I made a collage of my 6 favorite moments from 2022 today on Instagram. It was one of those stupid “add yours” things everyone does. I don’t know why I wanted to do it-I never really participate in those things. Honestly, at first I think I thought it would be a miracle if I found 6 favorite photos from this year. 2022 hasn’t been an easy year. There have been moments from this year I don’t know that I’ll ever recover from; several I’ll never forget and not in a good way. From a good friend dying in a tragic accident to a devastating cancer diagnosis, and several hard blows in between, this year, from a surface level perspective has downright sucked. And if we’re being honest, the past few years have sucked for that matter. Trauma has seemed to reign supreme among the “words” used to describe the events in my life over the course of the last few years-and part of me could really use a break from it. Not even just part of me-all of me could use a break from it. Sometimes it really does seem like we’re drowning in life-and I don’t know about you but that’s not exactly what I thought things were supposed to look like right now. Or feel like. Or be like.
I didn’t think parenting would be so hard. Or overstimulating. Or just, so much. I didn’t think the relationships in my life-from marriage to friendship to family dynamics-would be so much work to maintain. I didn’t think it would feel like everything I planned or touched turned to crap. I didn’t think it would actually feel like God did laugh at my plans. I didn’t think that the invincible people in my life would get really sick. Or that the “always there” kind of friends would never be “there” again. I didn’t think I’d have to explain so many hard truths to my preschool aged babies. Or beg God to “let this cup pass” so to speak when faced with the reality that there were so many hard truths ahead that I would have to help their little hearts navigate. I didn’t think I would yell so much. Or have to work so hard to “create” a Christmas magic that I grew up thinking just appeared with Bing Crosby. I didn’t think I would meet my heroes, only to spend two days crying over the fact that they weren’t mine to keep. I didn’t think any of it would be this way. Maybe as Christmas draws dangerously close, you find yourself there too. Wondering to yourself how….and wait a minute….and why….and all of the things as you recount what feels like a whirlwind of a life.
And though I can’t offer you any answers- because clearly, I am in the same boat, maybe I can offer a little perspective. I found the 6 pictures for my collage pretty easily-naturally including moments like “Into the Woods”, Macy’s wedding and always, always seeing Dr. Nick. However, there were many more I wanted to include. Really sweet, good moments. Moments like when I finally met Ryan-my CRNA after two years of trying to catch him between surgeries. Or when we went to the beach this summer. Moments like when I learned choreography from a Broadway performer-and performed it for an audience-even though one year prior I had been cut right down the middle and my scar beamed in my crop top at every rehearsal. Sweet moments of singing karaoke with my friends, and watching my babies eat blackberries in the hot summer sun. Hiking trails. Holding hands with Jon. County fairs. Days spent in the playroom, eating homemade pizza for lunch. Going to Dollywood. Making new traditions. Fizzy champagne bubbles tickling my nose and calming my spirit. Reading the entire book of Job. Getting published-twice-for my own writing and not on behalf of someone else. Spray tans. Sunsets. Laughing. Dancing. Singing-so much singing this year. Performing with an orchestra for the first time ever. The people that changed my life this year and made me laugh until my belly hurt like James-Tanner-Addi- Rebekah-Matthew-Crystal-Angie-Francesca-Vicki-SWEET PRECIOUS ABBY O’GUIN-literally everyone of “my babies” in masterclass and so many people from Audience of One that I’m just obsessed with. Filming my story in my own words with Amanda and her team in the mountains that have my heart. Reuniting with my classmates. Eating good, good food. Writing my heart out.
Somehow-though lately I’ve only focused on the crappy things-this year was also FULL of really good, really noteworthy moments. And despite my roller-coaster of emotions and plethora of absolute failures through them all, Jesus steadily walked with me. And for some reason-he didn’t leave me hanging out to dry-and both of us, are still here. Still walking together. Still holding on to one another.
I know that New Years isn’t for another week or so, and that maybe you’re not thinking about resolutions or anything right now. Personally, I always hate them, because-well-I tend to be negative and not set goals here lately and that’s a convo for Peggy at another time. (If you’re new Peggy is my counselor. She gets her money’s worth with me honey-trust me.) BUT, as we head into Christmas, and are forced to sit with all of the things-the people, the struggles, the emotions, the year-in-reviews-maybe it will help knowing we’re never alone in it. It feels that way sometimes. It LOOKS that way sometimes. And physically, maybe sometimes, we are technically “alone” but also, we aren’t. Not really. And as bad as all of it is-has been-and will continue to be at times-it’s good to stop and know, you’re here. Maybe not unscathed. Maybe cut right down the middle like me-still-and forever bearing a big, deep scar. Maybe battered and bruised and sick and tired and barely keeping your head above water. But you’re here. Even if just for today. And there is good all around you. All you have to do is take a little time to look.
Merry Christmas. Love y’all. Mean it.