Earlier this morning, I glanced over my archives from this year and one word bubbled up into my mind: journey. That's the word I'll attach to 2009. It was indeed a journey, one I could never have predicted at this time in 2008. In fact, I would have looked at you as if you had two heads had you told me that in 2009 I would lose my job as marketing manager for the global company I was a partner of and had been employed by for 18 years. I would have collapsed in a pile on the floor and refused to move had you told me the people I would lose in 2009. I would have laughed in your face had you told me that in 2009 I'd face my inner math demons and take a GRE course and apply to Graduate school. I would have wondered what in the world you were alluding to if you told me that 2009 would be the year that called for the best from me in the name of those I call my friend.
What I'm challenging myself with on the last two days of 2009 is to declare the year complete. I'm going to spend these two days grieving what there is to grieve and celebrating what there is to celebrate. I'm going to ask of myself to be at peace with 2009 and then to let it go. There are three questions that are in my mind to help me in that goal.
1. What do I want to acknowledge of myself in regard to 2009?
I faced challenges and I faced them with courage. I actively practiced my trust in the Lord. I was constantly shown that although I cannot control what happens in life, I can control my response and my actions. I climbed a mountain of change when it would have been easier to simply quit, and I faced down two enormous fears that I previously thought were defining of me: that of losing my job, and that of facing my inability to conquer math. I acknowledge that I made a difference in some lives, that 2009 was a year of reaching out with whatever gifts I had, be it a dollar, a minute, an hour or an idea. It was a year of saying I'll be there, and being there.
One of my dearest friends said to me earlier this year, I know why you lost your job. It was so you could be there for us. Perhaps she is right and losing my job was not at all about me but about what I could do for others.
2. What is there to grieve about 2009?
The pace of 2009 was frightening. It was a hard year, for me and for others in my close circle. It was a year of change and loss. My heart is heavy over the loss of friends, and I grieve the loss that friends experienced. I grieve a love witnessed, one cut short by cancer.
3. What else do I need to say about 2009 to declare it complete?
2009 was my year of accepting change, facing fears, and actively being a friend, the year in which I truly learned to trust in God's plans whether or not I can see or even comprehend them. It was the year I learned to trust my responses and actions, and the year I learned that I really can do so much in the name of love.
It is my goal for 2010 to carry the best of my lessons forward and to live in peace with the future challenges because I know that the journey is the gift. What I make of it is my responsibility.
What do you want to acknowledge about 2009? What do you need to do in order to declare the year complete and move forward into 2010?