As I was growing up the New Year was a benchmark for me. Each New Year’s Eve celebration would bring resolutions and promises that I would do better.
I would look at each New Year as a clean slate to succeed at whatever I thought I needed to succeed at. Funny, I can’t remember what “it” was. Each year end I felt that I failed to complete an important task – of accomplishing something big.
It took a tragedy of losing my oldest child to change that perspective. It is now August that is my benchmark. There is one big difference. Before on New Year’s Eve I would look back and see what I didn’t do, and now each August I push myself to keep moving forward. When tragedy hit our family, it was as if we were at ground zero. A clear line was drawn. With each year a significant change happens, a shift towards a more purposeful life and to live intentionally. I no longer feel that disappointment of not succeeding. I now know that life is a series of beginnings and endings and that you have to work through each ending and begin again. This is the 5th August and once again I am pushing myself to keep moving forward and push myself out of my comfort zone. Every part of me wants to crawl into the comfort of grief and stay there. It is where I feel most at home, in that sadness. It is out here in the world that I am uncomfortable and struggle through each day. Growth requires struggle.
Last August I started writing a curriculum for a self-awareness program. It is a program that meets once a week for 8 weeks and its goal is to change one’s attitude. I did not know I had it in me to write for people. It brought me great joy when I completed the curriculum and the class was successful. This year I need to find a new outlet to keep me writing. Maybe this is the place to work that creative muscle. And knowing that someone might read it gives me enough motivation to keep writing.
Each August marks the years that I last saw my son. How I miss him, but to look at it from a different angle, it is a new beginning. A new year to honor the time I had with him by forcing myself to live intentionally.
New beginnings are terrifying – and you never know if you are on the right path until you traveled it for a little while. So here I go, I wonder where it will lead me….