Normally, the turning of the calendar in to a new year is a time for me to reflect on the past year, and check in with myself in terms of being on the right track, progressing toward the things that are important to me, and maintaining my own mental well-being. It’s not that I think the new year is anything more than a mark on a calendar, but it is a convenient day to consider what kind of progress I’ve made over the last year. After all, we know that progress and healing often comes in little bits, so it’s important to remember to look for those bits every once in awhile to avoid feeling stuck.
This year though, I don’t feel any of it. What I feel is a lot of what I talked about in a recent podcast interview I did for the Find Your Voice podcast. This year, the best thing I can say is that I’m still here.
2019 started with health issues for people close to us, and just got worse from there. We’ve endured some severe losses this year, which has set off anxiety and even panic attacks in me, my wife, and others in our families.
In short, the best thing I can say about this year is that we survived. We are still here.
That’s not to say there weren’t good things that happened, and one of the things I am trying very hard to do is to keep those good things front and center in my mind as I go forward. I did switch to a new job, one that gives me more of what I wanted in a job. I have spent time with people I care deeply about, and who care deeply about me. In the midst of the pain and grief, I’ve discovered just how much some people are there for us, in ways I never expected, but I’ve also discovered that not everyone I thought would be there for us, was capable of it. It’s been that kind of complicated year.
In the end though, I’m still here, and that’s the most important thing. I’m hurting, and still a little raw, but I’m here. I still have another day to enjoy the things, and people, I love. Another day to try and make a difference in some small way, another day to continue healing, and hope that, eventually, we will find a way through our grief and anxiety and get back to being some new version of ourselves. Because if 2019 taught us anything, it’s that we only have so much time to care for each other and support each other.
So, I guess, if I have a message for my readers as we enter a new decade, it’s that you’re still here. No matter how difficult the last year was, no matter how much you are hurting, grieving, struggling, or just plain exhausted, you have survived it. You are a survivor, and you have amazing strength, even if it doesn’t feel that way today. I hope that you can see your strength, I hope that you can see the potential for healing that lies ahead. I hope that you will continue to find a way, and I hope you have the kind of people who are willing to help you get there, just as you help them as well.
Most of all, I hope that someday, whether it be a year from now or some other random time, you can see the progress you have made from where you are now, and take comfort from the fact that by being here today, you are giving yourself the chance for a better future, and to continue to make a difference in the lives of people around you.