As we ushered in 2013 in our pajamas, quietly, I realized that I was glad to see 2012 fade into the night. It was a long year, testing me, pushing me, sometimes mocking me. There were national issues that broke my heart: Sandy, Newtown, the economy, soldiers still losing their lives, police and fire personnel dying in senseless tragedies.
At home, I watched my son start to go from teenager to young man, with all the trials and tribulations that come with that, the fight for independence mixed with the longing to be a little boy, all wrapped up in one. I watched my daughter struggle with finding a job, which, thank God, she did, and a good one at that. I felt the Crohn's start to take over my body, and did my best to fight it. I found myself charged with raising a child who I did not give birth to, a job that I did not sign up for, a job that was hard and sad, tiring and life-altering.
I started back to college, scared that I would fail or be the oldest person on campus. I second-guessed myself after starting, and worried that I would be 100 when I graduated.
In the midst of all the changes in my life, I found myself learning. Learning to gently let go of my ever-growing son, learning to see my daughter as a woman, learning to be a mom to a young child, all over again. I thought my days of raising kids were blissfully over, but they were not. I had to deal again with nightmares, skinned knees, ear infections, temper tantrums.
But during all of it, I began to see that this is God's plan for me, if not my plan for myself. I tried and failed, then I tried and started to succeed. The more I pushed myself, the better it got.
So, while I may be glad to see 2012 go, and wonder what 2013 will bring, I am headed on a new journey. One that is scary and unexpected, challenging and painful at times, but one that will see me continue to grow and learn. A journey that one day I will look back on and be ever grateful for.
So, 2012, thank you for all the "stuff"...But a bigger thank you for letting me see that I am stronger than I thought, more loving than I gave myself credit for, and grateful to be just where I am. I am sure 2013 will want to kick my butt, but I am ready!!!!!!