My word for 2020 was joy: the act of being happy, content despite in both good and bad circumstances. I am going to go ahead and give myself a “C” on that one. It’s like I had this premonition that 2020 would have high highs and some lows, but that I desired to remain happy, content and positive through it all. Well we all know what this year brought and I think I did ok…. but overall, I would have liked to do a little better. Life is not promised to be easy and I really had thought I could learn to accept that…. but we can chalk it up to room to grow. It’s funny though, as I really think about what word I want for 2021 based on what I hope to cultivate, the challenge of being joyful has reminded me it still has time left on its year in my life.
When I started picking out words, I focused on the Christian/Catholic meaning of joy. It would be an effort to improve myself, give something to focus my mind on and cultivate in my heart while growing in faith. Plus I was likely going to need God’s help to accomplish that effort – so a lot of “win-wins”. My first word Hope was a huge success…. I focused on it, cultivated it, studied it and saw its power in my life. Joy – honestly, it would cause me to pause or try and make better choices, but mostly it just annnoyed me. Yea, yea chose to be joyful in the mess… well I didn’t sign up for this much mess… you hear me God??? Yet, I still have a feeling of wishing I could try harder at it. Well… enter Christmas.
We are struggling here. Danny has good days and then really bad ones….. he is asleep more than awake and his mental ability to be present and cope with all he has walked through and the new life he walked back into has not been very successful. Understandable – yes, of course! Easy to live with…. able to forgive the missing husband and father – much, much harder. Like in therapy to try and accept it and still be a good, loving partner hard. All I can say is walk a mile in my monogrammed boots or Dan’s worn new balances or Shannon’s patent leather shoes before you decide what this all says about us. I will just say it’s honest and still a fraction of what is at play here. But right there… right dang gone in the middle is where the chance for joy has popped up. We are so far from anything we had hoped for, envisioned and wanted – it is painful. But the fight isn’t over and some facts are still true: we have Danny here with new organs, infertility did not stop our little miracle, and following a year that was a dumpster fire I am still able to work at a job I love – these are joyful things. And are reasons enough to stand in our currently flooded basement with Danny awaiting to find out if he will be moving to hopkins over the Christmas holiday. Or if we get lucky and the plumber comes and Dan can do treatments at home… letting go of the Christmas Card visions of Christmas and just enjoying the simple beauty of being . Yup- I see you joy challenging me…. I accept.
Joy is tricky… but it is also not just mine to battle! It is for the lonely, the hungry, the downtrodden… and maybe for anyone just feeling the pressure of this time of year. And it would not exist if it was not possible…. but maybe even more importantly, it may not only be possible – it could in fact help you become a better person…. maybe even enjoy life more. So often these tricky lessons that we strive for are the ones that achieved, or even attempted, are worth it… afterward 🙂 . So I will be staring joy down and fighting hard for it … and honestly, my little tooth grin girl and the chance to be 150% focused on her and off of work should be the best tool I need. But if you are feeling the same challenge, I really hope you can find something to cling to and just celebrate the heck out of. My guess, we will find joy in the messy of the season.
UPDATE AFTER POST: The team is hoping Danny can ride it out until post holidays for a bronch. With no fever they encourage him to push to stay present at home. And the plumber came… we will spend the holiday without a dishwasher … the leak culprit! But you all know I love a good take out…. maybe joy is weaving its way in….
Thanks you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!