In 2016 I said goodbye to what I recalled then as the worst year of my life.
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House fire, Divorce and dead broke left me wanting and wishing for a lot for the coming year.
Near the end of 2016, upon trying to enroll back into school to make my life better I was met with a slammed door. Unbeknownst to me, my previous student loan debt had defaulted to collections and until I could make 6-months of on-time payments, or find a way to pay the debt in full I would be ineligible for financial aid for schooling.
Being a resourceful girl, and determined not to take no for an answer I resorted to selling the only asset I owned after my divorce. My car.
I took it to a dealership and after a quick test drive and appraisal they came back with a number I was excited about. Sure, I would be out a car but with the right amount I could buy a cheaper car, pay off my defaulted student loan and go back to school.
Until they told me, upon a check on my car’s VIN, it had been a total loss at some point. Quickly the decent amount appraisal was no longer on the table. And they could only offer me $500.00 for it.
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Being that I had no previous clue my car was ever in a wreck previously, let alone considered rebuilt; I was devastated. I called my mother on the drive home:
“Why?! Why can’t just ONE thing go right for me this year! Why? Why can’t I just go back to school like I want to? Why do so many stupid things have to stand in my way! Can’t I just end this year on a high note?”
Always patient, and understanding my frustration she said the thing all mothers say in times like these: “Well, Lace, It must just mean God has a different plan for you.”
I rolled my eyes.
Thought; Really mom? Better than my dream of being a Nurse? Because at the time, that was what I wanted more than anything. Regardless of my aversion to blood or my struggle with completing schoolwork. I swore that was the only career for me.
When 2016 ended I said “Good Riddance!” And I promised myself, like so many others do, that 2017 would be my “best year yet!”
But it wasn’t.
2017 came with its own trials and struggles. I lost some people, gained some perspective, set new goals and when last New Years Eve came I told myself again:
2018 will be my best year yet.
Has it been? No. Not really.
But that’s ok.
Every year we as a society put so much weight at the beginning of the year and the end of the year. To us, it’s when we measure our progress. Did we get that promotion? Lose the weight? Buy that house? New car?
Did we finally save some money? Stop gambling? Stop Drinking? Stop smoking?
And every year, we fall short.
Now maybe you didn’t this year, that’s great. Good for you. I’m not talking to you.
I’m talking to the girl who tried so hard to make better decisions this year and still made a lot of wrong ones.
I’m talking to the guy who wanted to get clean and wanted to stay sober and couldn’t.
I’m talking to the woman who wants to lose weight but can’t bring herself to go to the gym because she’s ashamed of how she looks.
Yes, you. You there, the one who made big promises to yourself to do things differently. To be someone else this last year and you fell short.
It’s totally, and completely Ok.
Two years ago, I was certain the only career that would bring me joy was Nursing.
But I can tell you right now, without a doubt writing is my calling. I was made to write, and to write so that others could read and would listen.
I was made to touch other’s lives through words and this year I have.
But I had no idea back in 2016, and if you had tried to tell me I would’ve said you were crazy.
My point is: you don’t really know what you are destined for this year.
Make plans, set goals but live in the moments.
Live in the memories you make with your kids, your friends, and your family. When you look back one day it’s not likely to be “Remember 20–, that was a great year…”
It’s going to be “Remember that awesome Memorial Day BBQ we had, and you cooked those amazing ribs and we had that giant slip and slide! That was amazing!” or
“Remember that year in school where our son grew two grade levels because his teacher took the time to care and he finally felt smart and proud!”
You’ll remember the wedding, and the love but not the year.
You’ll remember the milestones and the ages, but not the year until you think hard.
That is what you will remember.
So it’s ok if this wasn’t your best year yet. And it’s ok if this coming year isn’t either.