Digging for Good in an Objectively Terrible Year

I really don’t want to write this post.

It’s always a challenge to write the last post of the year. Looking back always means having to work through those year-end blues. Regrets for missed opportunities. For all the times I stumbled. The goals I never quite achieved. All those little and big things that wear on you. Or at least on me.

But this year just felt worse. So much loss. So much darkness and meanness. So much stress. So many people hurting.

And then there’s that one thing I don’t want to address, but I know I have to.

That Whole Cancer Thing.

Some of you will know that I was sick for a long time before I was diagnosed. And I probably had the cancer for a long time before I even knew I was sick (Stage IV doesn’t just come out of nowhere). You witnessed the effects first hand, and I’m sorry you had to.

Once the diagnosis came, it kind of derailed my life. I couldn’t work. I didn’t have the strength to even walk, let alone get out and about like I used to. For a while, I wasn’t even sure I had the strength to write. I was lonely. I was scared. Part of me still is.

And when I remember 2016, I have to remember all of that.

But I’m trying to remember the rest of it too. I’m trying to remember the good.

I’ve received so much love and support from everyone. Friends and family I’ve known for years, who have always had my back. Friends I’m still getting to know, who weren’t afraid to reach out to someone who was too shy or scared or at least unsure to reach out to them. People I’ve loved and appreciated. People I’d taken for granted for far too long. So many people, so many friends, that I can’t begin to name them all.

You gave your time. You gave your presence. You gave your gifts (I wasn’t going to share that link – I always feel a little awkward about asking for help – but I suspect my sister would at least approve). You embraced me when I could be around for you, and forgave me when I couldn’t. Literally and figuratively, you showed up for me.

It’s such a rare thing to know, while you’re still here on Earth, how much you’re loved. For all I’ve been through, I have the gift of knowing. And for all the bad stuff, for me that one bit of good is the best thing about 2016. It’s the thing I’m going to carry with me into 2017.

So what comes next?

My goals for the year ahead are the same goals I had in the year behind, the goals cancer kind of derailed. Build my calling into a career. Get out and engage with the people in my life. Do better. Be better.

And get better.

It probably won’t be easy. I still have a long way to go. But I’m fighting.

And I know I don’t have to fight alone.

Thank you, everyone. I know I say it all the time now, but I still don’t feel like I say it nearly enough – I love you all.

See you next year…

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