Goodbye December/ Goodbye 2016

It occurred to me an hour ago that I had not posted a single thing in the month of December.

I should have realized this sooner, but the truth is, I was too busy. Too overwhelmed. Too distracted by a season that should have been more focused.

My last post to this blog was November 8th, and after that it seems as though I have blinked and today is December 31st.

To say that December was hard is a complete understatement. Busy became a four letter word. I struggled the entire month to hold on tight to traditions, my knuckles turning white, and seemed to fail regularly. Christmas cookies were a three night project. I took a day off from work to wrap gifts. Class gifts were forgotten, gift cards were chosen last minute, even my regular binge of Christmas movies didn't happen before the 25th.

I spent the last 10 days before Christmas in a panic. How would it all get done? The class parties and the dance lessons, and the parties at the dance lessons. The Girl Scout party, the "Adults only" Christmas party, the family celebrations. As usual, they all fell into place, some last minute, some by the skin of our teeth. Some things we just had to let go of, because there were never enough minutes, barely enough moments.

That is why I woke up on Christmas Eve and decided to be happy. I made the conscious effort to be content. That is why I watched all five of my favorite Christmas movies between the 24th and the 26th. All in bits and pieces, I only saw my favorite scene in Love Actually (Hugh as the PM dancing, because duh); half of The Holiday while Santa worked furiously putting together a doll house. I switched back and forth between A Christmas Story and Scrooged. Home Alone on Christmas Eve afternoon while I baked cakes. It wasn't pretty or perfect, but I saw enough of them to soothe my soul. To make it feel like I was ready for Christmas.

Because I needed to be ready, for my family, for my kids, and I wasn't quite in the Christmas spirit. But the bits and pieces came together and made it feel whole enough to tear open gifts and eat candy first thing in the morning. To enjoy gifts of coloring books and colored pencils. To laugh with and at cousins I don't see regularly. To make reindeer food last minute with my girls who couldn't go to bed until the milk and cookies were out, and the reindeer food sprinkled.

We spent a rushed Christmas happily. All the traditions we didn't get to were forgotten Christmas morning. We didn't look back, we were too busy celebrating.

Truth is we are still celebrating. Our tree is still up, the lights are still on the house.

We haven't finished quite yet.

Because we made it to today, with a few bumps, but we still made it.

I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful for today and all the yesterdays of 2016. Even if some of them were complete and total bullshit. Even if some of the days included loved ones getting life altering diagnosis. Even if some of those days included fights about politics with family members. Even if some of those days included mom fails and wife fails and all around adulting fails.

I'm grateful I'm here. With my health and my family. With the people I love and those that love me. Tonight I'm heavy with reflection as I say goodbye to 2016. I'm heavy with hope for 2017. Mostly I'm happy and thankful as I greet a new year. It's like opening a fresh notebook. Blank pages just waiting to be filled.

Cheers to filling them well.

Chapter One...

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