It's been a fun break over here at the Naturally Sweet Sisters house. For the first time in many weeks, I think all of us feel balanced, rested and relaxed. It helped that we watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation a few times too... nothing like perspective on the holiday mayhem from an another silly family!
With great joy, I am ready to say good-bye to 2013. While I am not one to think negatively of the past (what is done, is done), I am slightly delirious in my hope for the future - and to not repeat any of the things that we went through.
I am excited for 2014! I keep repeating to the girls that 'the world is our oyster!' I know they do not fully understand that, but I want to impress upon them that we have a chance in our darkest moments to find a pearl.
2013 changed me. I think it changed all of us and that is not a bad thing. Even while it was incredibly difficult year, we learned a few wonderful things and those are what we think just might be the pearls of life.
1.) There is strength in families. I hail directly from a small family but my extended family is HUGE. On the day that I received some terribly sad news, the first name that popped into my head was a dear aunt. I called her to relay the message and before I could get much more out, she was already offering her support. Since then, I have done something that I think I should do even more and that was to tell her simply that "I love you". Because out of that first news was the realization that life is ever-changing and there will never be enough moments to express how you really feel.
2.) Laughter is really the best medicine. I say this because it is actually true. Even in our darkest moments of 2013, there were these shiny moments of laughter. I found that if I held onto them and really let the laughter bubble up and out, that it made the situation seem less dismal. It happened when I was cleaning out my mother's home. She was a saver of many items and some things were just plain funny. At one point, on the verge of tears from the stress of cleaning it all, I turned to my brother and together we just laughed. We laughed until our sides were bursting and our eyes were streaming tears because our situation was just completely ludicrous. Later, right before Christmas, I found a one-a-day calendar called, "Crap From My Parent's House" and I sent it to him. On Christmas morning, I received a phone call of unbridled laughter - so much that he could barely talk - and it once again made me smile and giggle. Instead of focusing on how much I was missing my mother, I was thinking about the bond that I shared with my brother; BECAUSE of my mother. For Christmas morning, that laughter brought all of us together. It continues to do so because I am smiling even as I type this.
3.) Kids are only little once. We all instinctively know this. In dealing with losing so many loved ones from my family, I have been blessed with reliving this. To many of these loved ones, I was the child, not the adult. Thinking about my time as a kid has given me the insight of what inevitably will happen with my own daughters. One day, they will no longer be 10 and 12-years old, but instead beautiful, bright adults with their own families. I don't think about this to try to stop them from growing up but instead, to savor each of day of their present childhood. Just like in my first pearl of wisdom, time truly is fleeting.
So for the new year, consider cracking a few oysters. You may even find a pearl.