I find myself straddling a fence, one foot tentatively thrown over towards 2011, while the other is steadfastly anchored in 2010. As my spirit tries to lead me forward into a new year and a new day, my heart struggles to come to terms with letting go of the many things I lost throughout this past year.
As I look out the window of my 4Walls and AView , I find myself reviewing 2010. Past years would find me looking for the things that worked or didn’t work. Those answers would allow me to tweak my upcoming plans for the New Year in order to find a way to be more productive, even if it is done predominantly from my bed or living room sofa.
But 2010 is one that I been struggling to evaluate. I cannot recall a year when so much loss has occurred in my life in such a short period of time – not in the past decade or two. It causes me to wonder what I am to learn from it all, or, if learning is even the purpose of this past year.
I don’t believe for one moment that 2010 was for naught, a fluke, a collision of some mystical fate, and yet, as I look over the year, I’m left empty, unsure, and wobbly.
I know logically I need to find the strength and determination to step into 2011. It will come without my blessing and without my help.
In addition, I innately understand that I need to somehow come to terms with 2010 because if I don’t, I enter 2011 without vision, and without vision, I will lose all hope.
So I am left pondering the happenings of 2010, trying to assess it so I can let go and move forward.
Amazingly, I have discovered during these past few weeks that I am not alone in the incredible, loss-filled year that I have had. I have spoken to so many people who are in the midst of their own year from hell.
Thus, in preparation for my transition from 2010 to 2011, I became a Pug Angel for Pugman who is a pug in a shelter called the Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue , and who is hoping for a new home. I know that I am not ready to bring a new fella into my abode, but Pugman has touched me deeply. So, in Dekker’s honor, I have donated money to help pay for Pugman’s medical care until some gracious, kind soul adopts him.
In addition, I took the suggestion of a friend, and added Dekker to the Pet Memorial that happens online every Monday at 9 p.m. I will light a candle with all the other individuals in the world who have lost their pets and say one final goodbye to my beloved friend.
Furthermore, I have spent the last day revisiting some of the decisions I made into 2010.
The first was my decision to re-home Bronte, to make sure in hinds sight that my decision was a good one. I have determined it was because Dekker’s death would have been severely problematic for her. She was the reason I purchased Dekker. She never liked being alone and needed constant companionship. So now living with a little girl, and a new mom and dad, plus an older, mellow dog, is the best place she could be.
As for the loss of my worldly possessions, I am glad that I learned in years past to not become overly-attached to them. The hardest part for me at this point is that many of my possessions were profoundly and deeply meaningful to me, such as my thesis for my Bachelor Degree (with annotations from the Director of the Department), my first Bible, a lock of Rachael’s hair from her first haircut, the garment I brought back from my trip to Africa in 1998, and so many more. Those are things I can never get back.
There is truth, however, in the fact that no matter what worldly possessions are taken from me, the memories and feelings attached to them can never be lost for they reside in my heart. There they are safe from any future losses. And that provides me a sense of control, understanding finally that it is what I carry in my heart, soul and mind that are truly important, because what is within me is what comes out of me.
Moving into a new apartment, while one of the most difficult decisions I made in 2010, has proven to be one of my best decisions of the year. I am now in an ultra-safe environment, among incredibly gracious and kind people, surround by the city I have grown to love.
In addition, I no longer have to worry about mold, incredibly noisy neighbors and whatnot. Here, I find myself wrapped in a quiet space that I believe will be the key to moving forward in my health and life – whatever that looks like for 2011 and beyond.
This visitation of 2010 has made me realize a truth I have not been able to see while moving through all the incredible situations I found myself confronted with in 2010. This is that truth. What was meant to break me actually made me stronger.
I can now look back over this past year and know that even though I may have temporarily faltered under the weight of some of the challenges, I persevered and got back up and moved forward.
I can also see that I moved through these challenging situations with honesty, transparency and integrity. In addition, I discovered there is no right or wrong way to move forward. It’s more about the doing and the moving forward than anything else.
While 2011 will be a year of continued grieving, I can now see that nothing that lays in my future can beat me. My core convictions are strong enough to endure the fiery assault of life’s challenges and they create a rock solid foundation for me to stand upon when the winds of calamity come knocking on my door.
While 2010 is a year I would have gladly skipped, and even more gladly would choose to forget, the reality for me at this moment is that it was not for naught. It did have much to teach me.
Besides the lesson that I am strong and that I can endure and persevere, the most important lesson I learned in 2010, is that I cannot stand against life’s brutal assault, alone. I was only able to come out on the other side because of the many people who stepped up and offered me their shoulder to cry on, their arm to lean on, and that graciously offered their prayers that carried me when I faltered.
So, I end this year with thanks for the many new friendships I have made and for the old friendships that have continued. I thank God for each and every one of you. We never truly understand how impacting our kindness, love and compassion really are, until we find ourselves in need.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for walking along with me through my journey through 2010.
I know that my journey through 2011 will be my, because I have so many people who surround me every day, willing me forward with their prayers and friendship.
I trust and pray that you journey through 2011 will also be a new chapter in your life and that the challenges of 2010 will not strangle the potential that resides within you to do great things … even if those great things are done from a wheel-chair, a bed, or a sofa.