"525,600 minutes, 525, 000 moments so dear, 525,600 minutes, how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee...." Those of you who know the song can sing along, and we can keep singing for as long as we like because this song can capture so many emotions, perhaps all the emotions one can possibly experience in a year. Love, life, death, loss, joy.
A year ago I wrote about all the lessons I had learned in life, as I approached my looming, gloom and doomed alleged expiration date of 40. Alas, I made it. I survived. I lived another year and guess what? I lived to tell about it... or I will talk about it. But where to start. Hmmm, that is the question.
Throughout this fine year that has been my 40th on this earth I have expressed many pleasantries, quite positively positive when it came to my birthday. As the big day approached I recall the nervousness and anxiety of how to celebrate it, such a milestone. Chuckle. New adventures and opportunities. Good people around you and wine, what else does one need, right? ;)
Life happens and it brings with it a little bit of everything! Instances and events brought on by life came in the unexpected, yet calculated form of arguments and misunderstandings, trips planned, flights scheduled, flights cancelled, birthday parties and weddings, illnesses and hospitals stays, more arguments, and the ever-present fear of what if... What if I told the truth about how I really feel? What if I say no and create more tension? What if I fight harder for what I want and what I love? What if I would have done things differently? More calculated, yet unexpected circumstances included a difficult transition for a boy into middle school and all the anxiety, stress and fear of disappointment, morphing suddenly, and almost seamlessly, into a more sharp and responsible young man. A-ha! There is light at the end of that tunnel, at least!
Relationships severed; compartmentalized after the harsh reality check that no matter what was done, said, or intended, it fell on deaf ears. Messages were sent, loud and clear in the silence of the void and the hollow echo of the darkness. A soul, a heart, torn to little pieces laid almost life-less on the ground.
Yet, there was a light. In the darkest of nights and saddest of moments, a bright, tiny spot inviting to the eye wanting to be looked at, to be touched. A voice calling out and saying "that's it, get up, let's go!" That, and the unsolicited winks from heaven that manifested themselves as friendly text messages, phone calls and even better, Skype calls, from friends who just want to say hello. Just that. No agenda, no reason, just to check in on you and see how you are. THAT boosts any soul and along with a soft, gentle shove needed to then look in the mirror, we say to ourselves as we face our fears and may look our worse, I am here, I am alive, I am blessed. There's work to do and people depend on me! There are so many aspects of life to be grateful for and so we should be. And so, I am...
This past year brought an incredible opportunity for perspective and the fear of turning 40 only rectified, throughout the year, what was slightly lost: direction. I had forgotten a few things about myself and of myself. I was steam-rolled and whiplashed into remembering where my passions lay, what my plans were, and with an open heart and mind, I had no choice to release it all into the Universe.
It is incredible how life works and when you stop fighting the fight that is not having faith is the plan that the Divine, God, Allah, Buddha, whoever you worship, has for you. I had to get out of the way, of my own way and give more into my faith. And with that, I close what has been an incredible year of many blessings, many indeed, and I thank those who were part of it. Students thanked me for my work with them, parents advocated and supported my ministry with their children, colleagues extended a professional and mentoring hand, which I am and always be grateful for. Friends, oh my friends, I have no words to express how much I love you- and you know who you are!- for you have been with me when you did not have to, when you were not asked to, and for no reason other than to be a friend. You pealed me off the ground when I was stuck with Crazy Glue and lifted me up like a crane that builds skyscrapers. I am better because of you and for you I will do the same. That is a promise.
As the 41st year begins, new-old friendships rekindle, new-old plans revamp, new-old goals are set. New-old sass makes a comeback with a sparkle in the eye and a red lipstick to match! New trips are planned! Remember I always have that extra suitcase packed, just in case. ;-)
Essentially, the moral of the story is, a year can begin one way and end a totally different one, never knowing what curve balls life will throw at us. What can we do about it?? Get out of the way and let it happen. Trust in God, the Divine and let go. If it doesn't feel right, if it doesn't flow, as much as it hurts we must let it go and let us go - let go of the remorse, of the guilt, of the pain. Forgive ourselves as much as we feel we need to forgive others, for the forgiveness in ourselves come from not being honest with our deep feelings, which are our own and no one else's.
"525,600 minutes... how do you measure a year? In truths that she learned, Or in times that he cried;
In bridges he burned, Or the way that she died!" It's time now to see that the story never ends, life goes on and WHAT DO WE DO WITH IT? We mourn and grieve our losses, yes. We celebrate our joys, double yes.
Thank you is a word that comes to mind right now. I am grateful, and grateful I will always be for this last year. But even more grateful for what is yet to come.