“This is gonna be MY year!” Have you ever rolled out of bed on January 1st, shook the confetti out of your hair and said that? Only to have second thoughts when the toast you burned for breakfast slid off your plate and fell topping side down.
I have been there before. I said it in 2011 and 2012 and 2013 and 2014. None of which were, “MY year,” at least in terms of what I thought my year should look like. Maybe for you it was finding a boyfriend (I don’t know why they are all hiding from you, because you are awesome and pretty and perfect, ok?). Maybe it was getting married, buying a house, losing weight, landing that dream job. Or like me, desperately wanting a baby.
I was full of hope on New Year’s Eve 2013 because though life gave me infertility I was going to make a baby anyway, darn it. I had already started the first step to IVF, which by the way, is taking the birth control pill. I sat in the clinic and handed the script back, “Maybe you misunderstood, Doc, I WANT to be pregnant.” My Dr. didn’t crack a smile. I switched Dr’s shortly after because though she was a medical professional, I can’t deal with people who don’t laugh at my jokes.
And as the story goes, 2014 wasn’t MY year. It was actually the toughest year for me, because it was the year I had lost all hope of it ever being MY year when I was told that my goal, my new year resolution, for 4 years straight, simply wasn’t going to happen for me. But many other things happened that year too. We moved out of New Jersey and bought a nice house on a large piece of land that would eventually be our farm. I met new friends. My husband was able to keep his job but work from home. We also found a church that we loved. We even collected our first egg from our chickens!
But had I failed to see most of the blessings of 2014, because I was still so wrapped up in my lost dreams and disappointment that in my mind it was, “Omg, the worst year ever.” My Dr’s words to me, though ultimately untrue, “I think you’ll need a surrogate,” was a huge tool in showing me that so many of my past years were wrapped up in one thing that would determine if the year was either good or bad. 2014 was the year I had to take a long hard look at myself, where my source of joy was coming from and what I was placing my faith in. I had to set new goals and dream new dreams, even if they were just simply being content whatever my circumstances.
I couldn’t have known then, on NYE 2014, that just a month later I would see two pink lines come up on that test. That the house that we bought, would soon be the house that we brought our baby home in, in 2015. The house with once clean windows now smudged with tiny fingerprints and snot smears one toddlers heights tall. The house with the two story entrance that when said toddler stands in just the right spot, a temper tantrum can echo so loud that it sounds like we have a 100 toddlers in the house.
Many of you have had a really, really difficult year. Chronic illnesses, losing loved ones, job loss, and divorce just to name a few. I understand the temptation to want to leave it behind, to throw confetti right in 2016’s freaking face and move on. But rather than boxing your pain up, this painful year can lead to something good if you allow it to. Pain can actually be the best tool for change and growth.
I’m not saying goals or resolutions are bad, but if you don’t try, you can’t fail, amirite??
But when we place our happiness in these New Year’s resolutions, we always set ourselves up for failure. Weight can fluctuate, houses can be foreclosed, you can be fired from your job, marriages can end, children can pass away.
So rather than a goal or a resolution, as I head into 2017, I want to simply remember that my hope is not in, “the thing,” but rather in the One who gives, “the thing.”
Wishing Y’all (nope, still not cute when I say it) a happy New Year. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow!