I can honestly say I’ve never been so glad to send a year on its way to the land of remembrance. This year proved such a strange mix of the very good and the very challenging, with the latter easily winning that contest. In many ways, it is hard to believe it is the end of the year, thinking of all the things I planned to do that never materialized, and of course all the things that happened that no one could have predicted.
As I look back to the start of the year, I realize now –in ways I could never have anticipated– that my 2013 one-word resolution held true. Perhaps in a be careful what you wish for manner, but the word held.
Here’s the section from last year’s post:
1. To notice, especially by making an effort;
2. To learn something about;
3. To reveal or make known;
4. To obtain sight or knowledge of for the first time.
I shall discover things about the wonderful new town and state where I live.
I shall discover new things to learn, to study, to share.
I shall discover things unknown, big and small, about myself.
2013 for me, then, will be the year of discovery.
As I read that passage, it’s the last line that rings most true here at the end of the year – to discover things about myself. That happened.
I discovered a depth of endurance, patience, acceptance, frustration, respect, and resolve as we battled major health issues this year. My two surgeries pale in comparison to my husband’s experiences, with 5 hospitalizations and 2 surgeries, for a total of nearly 7 months in the hospital. We met a variety of health professionals, both good and bad, but the joy of the good ones mostly outweighed the disaster of the bad ones.
I discovered that I do have a capacity that can be reached – physically, mentally, financially, emotionally. As a result, I’ve grown a bit more adept at managing those limits, keeping it at no more than water hanging at the lip of a glass full without spilling over. Things are still too full, too much, but able to be controlled. Just keep the glass steady. Easier said than done, but I’m learning.
I learned new things, mostly healthcare related, but also work-related, as I tried very hard to balance all the things this year. I’ve been able to try new ideas, accept new challenges, and explore new educational opportunities that have helped make some of the other stuff more bearable. I’ve also learned that I can step away from things, that I can choose and be okay with the consequences when things need changed, or can’t be done.
I’ve discovered a deeper level of love and friendship. The support of family, friends, and colleagues were one of the only reasons we survived this year with any semblance of good humor left. Thank you for asking and listening, for caring and sharing, for knowing when to be near and when we needed space, for being our ears and shoulders, our sounding boards and our rocks, and for understanding when our focus was inward instead of out. I learned a new depth of the love I have for my husband, not only at the moment I almost lost him but in every action, every breath, since then as we learn new routines and new rhythms, taking even greater pleasure in the simple act of being together. It was very heartwarming to hear frequent comments from nurses that noticed how we function as a team, how we respond and balance each other. And I relearned the pain of loss when we lost my husband’s mother, my second mom, the day after Thanksgiving.
None of this was on my wish list of things I wanted to discover this year, and despite the very difficult challenges, the things I did discover I will carry with me as valuable knowledge. I discovered things about my environment, my universe, and most of all myself. Which, in the end, was what I set out to do.
Thanks for sticking with this blog during the sporadic postings of 2013. I hope the year was good to you, even if in unexpected ways. Best wishes for 2014!