Do you have those markers by which you can measure growth in your life? Places and times you end up in again and again that allow a comparison with events past?
Yearly holidays are one of the times I can clearly mark growth – last year my son couldn’t ride the snowboard during the Christmas Break, my daughter couldn’t jump serve in volleyball and my (link) grandson was barely aware that he was being dressed up in silly elf outfits.
I know, we are all *reflective* and *contemplative* this time of year. At least, I am. Well, I always am, but this time of year it ramps up to a ridiculously high degree. This year is in high contrast to last December. This time last year I was holding my breath until 12:00 am on the 1st of January.
2014 was the year that everything changed for me. We experienced a fire in our home, had to find somewhere else to move our family of six and learned we were going to be grandparents all before the winter snow melted. By the time our grandson was born in November, I was weary. Worn out and wondering how I was going to put myself back together again when the pieces of my life seemed strewn about not caring that I felt lost without them.
I hated being asked “how are you` because I am terrible at pretending everything is ok. I am one of those annoying people that is unable to reply with a meaningless “I’m fine`, how are you` because I don’t understand the point of doing the dance of small talk.
It’s perfectly acceptable to admit you aren’t sure you can make it through.
It may feel like failure to admit that. It’s not. Say it out loud. It’s really the beginning of working your way through the muck and mire of whatever you are enduring. I had people in my life that let me be weary. I was able to work through my anger, sadness and unknowingness at my own pace. I vented, I swore and I wept.. And people let me.
I didn’t like hearing “everything will work itself out” back then. It didn’t really help, other than to let me know this was going to be a tough go and at some point, no one knew when, things will start to ease up. It didn’t help in the immediate.
Now, in December of 2015, I have hope. I am far enough removed from the fresh pain that I can see the ways in which 2014 stretched my resolve, grew my character and challenged me to live what I say I believe.
If you are in the middle of a mess right now, if you are are weary, please know it’s a perfectly normal place to be. Hearing “it will be okay” may not help but curling up with a good book or having coffee with a friend who listens well and says little may. A burden shared is more easily carried.
If you are in a pretty good place right now, know that there is most surely others around you that could use that listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. You don’t need to have the right words of advice or encouragement, in fact, it would most likely be better if you didn’t have any words at all.