A new year. A new start. Resolutions to eat less, run more, work harder.
This is a repeating cycle in my life, and this is the first year I did not make any list of Resolutions. I am also not setting any new intentions today or revisiting the inevitably failed list of 2014’s Resolutions. Not because I’m taking on an attitude of complete apathy – quite the opposite. Because I’m continuing to embrace an attitude of doing the best I can, with what I have, in each moment.
2014 was a difficult year for so many. Sickness, uncertainty, and loss grafted themselves onto the lives of people I love for the better part of the year. What should have been a fall of exciting new beginnings for my own family brought challenges that turned parenting on its head once again. To end a season of trials, I held the swollen hand and kissed the pale cheek of a beautiful friend days before she was taken from the world by cancer.
Heather’s death wrecked me in a completely unpoetic way. Left me angry and questioning and deeply sad. But it also gave me that small bit of perspective that can be the only silver lining in an entirely unjust death like hers. It reminded me that my community of people I love – and who love me – is the singular importance in my life. There will always be parenting stress, there will never be enough money, the house will keep finding new repairs to ask for, and there will always be tensions in the corners of marriage. I can choose to be absent from all of this, floating instead above it with a critical eye on myself and a trail of “could haves”. Or, I can be fully present within all of the shit and all of the good.
And so, to begin 2015, I am choosing presence. I am trying to accept that I am the best I can be with what I have in each moment. I tell my kids: “You’re never going to be perfect, and no one expects you to be. You’re doing great just as you are.” I’m going to start trying to take my own advice a little more often. I’m going to enjoy the quietness within the chaos, because it is so very, very fleeting. It will be too quiet here before I know it, and if I’m too busy looking at my areas of lack, I won’t be busy enough looking at the truly remarkable life I’m living in today.