Last year during the holidays, this lovely quote from Neil Gaiman appeared on my timeline and it resonated with me deeply. So much so, that I took it as a sort of “to-do” list for 2016.
I am happy to report that each and every one of these things happened for me.
I like to believe it’s because I live by this philosophy:
I still have occasional dark and grief-filled days missing my husband, but the challenges and changes we’ve experienced in the past year have been positive.
In 2016, I did indeed read some fine books, my favourite being Wild by Cheryl Strayed (sent to me by a dear friend in Toronto). I related to that book in a way I haven’t for quite some time and it inspired me to make some art and get writing again – thus launching this blog. I have made it my resolution for 2017 to write every day.
I had hoped that I would surprise myself by finding a new talent or strength I didn’t know I had, but it manifested much differently: I forgave someone who hurt me to the core.
Someone I had trusted as an intimate confidante turned on me in my darkest time and said downright hateful things about me and my late husband. It took a long time – almost a year – and I didn’t think I’d ever find forgiveness. However, when you make the decision to approach life from a place of love and focus on the positive, certain emotions like anger and resentment cannot thrive for long. It was a great weight off my shoulders and extremely liberating.
(Note: forgiving the person doesn’t excuse the behaviour; it enables you to move on with your life without the burden of old wounds.)
Also, I kissed someone who thinks I’m wonderful.
His name is Mike. I hadn’t been looking to start dating again – in fact, it was probably the last thing on my mind. It just happened. He had some time off work and a chainsaw, so a mutual friend sent him my way to do some clearing for me.
We formed a strong friendship over a couple of months as he helped me with the property and to navigate my grief. He provided a big shoulder to cry on when I needed it, and it was oh-so-nice to tell all the old stories again and to laugh with someone.
Then, one night by a winter campfire, he kissed me.
That was several months ago, and our family bonds continue to strengthen and grow.
And grow and grow and grow…
Shortly after Mike moved in with us, the Land of Lackadoo saw a population explosion. When we first arrived here, my son and I, we were two. Mike made us three. Now that Mike’s daughter and her three wee girls (ages 2, 5 and 6) have come to stay with us, we are a family of seven. The adults have tripled and the number of kids has quadrupled. (Also, the domestic animal population has quintupled.)
It’s busy, messy, loud and so, so, so much fun – filled to the brim with magic and dreams and good madness. This property was meant to echo with the sound of children laughing and playing and it brings so much joy.
Wishing you a Happy New Year and all the magic and dreams and good madness the coming year has to offer. #TeamLackadoo