My birthday is New Year’s Eve, and for many years, I’ve spent the day evaluating the previous year, and setting goals for the upcoming year. Not resolutions, per se, just goals to direct my focus.
This year I didn’t do it. I was busy sleeping. Mars and I drove to Arizona for the holidays (yes, we’re nuts that way), and since we did the last 22 hours in one fell swoop, with me taking the graveyard shift, I spent my birthday catching up on sleep instead of evaluating the previous year.
So two days later (par for my course), here I am. I thought about skipping it, but if ever I needed to evaluate a year, it was this one.
I think 2012 was my worst year yet. Worse than the year I ran away from an abusive marriage, spent a long weekend in a women’s shelter, and blew the engine on my car trying to get back home. Worse than the year my daughter was born with Down syndrome (a great gift, but it took some adjustment); she failed to thrive, barely survived RSV, and got us reported to CPS for neglect when I refused to stop breastfeeding after she was diagnosed with jaundice (another long story I’ll tell some time). Worse than the year that began with the suicide of my beloved sister-in-law and ended with the death of my mother-in-law by hospital-induced overdose. Hard as those years were, they were nothing compared to this one.
But I’m a firm believer that there are gifts to be found in every experience, even if the only “gift” is a lesson learned. And there were lots of lessons learned.