Like many of you, 2016 hasn’t exactly been my year. That’s okay. This year hasn’t been great in general, right? But some of you received promotions, got new jobs, graduated, got engaged, got married, bought a new home, had babies. Or all of the above. And some of us, um… didn’t. Some of you lost a job or a loved one or got divorced or lost a child or your home or broke up with the love of your life.
Years ebb and flow – some years you ask how you got so lucky, and the next year you wonder if you’ll make it out alive. It’s like everything else in life.
For me, this year meant lots of tears and frustration and money spent and wondering if I could pull myself out. There’s been a lot of bourbon. But even with all that, I’m choosing to remember the good things. I’ll think of how cozy our home is right now with the Christmas tree and the candles. I’ll remember the nights I got off work and J had already started on dinner and lit candles and poured me a glass of wine. I’ll remember watching my niece’s first Christmas program and how she knew all of the songs so well and blew a kiss to the audience at the end. I’ll remember her “knock knock” jokes and how hard she laughed at the words “toot” and “fart” (because they are funny, okay?). I’ll remember our family vacation and the afternoon we all had too much to drink at my parents’ and decided to tear down a tree limb. I’ll remember the night we went to the Cincinnati Reds game in April and got caught in a snowstorm on our way home. I’ll remember going to the Bengals and Browns game and finally seeing Guns N Roses in concert. Continuing our childhood tradition of going to see the lights followed by a stop at Denny’s. Nights I laughed so hard I was crying. Those deep belly laughs that don’t come around often enough. Meeting new people. Reading lots of books. All the coffee. Good memories of love and light and happiness and warmth.
I could choose to focus on getting passed over for a promotion or the nights we stayed in a hotel because our bedroom was 95 degrees. Or how I went to Kroger the day after Election Day and my car wouldn’t start and I had to walk back to work in 32 degree weather while wearing heels because I had a meeting I couldn’t miss and couldn’t get in touch with anyone. Or that I’m more in debt than I’ve ever been and we haven’t moved and I haven’t had an interview in months. Or the things I won’t say here. But I choose to move forward.
When we look back, I hope we always remember the good. Not the stress or the tears or the day we got fired or the negative pregnancy tests or the missed opportunities. Not the dirty dishes or piles of laundry or busted garbage disposals or stopped up drains or trash spilled on the floor. I hope we remember that unadulterated joy makes the bad times worth it… we need both to appreciate it all just a little more.
Are you choosing to remember the good?