidental? I think not.
I like the sound of that. A year of hope. The year of hardship is behind me. As each day gets a bit easier, I am full of hope.
Eternally optimistic and hopeful,