Oh, my friends. I have just been reading my last several posts, and… what a weepy place this has been for the last… forever.
The months of November and December were rough ones for me. For reasons that were no one’s fault, we were miserably understaffed at school, and on any given day I was doing at least 3 people’s jobs. Our kindergarten team went more than a month without a single day where all the teachers and all the aides were present on the same day. Illness and family crisis plagued… everyone but me, it seemed. And, while I am VERY clear that good health for me and my loved ones is nothing but a blessing, there is also a particularly grim, gruelling, grinding, sort of challenge in being THE ONLY ONE who shows up every day and DEALS.
I was really barely limping along. Holding my breath. Stretched as thin as I could get, fingertips outstretched waiting for December 21st at 11:30am, when the barefoot marathon sprint would END.
And that was before Newtown happened.
Newtown hit me hard, in a way that maybe no other traumatic news event has. My emotional response crippled me, and I can still fall apart if I think about it for too long. It created a dark space inside of me, and while that space is far, far, more healed than it was even a week ago, I’m not sure it will ever fill itself in. It might be there forever, like a bruise that hurts when you press on it, or accidentally bump against it. I feel like Newtown is going to change our profession in ways we can’t yet understand. I know it has changed me.
So, that was how I started this Christmas break. Limping. Broken. Tearful and angry and tired and sore. Craving silence and warmth and rest. Scraped bare and empty. Empty. So, so empty.
And now? Now, my friends, with 5 days still left in this blessed vacation, my heart is full again. Full to overflowing. Full to the point of tears (this time, the happy kind). Last night (well, technically, early this morning), I lay in bed after the most lovely and fun New Year’s celebration I have had in years, and realized: I am happy. I am, almost, too happy to sleep. How did I get HERE, from… there?
I have been, deliberately, extremely gentle with myself. I have allowed myself days on end of pyjamas and books and tea and couch, without guilt or judgment.
And yet, I have not allowed myself to get completely sucked into inertia. I seen people, talked to them, smiled and laughed and enjoyed them. I have put my loved ones first: lunch at the nursing home with Grandma and my cousins, errands and banter with my brother and his best friend, 2 days in a row of long lazy morning coffee with my dad. Movies with my mom.
I have not worked. Not for a second. I do not plan to. Not for a second.
I have looked at beautiful things and savoured them.
I have gratefully accepted the love that has been extended to me by friends and acquaintances far and near. Even when it was hard and humbling to accept it. Even when accepting that love has meant admitting weakness, fear, brokenness.
There are lessons, here. Reflections and thoughts and ideas that may lead to… resolutions? mantras? wishes? for this new year that arrived this morning looking like this:
(From my bedroom window, this morning at my Dad’s beautiful home.)
Those things will come, probably soon. There is endless time, there are countless words, for reflection, resolution, hope.
But right here, right now, there is this: the good kind of tired that comes from a long celebration with people you love; and gratitude that this new year, less than 24 hours old, is already so full of beauty.
Happy, happy 2013, my friends. I hope your hearts are as full as mine.