Every year when the first day of a whole new year dawns, I get so excited (well, technically if it's dawn I'm still reliably sound asleep, but as soon as I wake up I get so excited).
I somehow can't shake the chronic belief that this will be "the year." The year when everything is different, when I am happier, healthier, more successful, luckier and more at peace than I ever have been before.
Technically, this isn't a bad belief to have...perhaps not even one anyone in their right mind would want to shake. The trouble is, I kind of expect the shift to occur by about sunrise on day 2 of the whole new year.
That, I think, is where I keep getting tripped up.
The truth is, I can look back over the landscape in my rearview mirror and see I actually have been progressively moving closer to this (admittedly impressive stretch) goal each and every year since I was born. That is 48 and nearly a half years to date, so I've logged some good time and definitely some high-quality effort.
But I still have a long, long, LONG way to go.
Last year, between hurricane Harvey and getting diagnosed with hypothyroidism, my whole year was pretty much wiped off the map in one (well, two) fell swoop. Each event brought many kindnesses and much healing into my life and into my family's lives. But boy were they tough.
This year, I launched in with my most ambitious challenge to date - parting ways with the man I have loved for (count 'em) 15 years. We had tried just about every configuration a duo could try - dating, business partners, roommates, friends, lovers - nothing worked. Nothing, that is, except splitting up. That, thus far, has been working well at least from this end of the equation (I have no idea what his thoughts might be on the same).
But it has been HARD. There is this movie I watched a couple of years ago with the unforgettable title of "I'll See You In My Dreams." That is how it has felt, post-split. Sometimes I see him in my dreams. It is a process, going from something to nothing, and I think maybe it is similar to detox on an emotional and spirit level, with these occasional dream-visits easing the ache until it becomes bearable on its own.
One thing that has helped more than everything else all put together is retreating into nature.