New Years Eve 2017. I could crack this year up to being pretty darn crappy. My dad died suddenly. Enough said. Let's hope for a better 2018 everyone!
However, life isn't that cut and dry, black and white, so good or just plain bad. Lots of really good things happened this year too. I think about the day to day things, the milestones for my little babe, the luxuries of living in a good safe neighborhood in an affluent town - clean water, low crime, ready access to healthy food and the outdoors, etc. Fun family vacations, no serious health problems, growing my own food because it makes me happy, not because I have to. A happy wedding that the little babe and I were a part of. Feeling the love and support of friends. All of these things make life sound pretty good in 2017. And then that one big event, the black hole in that good life.
My Dad's death has made me think a lot about life in general - my life, other people's lives, the appearance of other people's lives. I have to admit that despite my recent ranting about Instagram, I have been sucked into looking at a couple of pretty pictures lately. In my case, my "happy pictures" involve rustic homesteads in the woods, homegrown and homemade this and that, plenty of wool and mugs of hot tea. And at first glance, these lives look pretty ideal. They make me yearn for something other than the suburbs, feeling that we have too much store bought stuff, thinking that I definitely should be making more things from scratch and then life would be happier, because certainly life is more peaceful sitting in that cabin in the woods with the handwoven blanket on your lap made from your own sheep's wool. If I only had an Aga, life would be perfect. But then. But then I read some of the comments that go along with the pretty pictures and I find out about the person dealing with lupus or another person having a multitude of tests done for an undiagnosed health problem. Or the person who has to work in the city in a cubicle, yet yearns for a creative life at home with her children.
Everybody wants to find their own version of peace and that peace takes a different form for each person. Meditation, religion, nature, living frugally, having it all, getting a good night's sleep, forsaking technology. A couple of years ago, there was this thing in blogland for New Years when everyone was choosing a word for the upcoming year. A word that they would live by, use as inspiration, that would make them a better person. I didn't really buy into it - I'm not one for setting goals, looking for emotional inspiration - but I chose one. I don't remember what I chose. I could look back in the archives, but it doesn't matter now. On one hand I think life is just life and it is going to happen regardless of what I do or think. On the other hand I think life is what you make it. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle - life will happen regardless of you, but how you react to what life throws your way is what is important. I don't expect to find perfect peace in 2018 and I am okay with that. Life is hard, unfair, just plain too crappy to describe sometimes, but it also can be so good. So instead of one word to hold onto this year, I will try to hold onto that. The goodness in life and the hope that it helps ease the bad.
Happy New Year folks.