As we enter a new year, many of us spend time reflecting on the past year. We think about all that we have endured, all that we had longed to do but didn’t, all we accomplished, the highs and the lows, and all the moments in between.
As I did my own reflecting, my most defining moment of 2021 was losing my mom, so to me, my reflection was that of the hardest year of my life. And 2021 was the hardest year of my life, but it was also so much more than that. I was reminded by a dear friend that there were so many pivotal moments in 2021 and it made me really reflect in joy, and not just sadness.
In 2021, my husband and I bought our first home. In this crazy market, the only home we put an offer on was the home we are currently living in – what a blessing. And even better, my mom spent one of her last healthy weeks touring the home with joy in her heart and the comfort that her little girl was going to be okay. I’ll never forget how serendipitous it was that I was at my parent’s house when I found out our offer had been accepted.
We were able to get pregnant and even better we were able to share that pregnancy news with my mom about a week before she passed. I had always prayed for my mom to be a grandmother, since I knew how amazing she would be at it, but once that goal felt unattainable, I prayed instead for the moment to share with her that I was expecting my own child. God thankfully gave us that moment and it will forever be one of my favorite moments. Another milestone in 2021 celebrated with my mom by my side.
We celebrated my mom’s life in the true fashion she wanted us to – with joy, dancing and happiness.
I watched my body grow and create life. We hosted a housewarming and a baby shower in our back yard. We hosted our first Christmas. I made it through all of the holidays without my mom with love in my heart. I saw purple on my darkest and brightest days and I always felt like my mom came through for me when I needed her.
But I think the most important thing I accomplished in 2021, was the gift of giving myself love, grace and compassion in what was the hardest year of my life. I lost so much of myself when I lost my mom, and instead of trying to push through the pain, I allowed myself to feel my feelings and to take a step back from work and blogging and life and focus on me and what I needed. I finally was able to grieve yet take care of myself at the same time. And now the days feel lighter. I can think back on memories of my mom with a smile and not with overwhelming sadness. I’m doing exactly what she would want me to do – continue to live my life.
2021 sure had its’ ups and downs, but I am grateful. I hope you can take some time and look back at 2021 in a positive light as well, no matter what happened to you or what you did or didn’t do. You survived. You got through it. Even when you thought you couldn’t or you shouldn’t, you made it. And that in itself, is an accomplishment. 2022 will also be full of hardships and happiness, but you can get through it, just like you have every year in the past.
My new years wish for you is that you always remember your worth, that you take a step back and focus on your mental health when you need to, and that you always seek to find the light in the darkness. Because it’s there, just like the strength within you, the light is there.
Cheers to loving ourselves, being kind to ourselves, and finding the light in 2022.