Last night, sitting on the sofa in the stillness of the night after Hannah and Dennis were asleep. I sat there looking at the Christmas tree and the beautiful lights reflecting on this past year. We are just 2 days away from a new year but there is so much 2018 has taught me; perhaps more than any other year ever. 2018 will go down as a difficult year, but it will also be a year that taught me some valuable lessons.
- Life is precious and fleeting
This one has been the most difficult thing to learn this year. The loss of both of my in-laws and my grandmother was both shocking and sad. It was just another reason to remember that life isn’t guaranteed and death is inevitable. As sad as those 3 losses were we had several other tragic losses of friends that were both unexpected and tragic and again, another reminder that life is short and we are often caught off guard when a loved one passes.
- Don’t take health for granted
This one has been particularly a bad year for me to realize this. Usually, our years are about Hannah’s poor health but this year it was about mine. In May, when I got sick, it was sudden and hit me like a train. I now have most of our questions answered and will begin treatment in 2019. We are still awaiting one more test to be done but at least we have answers and with proper diet, exercise and medications; although life will never be like it was prior to May, I will be okay. But, I will never again take good health for granted. Just one more thing that can change in an instant.
- It is okay to walk away
Sometimes walking away from toxic and mean people is just plain necessary. You try and try and try to be kind, loving, compassionate and forgiving but some people will always dislike you no matter what. Sometimes it is necessary to just wash your hands and not look back. This has been one of the toughest lessons for me this year as I have truly tried to be kind and loving to those who never return it, but sometimes enough is enough and walking away is the only thing that keeps you sane.
- Embrace your journey, no matter the difficulty
I think I FINALLY did this in 2018. It has taken me 13 years almost to really embrace this journey God gave me with Hannah. You have to know my whole story prior to even getting pregnant to know why this has been harder on me than some people would think. And, there are times still where I think…..”Dear Lord, what were you thinking giving me this life.” But, HE chose me for this. I didn’t choose it, He chose me and thinking of it in that perspective changes your mindset. I have a hard time not looking at the “what-if’s” in life or the “what could have been” and those are dangerous thoughts both emotionally and mentally. I have felt over the years that I lost my identity, and in some ways I have. I am no longer “Tamara” but either “Dennis’ wife” or “Hannah’s mom.” That is sometimes a hard pill to swallow especially for someone like me who is quite the extrovert. I miss going, doing, being around others. I miss the freedom to just go and do whatever I please BUT…..with that said, this year has shown me that my purpose and my mission in life is to be Dennis’ wife and Hannah’s mom and that is okay. I don’t need a job to fulfill me. I don’t need interaction with people to sustain me. I don’t need “freedom” outside my home to get me up and ready to tackle the day. All I need are Jesus, Dennis and Hannah. Anything and anyone else is just icing on the cake. This journey is not easy, in fact, often times it is extremely difficult. Having a child who is 13 years old physically yet 5 years old mentally and emotionally is not easy on me mentally, emotionally or physically but I look back at the FACT that God chose me and He knew He would equip me and I was the best one for the job. Realizing that and understanding that was the big key to embracing this often times very difficult journey we walk.
- Be grateful for the little things……
I have learned to be grateful for the little things…..sometimes that is just that the laundry is caught up and I have a whole day where there is no laundry to do, HA! A mind and heart towards gratefulness is huge in healing your heartaches and worries. This has been a difficult yet needed lesson for me. Instead of waking up in a spirit of “oh yay, I get to do the same thing all over again” I wake up thanking God for another day to be alive and to be Hannah’s mom and Dennis’ wife. It changes your whole mindset and heart when you are grateful. There are days where my heart and soul ache badly but I remember just how much I have to be thankful for. A husband who works hard (often times working lots of off-duty) to provide for us. A beautiful home, 2 good and reliable vehicles, food on our table and money in the bank. We have all of our needs met and a lot of our wants (at least the inexpensive wants, ha). My husband goes out of his way to help with Hannah and does more than is required of most dads when their daughter is a teenager, so I can get out of the house, run errands and have some “me” time. I miss interacting with friends/co-workers/family but my life and journey is what God chose and I need to be grateful for that.
2018 will not go down as a “happy” year but it will go down as a learning year. One of many trials, heartaches and valuable lessons learned. Happy New Year friends and family. Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019!
Until next time………