It’s the 3rd week of December and instead of eliminating my tasks list for the week, I’m zoned out at my desk thinking, how did I make it through this year? I made it!!! It hasn’t been the year of major accomplishments but it has been the year of MAJOR change. Changes in relationships, job loss, health scares and even questioning my faith at times. We never ask for the tough lessons that come with divorce, layoffs, and death, but it seems like the harder experiences are the ones that leave us with the most wisdom for the next go round. Keeping it simple and short, this post is about 3 simple lessons I learned this year.
1. Evaluate your circle and don’t be afraid to make changes for the right people to come in. It’s taken great work and energy, but I’ve had to decrease the space I created for people who’ve shown less willingness to support me. I love my family and friends, but I’ve grown to love myself even more. Because of this, I’m clear about ONLY having people in my corner who support and believe in me. It took a while to accept that a couple of dear friends really weren’t available anymore. Nothing personal, but our paths simply changed. And instead of calling frequently and feeling some kind of way when I get sent to voicemail or the “what’s up?” text responded to two weeks later, I admitted my sadness about it and learned to let it go. I’d like to say I walked away quickly, but the truth is, you want to believe people will always be there for you. (and vice versa) And that nothing will ever change in spite of weddings, babies, and distance. But as I let go, I noticed some reached back and others kept right on going. Instead of making excuses for either one of us, I just let it go. Doing so creates space for new relationships connected to this season of my life. I don’t always see them, but they always respond when I reach out. I do my best to do the same. I was so used to having a tight-knit circle but with all things, even the good things change. Instead of focusing on the loss, I’m focused on staying open to the new opportunities. Leave room in the circle for people to walk with you on the next leg of your journey.
2. Believe-I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to. NO for real, I can!! I know we all are supposed to believe this but I saw it this year in a different way. Never in my life would I have thought I’d be wearing a nun’s outfit while tap dancing on stage. ??? (I had to for a theatrical production of Nunsense.) Last time I had tap shoes on was when I had pigtails and two front teeth missing. Months before that I rapped onstage to the beat of Rapper’s Delight. Yea, I follow along to songs on the radio ’til the words become too fast for me to keep up but THIS event had me rapping while pretending to be some child’s momma in front of 1000 people. Never say never. I won’t go down the other list of things I accomplished because it’s not about bragging. But it is a reminder to always look for the things you have done scuccessfully even when life doesn’t look like we want it to.
3. Let the Past Go. The last thing, the most important lesson for
me anyway, was learning to truly let the past go. Making peace with regrets, choosing not to go back into empty relationships (you know the ones that call and text sniffing around but not offering any commitment), and seeking help with battles that still bother me like procrastination. I blogged a while back about the art of letting go and it finally sunk in for me months later. I stopped trying to force relationships that were dead.( even in my singleness) This included letting go of family members that I desperately wanted to understand and support me as much as I tried to do the same for them. And I’m learning more to cling to the word of the Lord. The Bible speaks of laying aside every weight that so easily besets you. Like every lesson I learned, it took me laying situations down, professing to trust God with the outcome only to pick it right back up again. Not one to master anything, I’m quicker at noticing I’m carrying baggage and dropping it. In short, I have less expectations for people and more from God. I find I’m less disappointed in the end.
In the theater actors complete the first act then stop for the intermission. During this time, guests can stretch their legs and take a break before they wrap up the story in act two. So normally in the good plays, the drama builds up in act one and has us on the edge of our seats to see what will happen in the end. 2012 was really my Act One. Lots of drama, lots of changes, but lots of accomplishments as well. Now,
not then but NOW I see it as preparation for my act two. I can’t complain one bit about the anything that happened in 2012. Whatever hardships I had, I know it still isn’t the end of the story. Sometimes we have to have an intermission, that break time where we get shook up because things are out-of-order. The good thing is we also get the intermission in real life to regroup and change our perspectives. I wouldn’t have asked for it, but this wasn’t a bad year after all. It took me a while, but I’m ready for act two.