When I began this year, I wasn’t quite sure that I would see the other side of it. You may all say, “oh come on, we knew you’d make it,” but that is easy for others to say. For me, since they told me I had cancer, my own life was never a given. With each surgery and every complication I felt it could be my final days. I’ve run the scenario around my brain many times this year. “What will happen? What will they do without me? How will they handle it?” Morbid? Maybe. Pessimistic? Perhaps. I think of it as more realistic. That is just the way it is for me now. It’s not that I think negative thoughts all the time, it’s just that my thought process has changed. You know how the saying goes.., “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.” Well, not only did 2008 NOT kill me, it did, as the adage says, make me a little stronger. I am not the same person I was before my cancer diagnosis. I can’t say that I am better or worse — just different. I look at life, my children, daily tasks from a different skew. I have a better appreciation regarding the passing of time and a renewed respect to really try to live in the moment. I can’t say that I now live every day as if it were my last but I do think about and cherish the small intricate details more often; especially regarding my children.
So on this snowy New Years Eve at the end of 2008 here is a list of things that I learned:
1. Pettiness and Drama have no place in my life and I learned to cut out all the people who perpetuate those energy-sapping qualities.
2. I have absolutely no control over many things in life –including many aspects of my own health as well as the actions of others.
3. Most people are generally well-meaning, well-intentioned, and kind.
4. Everyone, including myself, feels jealous and resentful at times. We must have been given those emotions for a reason. I think it’s OK to feel them as long as we admit it instead of feeling ashamed. Maybe jealousy is there to spur us into action.
5. People can change, and they do, all the time.
6. Relationships enter our lives when we need them and stay while we continue to learn and grow. When we no longer learn and grow then that relationship passes;not to be mourned, but to be celebrated, and remembered fondly.
7. Forgiveness is the most important gift we have to give each other; because nobody is perfect (not even my mother!)
I can’t say that I will be sad to see the end of this year. I have had better ones, but also I can say I have had worse. This has been a tough 12 months for many people I know and for the world in general. It feels like greed had the world in it’s nasty grip for so long and that eventually that spiral needed to burn out.We have acquired too many THINGS. It needed to end. We needed to be stopped and the playing field needed to be leveled. Everyone is hurting on a financial level; some have lost jobs, others have lost investments, others have credited themselves into a hole. Somehow though it doesn’t feel hopeless. IT feels like it will be OK. People will rally and hopefully come to the understanding that things are not important, people are important, relationships are important, family is important. We need to remind our kids that there is far more to the world than how many i-pods and cell phones and computers we own. And sometimes that means letting them be uncomfortable for a while. We all need to be uncomfortable for a while. Once that happens,then we have to take whatever we do have and share it with those who have less, instead of trying to hold on to the things we get. Because no matter how hard we think we have it, there is always SOMEONE who has less. I think that we will be alright in 2009 if we just remember that. Yes we may want things…but do we really NEED anything?
Happy New Year to all my friends and may 2009 be a glorious year for each of you.