I have always been a Christmas devotee. I love Christmas, can take or leave (usually leave) New Years. Change, historically, is neither my forte nor my favorite. Resolutions that inevitably get broken simply seem depressing to me. And January always seemed to me like a horrible white expanse of time that existed boringly until the blossoms of Spring.
Except...this year...things were a little different. Something about the holidays seemed off. I couldn't get my Christmas magic to click. No matter how hard I tried, the Christmas spirit seemed to elude me. And so Christmas passed me by. (I loved being home, wrapped up in love with my family and friends - in no way am I suggesting otherwise. Everything about my time at home was delicous and magical.)
It's just that...I never really felt holly and ivy about the whole thing.
I have always known that I have issues with change. I've never liked it - even going as far as crying on my birthday and dreading New Year's. I clung to the past, rather than looked on to the future. Somewhat ironically to me, my last 8 years have been riddled with change. I've never lived in any apartment longer than a year, last year even inhabiting 3 different apartments. Friendships have come and gone, as have relationships. People I love have left this life. The more these things happened, the tighter my grip became on keeping things just as they were. And sometimes I felt like someone was playing a trick on me.
I once heard the following about life:
When we pray for patience, God gives us experiences through which we will develop patience. When we pray for courage, God gives us experiences to develop courage. When we pray for kindness, God gives us experiences where we can develop our kindness.
Can you see where this one is headed?
I have never, ever prayed for change. Or the ability to deal with change. Or anything like that. But to my eye and my head and my heart, I have consistently been given experiences to develop the ability to cope with change with reason, compassion, patience, adaptability, balance and kindness.
This past year was witness to the most magnificently wonderful and gut-wrenchingly awful changes I've experienced in my 27 years.
I believe that I finally have it through my head that change is hard but change is good.
As the days following Christmas faded away, and the days leading up to New Year's rushed towards me, I felt some of the boulderous weight I've been carrying around in my heart start to fall away. I felt my vision start to clear a little bit. And I rang in the New Year with love around me and hope for the future. Never has my cry of "Happy New Year!" been more heartfelt.
(Full disclosure: this has not been an effortless process. My sad girl face made so many cameos in the last few months she nearly got upgraded to co-star. And lest any of my darling readers thinks otherwise, this has not been easy for me. At all.)
The thick, muddy, murky glasses of confusion have been knocked ever so slightly askew, and now I find lovely rose-colored spectacles beginning to take over.
Today is January 6. Today is the real 12th day of Christmas. Today is known as Epiphany. Very, very fitting.
I have never been so relieved for a big white expanse of the January calendar. I've never been so happy to finish vacation and get back to real life. To go back to work, and to keep going on the path of figuring out how to make my dreams come true.
And so, I tip my hat to the new year. Grateful to be at peace. Here's to 2009.