For the past several years, I’ve started the New Year feeling motivated. I set big, lofty goals and set out to achieve them. I worked my butt off and when I achieved my goal I would set a new one. It lead to a lot of chasing, a lot of pushing and a lot of work. This year I’m feeling different.
At the beginning of 2016 I set the theme of “focusing on what matters” in an attempt to simplify my life. But of course, because as soon as you try to plan and control your life, I was reminded that life never goes according to plan and 2016 became the year of CHANGE.
Looking back I think that setting these focuses for my life was God’s way of preparing me for what was to come. I needed a reminder of my foundation before my life was completely turned upside down.
On February 25th, 2016 my life was forever changed. My usual morning phone call to my Dad was unanswered and in my gut I knew something was wrong. I called and I called and text and emailed with no response. Within less than an hour with help of family and friends it was confirmed what I already knew in my heart, my Dad was gone. He had suffered a heart attack peacefully at home and went quickly and poetically after helping shovel his neighbor’s snow.
Losing him unexpectedly forced me to quickly accept what had happened. I had the unfortunate advantage of already losing my Mom so this time things hit me hard and quickly. There was no denial, just gut-wrenching pain and quick acceptance. I found peace in our last conversation about finally feeling comfortable as a working Mom, him telling me how proud he was of me and him getting to see a picture of Buel that day. “He’s getting so big” was the last thing my Dad said to me.
The months that followed by Dad’s passing were a blur. I kept myself busy with managing my parents’ estate and my organizational skills became crucial. In four months I closed out every single bill, selling the company that my Dad started when he was in his early twenties and sold my childhood home.
At the same time, amazing things happened for our family. I do not see this as a coincidence but more so a reminder that things in life happen for a reason. A month following my Dad’s passing we finally got approval for our short sale after eleven months of waiting, quickly put our condo on the market and sold it within 24 hours. And from there, our life went into overdrive.
The second half of 2016 was one where I stretched myself further than I ever thought I could. I became determined to make my life exactly what I wanted it with my priorities clearer than they had ever been before. The last six months of the year were all about pushing, striving and working.
As the year ended we finally were able to slow down and I spent the month reflecting on what had happened. I struggled with constant, all encompassing feeling of guilt from what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. We had the life worked so hard was achieved but it came at a cost and nothing felt quite right.
It’s a weird feeling to struggle with happiness while grieving. To some extent it feels wrong but a part of me always remember that my parents would be proud of me. This constant back-and-forth is something I need to let go of before I’m able to move on.
So, as we start the new year I am letting go of 2016. I’ve accepted every part of the year, both good and bad and I’m ready to move on.
In 2017 my intention is contentment. My goal is to find peace in every situation and accept that the positive can still exist despite the negative. I want to find ease in our every day routines, let go of my need for perfection and embrace the messiness. I want to slow down and enjoy the little moments with my son. I want to nourish my body and continue to take care of myself, encourage my husband to do the same and foster my friendships. And most of all, I want to practice gratitude and shift my focus from the negative that will inevitably exist no matter how hard I push, plan or focus. I’m ready to let go and just be content.
What are you letting go of from 2016? What are your intentions in 2017?