I usually get a bit twitchy and panicky as the ball drops every New Years Eve. Time is moving so fast! Nostalgia! I'm not ready to let go! For the first time in my life, as I gripped my mug of peppermint tea and watched the year change to 2016, I felt nothing but sweet, blessed relief.
2015 began with a 2 week long bout with the flu and ended with my aunt's death. Everything else in-between was just about as difficult. Maybe I'm not allowed to say that it was a terrible year because it was the year I became a mother, but it was a terrible year. It was hard. It was character-defining, to put it mildly. I feel like a survivor for getting through it. I faced one of my biggest fears and actually gave birth. I know I obviously didn't have a choice in the matter and thousands of women do it every day, but I gave birth. It was a triumph. I endured and pushed through pain I didn't think I could physically withstand, and I am not the same person I was before Gracie was born. I endured the never-ending recovery from birth, I battled terrifying postpartum depression, I made it through two months of excruciating nursing pain and difficulties, I quit the job I loved, I took my 5 month old daughter across the country to meet her great-grandmother who was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, I survived 14 hour days alone with a baby on no sleep. I did the damn thing. I got through it. We've made it to the other side. I did things I did not think I was capable of, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I survived it, it's over, and I'm so glad. I'm grateful for the strength I now have that was born from those hardships, but I'm so glad I'm no longer under the yoke of 2015.
I'm under no illusions that 2016 will be magically easier. Nothing in my life actually changed except the date on the calendar, but something changed the minute the clock hit midnight. It felt like the burden of the entire year was lifted. I feel so much lighter, more steadfast. It's over. I know there will be hard days this year. I mean, I have a dentist appointment tomorrow! Clearly hardships are staring me in the face. But last year's pain is over. It's done. Things haven't changed, and yet they have. It's a new year, and I am stronger than I was last year. A lot of things will change this year: my baby will turn into a toddler, we'll most likely be living somewhere else by summer, I'll make new friends. I'm excited to watch my baby grow, to read new books, to fall in love with new music, to keep working on my skills in the kitchen, to work on knitting, to continue eating well, to keep writing, to just keep going forward. I have never been so ready to keep moving forward.