The days are long, but the years are short.
I found this phrase to be incredibly true this challenging 2023 year. And while I hope this coming year isn’t full of challenges like the last, I have been insistent on rearranging my thoughts into a mindset of expecting that challenges will arise and that I will need to find ways to overcome them and equip myself with intentional responses.
I say that because while I couldn't have predicted a huge mass being found right in the middle of a move to a whole new area (and there never is a way to predict something like that ever) or the fact that our babies became incredibly sick and we found some medical issues during that, I have resolved within myself that if something similar happens or there are some set backs then I will face them head on knowing that I can overcome them if I have positive mindsets set in place. And my hope is that when we experience the periods of time in between those challenging events, I can focus on how they will be sweet and full of memories.
I also have found that I have seen people (myself included) have been having hard years for the past few years and always hoping toward the end of a year that the next one will be better. Only to find that it was still hard. I've witnessed this cycle in myself too. I was constantly telling myself the next year will be better, I will make it better, it has to be better. But it hit me, what if it never is and what if I am setting myself up for further disappointment by making resolutions that I don't intend to keep and only hoping for a better year without putting the work in to make it better. Don't get me wrong, I don't think every year will always be harder and harder, but what if right now, for some people and myself included, we are in a season of challenges. My family and I have faced some challenges the last three or so years and I always felt defeated when December was nearing the end and I would look back and realize how hard the year was. I even found myself doing that this year, except much earlier on. I felt so defeated by September and thought the year was ruined. But towards the end of September I pretty much made up my mind that even when I didn't feel up to it, I was going to make the 2023 autumn and Christmastime magical for our kids. And because I had resolved that, my attitude started shifting towards filling the time periods that weren't challenges with fun activities and making sweet memories. That's how I landed on shifting my mindset to making 2024 a good year even if there are hardships on the horizon. This year has taught me that there are things that are beyond my control and hardships can happen at any time, but I can give myself the tools to better handle those situations in the coming year.
So to ring in the new year, here are some wonderful things that happened in 2023 to place my mind in a positive light.
Jonathan got accepted into a pre med program to become a doctor with the Coast Guard.
Although I had a huge mass and a major surgery, the mass came back benign.
We started homeschooling our two oldest boys and it has been one of the best things we have done.
We love Virginia. Admittedly much more than we thought we would and I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to live here.
Here's to looking forward to a new year with hopes that there will be less challenges and more positive mindsets that when we face those challenges we can overcome them and fill the time in between with sweet memories. I wish a hopeful 2024 to you all and pray that it is filled with many blessings.