I'm posting this on both of my Samantha blogs because I think I need to remember it more than once.
I spent yesterday celebrating the end of a very difficult year. In all honesty, I hated 2011. So many things seemed to happen without breaks to allow recovery or rest. I became tired by the time February rolled around.
I went to sleep last night around 2:00 a.m. I woke a couple of hours later thinking. That happens to me often, so it wasn't extraordinary. But I want to record the thoughts that woke me for a few reasons:
1. I needed to recognize the truths in them.
2. I'm still thinking about them.
3. Those thoughts--those realizations--are why I am me.
Yes, there were some really awful times last year. Yes, I had some huge setbacks, physically, which affected how I manage PTSD and I suffered overwhelming emotional stress because of it. Yes, there were major changes in my support network upon which I have learned to rely, oftentimes too much. Yes, I was tired and aggravated and sulky on New Year's Eve because I did not like 2011 at all, BUT...
In 2011 we had one of the most beautiful summers I have ever experienced. There was little wind. We had an abundance of water which kept everything green and lovely through September. I wasn't able to run or walk in it as I would have liked, but I still planted my garden and harvested tomatoes and herbs and reveled in the riot of colors as my flowers bloomed.
In 2011 I enjoyed each sunrise and sunset with a depth of feeling I've not experienced before. Perhaps it's because I was still as I watched, or because I was allowing myself to just live in the moment. My heart responded to each colorful change, rejoiced when the sun finally bathed my world in golden light, and felt peace as the sun sank behind the mountains, the sky glowing a deep royal blue before it darkened and allowed the stars to shine.
In 2011 I was visited by loved ones, some of whom live very far away. The visits were brief but I loved each moment. I was able to return some of the visits and also spend time with friends who weren't able to come my way. We shared time, and laughter, and food, and love.
In 2011 I watched some of the people who are closest to me find new measures of happiness and love as they were married or found partners or had children. I was grateful for their opportunities to experience different levels of life and very happy for their newfound joy. I was also glad to be included, in a small measure, in the newest moments of their lives.
In 2011 I struggled--but I also laughed and played and meditated and prayed. I learned that my body is pretty amazing and while it doesn't always recover as quickly as I would like it to, it still mends more quickly than average and my expectations are unreasonable. I became grateful for health insurance and jobs. I learned to rely on people to help me when I was unable to get around as I was accustomed. I weathered emotional, physical, and spiritual storms. And I made it to 2012--I wasn't always certain that would happen.
Yesterday I celebrated the end of things that were difficult and sometimes agonizing. Today I celebrate a year that brought many blessings and beautiful moments. Those things are always there. Sometimes it takes me awhile to discover them, but I always do because that's who I am.
I am Samantha. My world, although sometimes touched by pain or difficulty or sadness, is filled with beauty and with remarkable people. And someday, because I do not avoid life, I will find peace.
With a grateful heart I say goodbye to 2011, and for each person I love, I wish your days to be filled with wonder and delight in 2012.