I am an optimist by nature, and I usually love the idea of a New Year. A new anything, really. This is the first year I can remember not feeling hopeful about the year ahead. I’m usually brimming with metaphors about new beginnings and clean slates, but this year I just see more of the same ahead, and that vision is sorely lacking in hopeful metaphors.
2018 was challenging for me, and for many people I know. I started out the year excited about possibilities, but in short order 2018 laughed at my optimism and kicked me squarely in the teeth. I made it through – broken and bleeding for much of the year – and I stand at the threshold of this year willing to go on, but decidedly not optimistic.
I would like to believe something different is ahead this year – something good, something I want. In Numerology, the number 9 signals an ending: the end of a cycle, the end of a story, the end of an era. There are a couple of cycles I’m ready to end, for sure. There’s no end in sight, however, and this year, the idea of a “new beginning” or “possibilities” just sounds like a lot of work.
I’m tired. Bone weary. Every day is a new mountain to be summitted. I get to the top and look ahead and all I see are more peaks. Maybe beyond my sight line there is an oasis; more likely just more peaks. Maybe something worse – a raging river to be crossed, a wall of fire to be breached. I don’t know, and ultimately it doesn’t matter. Most days it doesn’t feel like I’m making my way toward anything – I just keep going on for the sake of going on. That’s all there is, finally. Just going on.
This is life. It’s a gift, and this is what I’ve been given. It’s not the worst, it’s not the best. It just is. I know some who have it much better, and I know some who have it so much worse. A childhood friend has lung cancer and will die this year. I think about her alot, and the other young friends who died last year. I’m sure they’d trade my life for theirs in a heartbeat.
2019. This, too. A powerful mantra. Not just the good things. The hard things, too. This, too. All part of life – the ups and downs and the in-between – and all must be accepted if life is to be fully experienced. There is so much beyond the level of circumstance. Our true selves reside in possibility. Potential. Change.
So to 2019 I would like to say, “please be gentle.” With all of us. I know, though, that request will not be heard. There is no Complaint Dept. Life is not concerned with what I want, just what is and what I have to offer. To accept life is to accept challenge. So, though I feel challenged-out, used up and spit out, I will try to rise again. I’ll try to let it all in, no matter what it is. No matter what this year brings, I will do my best to accept it and keep moving forward.
I’ll try hard to keep saying “This, too” to everything. The good, the bad, and everything in the middle. That’s my resolution this year – just to keep going. To keep trying to hope. To hang on to and honor my optimistic nature. To hang on to myself – my SELF – and to life. Whatever it takes. It’ll be hard and I won’t like it and I’ll want to give up.
Maybe not. Maybe it’ll be great and easy for a change. I would like that. Ultimately, though, what matters is me – not what’s going on around me. I promise myself that I will try to embrace it all. I will do my best to keep going, and to remind myself as often as I can that it’s all part of the same thing. Inseparable. No good without bad, no light without darkness. No satiation without hunger. No strength without adversity.
So welcome 2019. To you I say: This year, too.