There is something peaceful about reflecting on the year as we ready ourselves for the next one.
It’s a time, at least for me, to look back over what the last 12 months had brought into my life.
The moments of joy and happiness.
The obstacles that had been dealt with, whether I successfully bested them, or they knocked me down.
It helps me to take a personal review and see, most importantly, where I made mistakes and missteps and maybe what I can do better.
And this year, like the last few, has had its share of ups and downs.
I would get excited about one thing, to only find myself crestfallen the next day.
Granny used to not get overly happy when good things happened.
“Life will balance it out soon enough,” she would say.
That always bothered me, as if it was some self-fulfilling prophecy on her part to usher in something that would tilt the scales of joy more towards the disappointment side.
“No, I am just not going to get my hopes up,” she would tell me.
But this year has taught me to get my hopes up, because in the middle of those high hopes, we are holding on to a thread of faith that can maybe be our lifeline.
I know this year has had some painful moments.
And I’m not just talking about the tragedies we see on the news.
Those were horrible and hurt us as a collective whole.
But sometimes the moments that hurt us the most are those personal events that cause us pain. Grief, loss, failure — we have all faced them this year.
Friends went through divorces.
Quiet a few lost their spouse; others lost other family members and friends.
And some battled private battles they didn’t share.
I know I dealt with worries and fears that I didn’t speak about, least they come true.
I have tried, instead, to focus on the things I could control, on the things that I could change.
Sometimes, there were not many, so I let go of the things I couldn’t handle.
But every now and then, something sad or unsettling would creep its way into my life.
In fact, it seems like I have been marking years by the sad events lately more than happy ones.
“It takes rain and the sun to make the flowers grow,” Mama reminds me.
I get it. I do. But I am hoping for a little less rain in the coming year, both figuratively and literally.
In her sweet, gentle way she was letting me know that we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the beauty of the flowers without the rain and the sun, two things that if in excess can be harmful. But in the right amounts, make beautiful flowers.
“I am just ready for things to be stable and not so chaotic,” I stated one day. “I want things to be kind of on an even keel.”
Mama sighed. “Everyone probably wishes for that, Kitten,” she said. “But that is not life.”
No, life is not always stable or even keeled, is it?
It’s full of the ups and downs; the good, the bad. The sad, heartbreaking moments followed by the highest of joys. Sometimes, they come in the same week or at the least, the same year.
I know — I have been through all of those more times than I can count.
It’s just life.
We didn’t notice it when we were younger, mainly because our parents were better deflectors and shielded us from a lot of the stuff that people experience now.
But we will keep striving, fighting, trying to find the happiness and joy that bring us joy, even if it means we will have those disappointments and failures that crush our soul.
This year has knocked so many of us down and we have dusted ourselves and resolutely stuck our chin out as if to say, we are not giving up and out of sheer stubbornness, we won’t either.
It has been 12 months of chaos, hectic schedules, and everyday moments of life, that if we aren’t careful, will slip by, unnoticed and unappreciated.
Days that passed so quickly, one would think they were on a train, moving from one holiday to the next.
A year of memories made, and moments shared.
And come next week, we get to do it all over again.
Sudie Crouch is an award winning humor columnist and author of the recently e-published novel, “The Dahlman Files: A Tony Dahlman Paranormal Mystery.”