There are two times everyone looks back and reflects on their life. One is their birthday, and one is the last day of the year. Yes, I’m leaving off the deathbed one, because if dying is anything like getting prepped for a C-Section I will be hugging an elderly nurse, trying to recite the names of every Real Housewife and far too busy for reflection. So let’s stick with two times, and because the universe knows how much I enjoy multitasking–mine happen to fall on the same day.
Looking back it doesn’t seem like a year has passed. I still remember wiping my eye in a grocery store and my hand coming away bloody. I still remember an oncologist telling me to “go home and spend time with my family.” I remember crying in the nursing school parking lot the day I quit. Not because I thought nursing was my calling, but because I was good at it and I needed to be good at something, again. I remember feeling so overwhelmed and so lost. There were so many things I had to do and so many things I’d failed at. There wasn’t enough room. There wasn’t enough time. There wasn’t enough “me” to get it all done.
Today, I woke up before everyone else. I want to start doing that. I made a cup of tea and walked into the living room to listen to my dog snore and to think. I thought about this year and all that happened. I thought about how everything changed.
This year, I had cancer.
This year, I started writing full-time.
This year, I became a mother. Yes, my daughter is two—I’m a late bloomer.
This year, I started a blog and stuck with it.
This year, I wrote three children’s books.
This year, I donated to charity.
This year, I started running again.
This year, I changed my eating habits completely.
This year, I feel in love with yoga.
This year, I fell in love with my husband, again.
This year, I cried so much.
This year, I made room for people in my life I needed.
This year, I made room for people who needed me.
This year, I got published everywhere I submitted to.
This year, I found an audience.
This year, I made new friends.
This year, I reached out for help and found hundreds of people reaching back.
This year, I started believing, again.
This year, I started believing in me.
Of all the doctors I met this year, I learned the most from one spinning thru space.
This year, I learned there’s room. There’s room for new friends and new experiences. There’s room for afternoons off to play trains. There’s room for new habits and new pursuits. And there’s room to squeeze in some old ones. There’s room for date nights and for sleeping in. And room for family vacations. There’s room to take risks and go on adventures. And there’s room enough for error. All of it fits. There’s room.
My life, my dreams, my heart–well, they’re much bigger on the inside.
So, here’s to new beginnings, old friends and passive-aggressive New Year’s Toasts:
“Cheers, 2015, you were kind of a bitch, and Happy Birthday to me.”