I really had high hopes for 2020. As an oddly quirky gal obsessed with numbers, I have been looking forward to 2020 for quite some time. My birthday falls on the 20th of the month (in October, the best birthday month of the year) so I really expected the year of “20” to be amazing. Inspiring. Game changer. Instead is started out pretty crappy and barely rebounded by the end of the month.
I always try to focus on the positive, I really do. I also tend to overschedule, overcommit, and overwork myself every chance I get. It’s like my superhero power. When you do this to yourself, and then the bad things pop up in life, it causes a Bermuda triangle of events and some things (like hope, attitude, and optimism) go right out the window. This month I apparently had all the windows open and positivity was the first to fly out.
Here’s my ugly of January:
Day 1: FRIEND CANCER DIAGNOSIS. I mean really, 2020. New Year’s Day? What the actual f*ck. The last two years I now have had two friends battle their own cancer diagnosis and now truly understand the need to swear at cancer. This time it hit a little closer to home. Finding the closer it hits, the more helpless you feel. The outlook is optimistic, his attitude is energizing, and the support for my friend & family really is restoring my faith that while there might not be answers for the why, strength in numbers helps everyone push ahead.
Day 22: ANXIETY. For the last
Day 26: KOBE BRYANT & GIGI BRYANT. This one hit hard. Not because of his age. Not because of his basketball career & star status. Not because of the accident. It was because of what he was doing. Millions of parents each weekend heading out with their kids. Taking your kid to their game. Their competition. Their tournament. He was doing the common “divide and conquer” approach most parents have to do to make it all work. You take one kid here; I’ll stay home with the others. The heartbreak for all nine of the souls lost, the teams that will never be the same, the families that have been impacted and will have to find their new normal. The reminder of our own mortality, that of our kids mortality, and that you never know what the future holds really hit hard.
Day 27: GASTROENTERITIS. While this isn’t something that should crush a spirit – it certainly knocked me down. Everyone wants to shed a few pounds at the start of the new year; however, I was hoping for the “eat right and exercise” approach, not the “everything you every consumed will now exit your body as quick as possible”. What I don’t like about being sick is feeling of letting your family and co-workers down. Only bright spark of the few days recuperating (aside from the weight loss) was the Netflix binge of comedy specials (Richard Pryor) and AMC classics (Cary Grant). It’s hard to be the one needing the care and accepting that you need to rest.
Day 30: HOUSE REPAIRS. I know home ownership requires maintenance, but we just built the house eight years ago. Eight. But within 12 hours realized the attic ventilation wasn’t up to par and had concerns with the sewer drain leading out of the house. I have no home improvement knowledge base but even I knew our attic wasn’t supposed to look like it did – saturated wood, intermittent mold markings, and condensation on insulation. I am supposed to be planning college expenses for the HS senior, summer camps, and family vacations – not dropping who knows how much into repairs that technically shouldn’t have issues right now. Ugh.
Add in the handful of little things that go amiss during the month. Tired kids. Work stress. School stress. Grades. Lack of sleep. Pet illnesses. Relationship issues. After school activities. Cold weather. Hot weather. Poor selection of food in the house. Empty ice cream container in the freezer. Spilled coffee getting out of the car at work. Why am I always washing towels?
355 days to go…
So today, February 1st, 2020, is here. January is done. I had little control of anything that happened these last 31 days. I’ll have little control of anything that happens the next 335 days.
Some people reading this are going to be upset. Wonder what am I even complaining about, thinking to themselves ‘that isn’t bad, listen to this…”
They are right.
I don’t have it bad at all. But even not-so-bad takes it toll. And my not-so-bad is actually really bad for me. And I realized this past month, that we tend compare and rationalize the bad in life, and tell ourselves or others they shouldn’t be upset or complain – when what we really need is just to encourage each other to keep going.
My only plan, with a bit of anxiety mixed into it all, is to focus on encouragement to others, embrace all that life throws at me, and to be kind. Because every single person reading this, along with every single person you interact with on a daily basis has their own list of “ugly” they deal with. Maybe a bit more kindness, encouragement, and knowing that everyone carries something that weights more for them than others, can help each other during darker times.
Bring it on, February 2020.