Posted by: Jenny | December 31, 2010

Just Another Day

New Year’s Eve seems a little silly to me. It’s so fraught with dramatic retrospectives and unrealistic expectations, all because the last digit of the year changes. Big celebrations abound. But for me, today is Friday, tomorrow is Saturday,  just like every other Friday-Saturday combo during the year.

But I do find myself hoping, today more than any other day, that 2011 brings far fewer surprises, heartaches and scares than 2010. We started 2010 with an ER visit to the heart hospital, soon followed by a brain tumor scare and shoulder injury for me. As the year progressed, we waited to hear whether my son had melanoma, how serious my mom’s cancer was, and watched my father decline. My husband had numerous tests for his liver and continual monitoring of his heart condition. Another son was a passenger in the car when the driver had a seizure exiting the interstate. My best friend’s father was diagnosed with lung cancer and died within five months. An old friend died unexpectedly, leaving behind his bewildered and devastated wife and four children. Financially, we struggled more this year than any other. I know everyone who reads this will have a similar list of heartaches.

I could wallow in those memories, telling myself that it can only get better. But I know that this is life. This is what happens. This year was no more responsible for our struggles than the weather or any other constant in life.  Instead, I am thankful that my heart condition is relatively benign. I did not have a brain tumor (but have no explanation for the loss of hearing in my left ear). I had shoulder surgery, my husband’s heart hasn’t gotten worse, my mom’s cancer was caught very early, my son did not have melanoma and my other son survived the accident unscathed.

Really, there’s a lot to be thankful for. An embarrassment of riches, especially when I think about the joy and happiness we also experienced this year. My oldest son getting married. New opportunities for me at work. My daughter making a smooth transition to high school. Time spent with so many wonderful friends. My parents, siblings, children and husband are alive. Roof over our heads, food in the fridge, money to pay the utilities and a little left over for the weekly pizza night.

Do we, as humans, need a reason for retrospection? Is it too overwhelming to consider, on a daily or weekly basis, what we’ve survived, what we’ve overcome, what overcame us? Are we too busy to think about changes we’d like to make or goals that need to be set that it can only be done once a year, when advertisers and news shows remind us to do so?

I don’t know. I hate the feeling that I’ll get, sometime in mid-January, that once again I lost my moment to really think about my life and decide which direction it should go. By end of January, I notice that I’m in survival mode, wondering what fresh hell will visit us this week, what news will grip my heart and keep my stomach churning until I know more and adjust to the new reality.

The upcoming year is made up of days like this. Mundane days, or days filled with laughter and fun, or days that you feel overwhelmed by the latest surprise. Maybe my 2011 resolution is to remember to take a deep breath, remember that God is the architect, and no matter what, remember that the sun will rise again tomorrow.

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Responses

  1. Good blog, Jen! I am keeping you on my middle-of-the-night prayer list, your mom, too. “Hard things are put in our way not to stop us but to call out our courage and strength!” Love, Les

    Like


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