Somewhere between sorrow and bliss

Posted on Jan 5, 2017 in Blog

I’ve been holding off a little on the New Year’s post that I’ve nonetheless been wanting to make–partly because I want, of course, to make sure that all of my thoughts are in order, but mostly because I feel guilty talking about my version of 2016 when so many other things have happened. Hard things, awful things. On a wider world level and a personal one for so many, 2016 seems to have been The Year that did a lot of people in. (Sure, it’s not like the year was actually out to get people, but damned if it didn’t feel like this at times, no?)

But 2016 was a wonderful year for me, sometimes almost unbelievably so. It was a year filled with quiet happiness, with rest and recovery and adventure. Strange happenings, sweet happenings, and boatloads of change. It began as a year filled with magic, and kept being magical all the way through.

I understand being happy to see it go. (That is, after all, how I felt about 2014 & 2015.) But on New Year’s Day I sat down and did my annual (it’s officially a tradition now) set of reflections and left it, once again, feeling like there was a good kind of fire in my belly–exactly the kind of thing that spurs one on.

In 2016, I:

— started working for the FOLD

— began learning about how to let go

— started tithing again. From never enough to abundance, everywhere I look.

— took a leap of faith, and a leave of absence, and it all worked out. I wasn’t even confined to my house as a result of it. In fact, I even

— traveled–a lot. So much traveling! California in March and then Vancouver and New Jersey in April and then northern Ontario in June and July and then Banff (wonderful Banff) in August, and a glorious cross-country road trip, and then one last quiet week in northern Ontario to top it all off, a week of quiet and solitude and writing and dogs.

— had my backpack stolen, and found myself okay with it, suddenly aware of what really mattered. And then the wallet came back to me, entirely intact. A few weeks after that, a brand-new mystery backpack arrived in the mail, just for me.

— came back to my little Hamilton life and realized that it was time for things to change. And within a month, change had happened. New job, new house, new life. Like magic.

A year like this passes so strangely / somewhere between sorrow and bliss

So much of this year has teetered right between these two things. It’s been a year of bliss and discovery and sadness, a year of uncovering and reckoning with so many parts of myself. It’s been a year of getting to know myself, truly, as if for the first time. It’s been so wonderful, and yes so strange, because it’s been entirely ordinary and yet entirely extraordinary all at the same time.

A couple of days ago, someone on Twitter remarked that they believed 2017 would hold better things because “that’s how growth happens”. You grieve a lot and change a lot and things are hard, and after this, things that are easy feel like the biggest of gifts. This year has taught me so much, and I am truly grateful for all of it, and filled to the brim with excitement about the things that I’ve reached for this year and managed, magically, to acquire. I feel like a child at Christmas, only it’s Christmas all of the time.

There is a small part of me, I’ll admit, that worries my allotment is up–that this year was too good to be true, and hard things wait once more around the corner. That may be so. A friend at work, a few days before I was due to leave the old job, said I feel like 2017 is going to be an amazing year for you, and my first response was to laugh. But 2016 was amazing! I said. I can’t have two amazing years in a row.

She laughed. 2016 was about growth and change. Now, you just get to keep on climbing up.

I think that’s a good thing to aim for. Up where more magic awaits.

So thank you, 2016. Thank you for your lessons and your kindness and your gifts.

2017, have at me. I am ready.

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