It’s the last day of the year.
I always feel a little bit of wonder and terror when I hit a momentous day like this.
All the questions…
Have I done enough?
What have I done?
Did I live well and really LIVE? Sometimes it feels like I’m just holding my breath waiting for the days (year) to pass.
It’s true that the longer I experience life, the less weight I give these big momentous days. They are still days that need to be lived well and lived with love and playfulness and curiosity and passion and SO MUCH grace–Just like any old day, with a little extra reflection perhaps.
Today has been very similar to many others this year except I actually FINISHED a workout and I actually FOLDED the two loads of laundry that I washed today. I’m killing it. Also, both of my dear daughters are napping AT THE SAME TIME today so, that pretty much makes this entire year a WIN. Somehow a two hour nap time seems so brief in relation to all I would like to accomplish in my time alone, and yet toward the end of it, I feel like I’ve lived an entire day without them. I love them so!
Last night (last minute I know) I was trying to think of ways to make this last day of the year extra special. Should I make a special meal? The house should most definitely be deep cleaned from the top of the kitchen cupboards to the tiny corners in the bathroom…especially since we need to start 2021 off on the right foot! Oh, and I need to be a fun mom! What can we do that is fun and unusual? I should make a dessert! I should be extra patient and affectionate. I should do my hair and at least shave my legs for Pete’s sake. Fresh for a new year. I definitely want to finish reading my book(s) so I can start the new year with a new book. Everything in order, clear the desk, clean the slate. And maybe I have time to actually write that children’s book I had on my goal list at the beginning of 2020? Yeah, the one that is currently three sentences long. What a joke! Anyone else?
I don’t want my ideals to get in the way of actually living well. These expectations could have easily drained the joy out of my day.
Instead, the power went out four times last night waking me each time as our fans shut off and our house alarm was triggered. Blythe woke up three times instead of her usual one. I intended to wake up early and workout before breakfast, but we slept until 8am (the dog woke me up), didn’t eat breakfast until 9am and my workout happened at 11am. But hey, it did happen today!
Today has been wonderful because of unique, ordinary moments. We got 8 beautiful inches of snow last night. Libbi asked to see out the window today and as I held her and we looked out the window together, she got quiet and said, “Snow trees, very high.” Ah, the wonder in her face! She’s been talking more and more, but I’ve never heard these words together before. I didn’t even know she knew how to say “very” and “high.” But she whispered them in her awe and my ears caught them. In that moment, the magic of the white snow frosting the trees was all that mattered to her. That little moment was enough to make this last day of the year a treasure, and one for the books. The great thing about that is, there are such moments to be noticed every day of the year.
And then there was this moment this morning where I was doing the dishes and suddenly drawn out of my tunnel vision by the most glorious belly laughter from my 7 month old. I looked up and she was watching her big sister play with something ordinary and thought it was the most jolly thing of her life. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her laugh quite like this. I HAD TO pause and just watch and listen (and take a video of course). And then we were out walking and as we passed under a tree I heard a small thud, and the snow shed from the branches had landed squarely on top of Blythe’s head as she rode in the backpack. I chuckled and she started to fuss as snow melted down her back. I took her out of the backpack, cleared the snow, gave her a hug and put her back. Another trifle confronted and resolved (and somewhat comical). I’m telling you, it’s these ordinary moments like celebrating a load of laundry finally folded. Find gratitude in the minute things.
Jeremiah 29:13 comes to mind, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
This is how I want to leave 2020–finding the good.
It’s an odd sort of new years celebration this year. Many people are relieved, overjoyed even to see the chapter of 2020 come to an end. It’s been a doozie of a year for everyone. Funny how a pandemic can be so unifying (in an odd sort of way) for the whole world. Some leave 2020 with feelings of sorrow, anger, pain, frustration, plans and dreams and hopes lost, new plans and dreams and hopes created. It doesn’t just feel like a regular old “New Year’s Eve.” It feels like more of a shift than other years with all the changes we’ve been through this year. I don’t want to leave 2020 with a curse on my lips. I want to SEEK AND SEARCH for the good that has happened.
There is SO MUCH GOOD to be found–even amidst overflowing heartache. You know it’s true. It may not feel true in this moment, but hopefully it will some day. What is one thing you are grateful for from 2020? Even if it’s as little as a good meal you ate or conversation you had or sunset you saw. That’s how we start.
Honestly, there’s no guarantee 2021 will be better; if by better we mean easier and more “normal.” I think we’re headed into even more of the unknown with a new year, the same pandemic, and new governmental leadership. That’s all okay. It’s actually good.
2020 has reminded me to really LIVE. Intentional, awake, alive, feeling sorrow and joy.
There are so many things to be grateful for. So many little, mundane moments that drip with THE GOOD LIFE. Don’t get so caught up in unfinished lists, failed ventures, laundry piles, disappointed hopes, or the fear of sorrow and pain that you miss the beauty that is indeed around you, and will always be waiting to be found.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4
My house is not cleaned. The two loads of laundry I folded joined the three loads of laundry I folded last week. Now all five loads of clean, folded laundry are still sitting on top of my washer and dryer and I highly doubt they will get put away before the end of the year. I didn’t make dessert, I didn’t deep clean the shower (on my list), we’re having our easy rice and curry meal for dinner again, I didn’t accomplish all the 2020 goals I aspired to, there’s a lot of loose ends and unfinished sentences to my 2020…AND I am SO grateful. I am thankful for the life I have lived this year. All of my sorrows and blunders, embarrassment, bumpy days, elation, bliss, fear of the unknown, joy, learning…I am a better woman, wife, and mother because of where my feet have walked and where my heart has ventured this year.
May the little mundane moments be the raindrops and sunbeams of your 2021.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Lachelle has a love for writing and holistic health. MBA, 500RYT Yoga Instructor, founder of Ello Lifestyle and Ello Candle Co., Lachelle spends most of her time as a wife and mother to two daughters, looking for ways to optimize health, create an efficiently running home, embrace the chaos, and pursue those things that make life feel enchanted.