I finally took down my tree tonight. I actually had an excuse, family was coming in from Salinas to celebrate Christmas and exchange gifts, so the tree needed to stay. Honestly, if I had my way, I wouldn't take it down until Valentine's Day. The holidays came and went so quickly this year, and that was totally bittersweet, because retail at Christmas sucks, but Christmas with your family does not. So tonight, as I type, my tree is bare, save for the star I cannot reach, and by the time I come home tomorrow it will be gone, stored in it's box in the garage.
I ended twenty fourteen and began twenty fifteen the same way, off the "grid" and with family. New Year's Eve was spent at home, with my people and a few neighbors. I spent most of the time on the couch periodically checking and posting to Instagram, crushing candies (yes addicted again), and pinning things that I will never make. We toasted the new year at midnight and shortly after that were asleep. And sleep we did, waking up at almost noon on New Years Day. It felt so good to spend a full day in pajamas, eating left overs and donut holes and Christmas cookies. We eventually left the house to see family and friends, ending the night with good friends who feel like family. I even wrote a little, which I will admit felt really good.
I've done so much reflecting, goal planning, and all around thinking about twenty fifteen. What will this year be like for me and my little family. How will year two as a working mom work out? Will I be able to fit more writing in this year? I have a new planner, full of empty days and pages, that won't stay blank for very long, and that is okay. I look forward to filling them with life, look less forward to filling them with obligations, but will do my best to find the joy in all the bullshit that may come my way. I think that is what really matters, choosing life, choosing joy, actually choosing this life and finding the joy in it. Because if I really think about twenty fourteen, I can see all the joy through all the bullshit. I can see that there were some really good moments, some really excellent memories made, and some really powerful life that we lived. I may have not seized every day, but I lived it, I survived it, and now on the other side I know exactly how I want to spent my days in twenty fifteen.
Smiling. Living. Laughing. Loving. Regardless of the bullshit.
Because it's really over. That year that I have deemed the hardest year of my life. Twenty fourteen is really over. And year wasn't the hardest, it was just really challenging. I bet this year is going to be really challenging too, because aren't all the years really challenging?
Today, as I packed away the ornaments, pulling them one at a time off the tree, Mackenzie stood beside me and cried. Cried hard, big tears and loud sobs. She begged me not to take down the tree, and my heart broke a little. Because I didn't want it to be over either. I wanted Christmas to last forever, which seems so ridiculous since it was such a hard season for me, and for us. I wanted to hold on to every last bit of twenty fourteen, even though it was so incredibly hard, which should tell me something about this incredibly hard year...
It was good. It was worth holding on to. It was worth every bit of difficulty.
So as I turn off the lights on my tree one last time, I say goodnight, and goodbye to twenty fourteen. It's really over.
And I'm finally okay with that.