Adieu 2014

adieu: old french TO GOD

It’s the end of the year, and many have told me to quickly close the door on 2014.

But this has been an extraordinary year. One that is a marker for me. Not because I had a ton of punches on my healthcare loyalty card.

No, extraordinary because I spent a little time in the darkest space I’ve ever been, and a lot of time squinting in the absurd brightness of the lightest spaces.

I dodged the bullets–not through anything but serendipity.

I know that I am lucky, fortunate, blessed, charmed, or whatever you call what happens when you are right on the edge of everything going to hell but then it turns out okay.

I know that it’s not because I am good or that I am bad or that God is taking care of me or that God is rejecting me. I don’t think that you only get what you can handle or that there is a greater purpose.

I also know that I am not in control of what I am dealt. Last, I do know that “it is what it is.” And acknowledging that helps me to mine my experiences for lessons (maybe that is “purpose?”).

Major lessons? The only thing that I can control is how I process and react. The fountain of kindness of my family, friends, neighbors and colleagues is infinite. Asking for and accepting help is more than necessary, it makes me both more humble and more human. Yes, giving is important, but so is being receptive. I learned the real reason why people pray–sometimes it’s the only thing you can do. And, you can’t go wrong if you do things out of love. It won’t guarantee you are right, but motives frame impact.

You know how at the end of the book, the character collapses after bruising battles and wakes up days later asking “how long have I been asleep?” This end of the year has been like that, but without the sleeping part.

Yeah, this has been a bruising year. But it is a year that has been full of amazing–and maybe some unspeakable–lessons.

I am not sorry to see the year end. So, I send you, my friend 2014, with fondness to God. Adieu, 2014.

Giving Thanks

boys walking

I have been quite a laggard in postings. My apologies to my loyal reader. As the turkey roasts, I am thinking about the thanks I am giving.

  • I am thankful that the 17-year-old hooked me up with my new favorite band. Great music to prep Thanksgiving Dinner by.
  • I am thankful that the Spouse has cooked dinner pretty much every night since September 15. AND has done the dishes, too.
  • I am thankful that the 14-year-old has introduced me to the FIERCE sport of wrasslin’. Little girls cried during the last meet. Fierce, I tell you.
  • I am thankful for working in the Bush administration. Without those guys, I would have never learned new levels of tolerance–and never loved so many Republicans. Yes, they are people, too.
  • I am thankful that we have good health insurance, didn’t get dumb in the mortgage market, live within our means and have stable jobs. I pray that the new guys–with our help–make changes so that more people can give this set of thanks next year.
  • I am thankful for Facebook. Sounds dumb, but it’s like living in a far-flung dorm–low pressure way to be in the lives of people you care about. (Sibling, get on the stick!)
  • I am thankful that my mother is a fighter. She has been in rehab 3 times over the past year, after a fall, a broken ankle, and then major GI surgery. Each time we worried that she might be too tired to push her 85-year-self through rehab. And each time she proves us wrong.
  • I am thankful that I have the best spouse, kids and dog in the whole wide world. Bar none. No one can dispute this. Don’t even try.

And I am thankful to you, my loyal reader. I write this mostly for me, but am thankful that you take some of your time to think with me.

Happy Thanksgiving!