Thursday, January 1, 2015

Remembering 2014

The Headlines:


The end of the year is here.

The start of something new is now.

Why is it so hard for some of us to let go of the past? 



It's about this time of year that I get very nostalgic for… everything around me.  Yes, I am often nostalgic... actually weepy, introspective, maybe even a little insane - but it gets worse today.  I usually mourn the end of anything as I simultaneously celebrate the beginning of something.  I know that an old chapter is over and it just makes me miss it even though I am aware that a new chapter, perhaps an even better one, lies ahead.

I have always been one to look backward with fondness and forward with anticipation.  I remember the good and not the bad.  Some would say that's called self preservation… others may say my outlook is one of  "glass half full" rather than "glass half empty."  I say it's a gift.  Here's why:

When I was in high school, I had lots of good things happen to me.  Overall, I would say I had an above average high school experience but it wasn't perfect.  Nothing is. Years later when I was in college or working - I would have conversations with my Mom where she would randomly mention something to me regarding --- fill in the blank.  It usually would be a story about some person who did something mean and wrong to me yet I would have no recollection of it.  My Mom would go into detail about whatever the circumstances were and I could, only then, vaguely remember something about what happened.  It was odd to me and throughout the years it kept happening.  My Mom would remember everything and I would recall almost nothing.  At least none of the bad stuff.

But that's the way she operates.  Letting go of the past, especially the bad parts, is not easy for her.  She holds on to them way too tightly.  I can't imagine what good can come of it.  At least it's not obvious to me.  Of course, learning from mistakes and bad experiences is what makes us better.  But dwelling there can destroy us.

To this day, my Mom talks about how my Dad or her Mom did something awful to her, and it was so terrible, she's a changed person because of it.  Don't get me wrong, the things she remembers are not good but they're also not as bad as some behavior.  They're certainly not punishable by law.  They clearly affected her then but I believe to this day, she's letting them affect her now.  And her Mom isn't even alive anymore.  It's a tough way to live.

For me, forgetting the bad isn't a conscious decision but it does help my outlook remain positive… in short, it works.  I am introspective but not overly sensitive, I smile more than I frown, I feel at peace amidst some turmoil and anger is always fleeting.  It's a comfortable, though not ignorant, place to be.

So while I will remember 2014… the pain that came with some of the days will probably escape me.  It was a busy, sometimes scary and always lively year.  I almost lost my father to a brain aneurysm, we did some remodeling in our house that made us feel like hoarders for a good month plus, BP (my husband) seemed to be gone every other week (traveling for work - and play - let's be honest here), my son drove me to the brink of almost no return once or twice (of course specifics are hard to come by), I discovered I was unnecessarily drugging my child (more on that coming in a blog post soon), we only went to the ER once, broke down twice (or was that 3 times - forgot!), I met and made new friends and sadly became further removed from some old ones... my daughter embarked on a competition dance team, we laughed so hard we peed our pants AND threw up, I cried so hard I couldn't eat, we gained weight and lost weight… we yelled and apologized… yes, I remember this: it was quite a year.

So to you I say this:  let go of the past, of 2014, remember the good days and learn from the bad. Look forward, not backward and enjoy as many moments as you possibly can.  It is a much better place to be.  Now here's to the year that lies ahead… may we all be blessed with remembering more days than those we should forget.