As 2013 ends, I am sure I am not the only one reflecting on the year. People generally judge a year by the good and the bad, but I choose to look back to see what I learned. Things are neither that black and white for me, because in either instance, lessons are learned and blessings are received. It is simply life happening.
This year joined me with countless other people in the world who are caretaking their elderly relatives. My mother transitioned into assisted living after depression and eyesight loss hindered her from living at my childhood home. It has been an adjustment for us, but more for her as I watch her slowly loss her independence and sink into a dark world of sadness. The struggle for me, has been balancing my family with two active boys, one who has Down Syndrome and a very busy writing career for our local newspaper. It has been a lesson of self-care and learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Asking for help and setting boundaries on what I can and can’t do. The vision I have is of the flight attendant always telling passengers to put their oxygen mask on first before they help others. It is the lesson of taking care of me, so I can take care of others.
While I wave farewell to 2013, I am grateful for the lessons bestowed on me, the choices that I have made, and the ability to see the humor in what could have been very sad. I am able to accept my mother for who and where she is despite her inability to accept herself. I thank 2013, bid it goodbye, and look forward to what is in store for 2014. After all, the beginning of a new year is the start of a new chapter of ones story. What will your story be for 2014?