As 2016 comes to a close many of us take time to reflect on the current year and some of us make New Year’s resolutions for the next year that more than likely will last through the first week or two of January.
I for one am not a huge New Year resolution person. I like to continue on my life path year after year. This consists of improving upon my self-acceptance, and to give more selflessly each year to others. Sometimes I may add in a tid bit here and there; step out of my comfort zone more, go on a solo vacation and/or solo back packing trip, volunteer more.
This year has not been kind to me. In fact, the past two years have been my hardest years I’ve had in a really long time. In 2015 I found out about my now ex-husband’s affair, which could parallel a Jerry Springer episode. (Ashley Madison mistress, fucking in marital bed while I was working, introducing my daughter to said mistress while we were still married) And that is just the tip of the ice burg. This year my beloved dad, the only parent I have had the past 30 years died two months after getting diagnosed with cancer.
While I was going through my divorce I read somewhere that divorce is the second most traumatic event one can go through behind the death of a loved one. So just to sum things up, I went through the two of the worst things that can happen to someone two years in a row.
What has helped me the past two years has been my amazing support system. My family and friends have been there for me when I was at my lowest of lows, and I will forever be grateful. Starting this blog has also helped. I had wanted to start one for many years and after my separation I figured there was no better time than to lay it all out there for thousands of people to read. I was amazed at how many people related to my story and commented how they too felt like I had at one time or another. In times of sorrow and despair it helps more than I ever realized to know that you’re not alone. It was validation that no, I wasn’t crazy. I was grieving and doing what I had to in order to survive the day.
I have spent the last year dating myself and getting to know the new me. I got myself a therapist, and have done a ton of self-work in the process. I’m getting closer and closer to where I want and need to be.
What has helped me the most through this year is living a life of gratitude. That has actually been what has saved me through this giant sad and tragic ordeal. Every morning when I wake up I thank God that I woke up. As hard, shitty and unfair life is sometimes, I still want to be a part of it. Because there is other days when life is good, people are kind and there is love to feel and reciprocate. I am grateful that I have my health. I read horrible stories on social media about too many lives cut short due to cancer and other unfathomable diseases. I always say that as long as I have my health, everything else is just gravy.
My dad was the most positive person I have known. Everyone loved my dad and I mean everyone. We didn’t have enough chairs at his Celebration of Life because so many people showed up to pay their respects. As young as I can remember my dad always instilled positive values to my sister and I. Growing up my dad would always tell me after I would say I couldn’t do something that there is no such word at can’t. He would tell me that I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up, that our minds were more powerful than we realized and with a positive attitude and visualization of what I wanted, I could achieve.
He lived with those philosophies his entire life. But, he still died 2 months after getting diagnosed with cancer.
I was pissed! His positive attitude didn’t get him out of this. Yet I know firsthand of people that don’t appreciate life and have a bad attitude that have beat the odds when it came to their health and they are still around. What the hell?!
My rose colored glasses were gone. I had moments where I doubted living a positive life even mattered in the grand scheme of things. Shitty things just sometimes happen to us no matter how we choose to live our lives. Good or bad.
But, I had an epiphany the other day. Even though shitty things happen to good people all the time, I’m still going to live my life with a glass half full attitude. Even if my life is cut short or something else bad happens, at least I’ll have been a joyful person while still here.
And that my friend is what I’ll take into 2017. You always have to look on the bright side, even when life doesn’t seem too bright. Count what blessings you have, because I can bet you have more than you realize.