It’s time to bid farewell to 2017, and I am more than happy to wish it good riddance. This year has been incredibly traumatic, emotionally draining, mentally exhausting, and… there were some good moments. But they’ve been overshadowed by the bad shit.

The Christmas season was one of extremes for me this year. I love Christmas. I love spending time with family, doing Christmas things together, watching Christmas movies. I was absolutely thrilled that my only sister and 4 year old nephew could come to visit from Australia, and it was the first time in 5 years that my parents and my sister and I were all together around Christmas. I was full of excitement that my daughter could spend time with her cousin, and there were so many precious moments while they raced around the house together, and she played the role of the big cousin, trying to teach him things.

And while I listened to their laughter and giggles, my heart was breaking at the same time. My other nephew, my sister-in-law’s only son, was absent – baby Hunter who had died when my sister-in-law’s house burned down in August. All the things my daughter was doing with her one cousin – she will never get to do with the other. All the things we talked about – that she would be able to teach him and show him when he was older – will never happen. We didn’t get to show Hunter our Christmas tree, give him his first stocking, play Christmas songs for him, and read Christmas stories with him. He’ll never decorate a gingerbread house with us. He’ll never dance to my daughter playing Jingle Bells on the piano.

I never knew my heart could feel so full and so empty at the same time. I never knew I could experience so much joy and so much grief simultaneously. I don’t know what to feel. I don’t know how to react to the mess of emotions inside. I laugh. I cry. I want to dance. I want to hide under the covers and never come out.

All I know is that I have to keep going. Somehow. There’s no other alternative.

new year new beginnings hopefully not a new pile of shit juicygreenmom

So New Year, I welcome you. I hope that you will bring a new beginning. Not a new pile of shit. I hope you will bring a way to emerge from this past year – a changed person, with a new outlook on life, and with a new focus on how to make it the best it can be.

What are you hoping for in the new year?