Be honest – where you just a tad bit relieved when the clock struck midnight and we said goodbye to 2017 and entered the new year?
2017 was quite the year. It was a L O N G one. And it was an uncomfortable mix of highs and lows. I found it sometimes hard to laugh or relax without feeling slightly guilty that I wasn’t watching the news more or calling my senators more, or just being more.
As we move into 2018, let’s pause and properly say goodbye to 2017. It’s important to celebrate the lessons, successes, joys, and laughter while also honoring the traumas, pains, fears, and tears. Then we can truly move into the new year unburdened by the previous year.
Grab your journal, listen to this playlist, and give yourself the space to process 2017. Here are some questions to get you started:
- What did I learn in 2017?
- What surprised me in 2017?
- What was the most fun I had in 2017?
- What made me cry in 2017?
- What don’t I ever want to forget about 2017?
This year taught me that there is always more to be healed. And true healing can only happen when you let go, get out of the way and actually believe that it’s possible. I started the year by acknowledging that I have chronic illnesses. I spent much of 2017 at the doctor, taking supplements, getting blood drawn, feeling invisible, and researching holistic protocols for healing. And I ended the year in about the same place I started it – in terms of my test results. As my naturopath put it, for every two steps that I took forward, I took one back. I moved inches in terms of my overall health. And this year taught me [well reminded me] that it’s never about what it’s about. It’s not about the Lyme or the Epstein-Barr or the numerous other chronic bacterial and viral infections that have set up residency in my body. It’s about my belief about my health. My belief about my body. And my day-to-day decisions. Chronic stress and chronic illness are not friends. And I learned that until I address the small things, the big things won’t change much.
The mixture of hate and hope in this country surprised me this year. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I spend too much time in my zen bubble. But each story surprised me for than the next. It also surprised me how many people needed #metoo to have any clue about what goes on in the world. I was also surprised to realize how far I had drifted from my feminist roots. There was a time in my life when I thought that I was going to be the next Gloria Steinem. I led walk-outs, sit-ins, and benefits in college. I marched. I researched reproductive rights, worked at Planned Parenthood, and was the first women’s studies major at my school. I planned to smash the patriarchy for a living. And along the way I drifted. Got distracted. Lost my voice. But this year certainly reconnected me to that part of myself and have shifted everything that I do.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t have much fun in 2017. And I planned on making up for that reality in 2018. Here was some of my funnest moments in 2017: talking with my soul sisters into the early morning hours at Kriplau this summer, reading Harry Potter for the first time [and somehow knowing absolutely nothing about the stories beforehand], quiet moments at home with Andrew and Scout when the heaviness lifted for a little while and we laughed or smiled or just sat in silence together, and joining Gabby at Kripalu to share my story in front of 300 people.
What didn’t make me cry in 2017? Here are some of the [many] things that brought me to tears in 2017: Reading Me Before You, just about any Glennon Doyle post or video, sharing and reading #metoo stories, getting my blood drawn, test results, letting people at work get to me, money, feeling isolated, baring my soul to friends at Kripalu, the series finale of The Vampire Diaries [don’t judge], and this song.
I don’t want to forget how strong I was in 2017. Because it’s so easy to look back and see weaknesses. I want to remember how resilient I was. I want to remember all of the students I supported and encouraged at work. I want to remember the amazing clients that I worked with. I want to remember I hope I felt on the day of the women’s march. I want to remember how I showed up for myself. I want to remember everything. Because it’s all worthy. The pain, the pleasure, the love, and the fear. It’s all real. It all happened. And I want to remember it all.
I honor each and every moment of 2017. And I release each and every moment of 2017. I am open to all that I will experience in 2018.
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