Good riddance 2014. You were worthless. No no no okay, I take that back. There are no such things as bad years. There are missed opportunities, let’s leave it at that. Look at me, putting a positive spin on things!
Regarding you sweet girl, you became a real-life cousin. Your darling cousin Dubs was born May 8th, the same day as your Grandma G. who spent that particular birthday of hers, #53, recovering from surgery. That was the very same week I said Those Four Little Words and rushed from one hospital to the next, three hours in between my emotions ranging from dark end of the hallway and being immobilized with fear and grief to that of sunshine, rainbows, glitter, and new baby girls. I’ve personally never experienced bipolar disorder, but that week let me dip my toes into the realm of mental illness for certain.
I wrote some longtime-coming truths and laid my heart on the Internet for your sake, in hopes you’d never take your self perception anywhere but toward solid gold and love. I learned how to consume and how to work and never looked back. We walked down the aisle just prior to your Fairy Godmother- a favorite love story of ours. Your Daddy and I made all your six-year-old dreams come true when we roadtripped to the Black Hills in June. It was your only wish for all of 2014. Those were probably my four favorite days of the entire year. There, you rode your first horse- something admittedly we should have made a priority much sooner, but again, that was a missed opportunity. Consider it your kindergarten graduation gift. So yes, 2014 was full of beauty. Yes indeed.
Your Dad and I both faced surprising challenges within our careers because as you may very well know, just when you think you have it all figured out, everything is dumped upside down, and turned inside out. That’s real life, homie. Your great-Grandma S. was hospitalized for the first time since 1966 but you can’t keep a good woman down and we savored another Christmas Eve with her as our matriarch stuffing ourselves silly with her lutefisk and lefse. Those few weeks were pretty formidable for me. My selfishness regarding that lady truly came to light as I struggled with the what-ifs and ultimate inevitability of life. In that same vein, I mustered the courage to replicate her recipe for homemade dill pickles, and spent the remainder of my summer (and our garden’s cucumber bounty) making jar after jar of her legacy. I’m sure those first jars are extra salty as they contained my tears- you know what they say is the cure for everything- salt water. Sweat, tears, or the sea. One of my favorite quotes.
Our Villagers around us announced babies and new puppies and engagements and we applauded, cheered, toasted, and met tiny humans. You lost your front baby teeth and I secretly hoped your gap-toothed smile would always stay that way. Our teams won and lost and were demolished and rebuilt. We found new music and artists and causes and strength. In my single biggest move in my professional life, I karate-chopped complacency in the face and swallowed my fear and began a whole new adventure January 5 where I’m supported and appreciated and above all, paid to do the things I love and am best at. Albert Camus once said, “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” There were phone calls that made me cry, tributes and memorials that were heartbreakingly beautiful, and plenty of things that required fixing, time, patience, and the cash for it all. There were close calls and unanswered prayers, bonfires, drive-thru coffee, plastic horses, half-assing, full throttle, intention, abandon, and plenty of love.
So no. 2014 wasn’t bad. We were lucky to live its 365 days, and grateful to know what a gift that is- simply living. I’m not superstitious but I adore odd numbers so 2015- I gotta mad crush on you.