It’s just over one week into the New Year! What is it about each changing year that make us want to reflect back on the past year, to set goals and resolve to be better people? This year, New Years Day fell on a Thursday. It really was just a regular weekday. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of that week were all normal, filled with the regular hustle and bustle. And then we woke up Thursday morning and all of a sudden, everything seemed new. Like a fresh start. A clean slate. A time to write down our resolutions and dream of all the things that could-be in our lives for this new year. The New Year, is a big deal.
I’m just like everyone else on this planet…I make resolutions every year. Many of them are similar year after year: have more fun, spend more time with God, loose weight, etc. I do my best to keep them, but as the year goes on, life gets busy and somewhere along the way, some resolutions become a distant memory.
But this year. This year feels different. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve just come out of the two toughest and most transitional years of my life. 2013 was a year where I went from one of the highest highs I had had in my career, to being dealt one of the lowest blows, professionally speaking. I was devastated. I was heartbroken. I was angry. I put on a brave face, but that didn’t change the true state of my heart. Confused. Bitter. Lost. But as I learned, God’s peace is bigger then I could ever imagine and even though I didn’t receive all the answers, there came a contentedness in the unknown. As the year finished out, the tears started to dry up and some of that joy that was lost, was restored.
With the start of 2014, there seemed to be much more promise in store. We knew we were moving to Toronto, which excited both my husband and I tremendously. We were also expecting our third child, who we had just found out was a boy! But along with promise and excitement, came a lot of transition. We moved twice in 4 months. That was made extra crazy by the fact that I was not only in my 3rd trimester, but I had also been diagnosed with a gestational disease called Cholestasis. In short, its an illness that affects your liver and can be fatal for the unborn baby. So add a pile of stress to that already crazy situation, including weekly visits to the hospital and OBGYN to have ultrasounds, fetal monitoring and constant bloodwork to make sure my bile levels weren’t crazy, plus managing a 2 and 3 year old, with no family in town…it was nuts! I was induced 3 weeks early to avoid potential complications from the cholestasis, which resulted in an emergency c-section. Add to that, our newborn son Jude, was born with pneumonia and ended up spending 14 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. That felt like the toughest two weeks of my life and caused a few more complications in my health. God was faithful, as He always is, and two weeks after Jude came out of the hospital, we moved into our brand new home!
The rest of the year continued to be a mix of excitement of discovering new places and making new friends to severe loneliness and confusion in trying to figure out my new role as stay-at-home mom (after 10 years in the work force, we decided with 3 kids under 4, I had to be home for a season). Add in my 4 year old daughter going to Junior Kindergarten for the first time and I was just a sobbing mess most days. I quickly recognized that there was something not totally right with me and went to see my doctor. While I wasn’t shocked by what he said, it was still shocking to hear that I had been diagnosed with postpartum depression. (I will do a future post sharing more details about my diagnosis, how it happened, how I sought help and how I got better). So the end of 2014 was trying to finally find my bearings. To get mentally healthy and to get back to myself.
Needless to say, 2013 and 2014 were tough years. Lots of tears. Many sleepless nights, much anxiety, lots of sadness. One of the things I found triggered many of these “low” moments for me was cruising social media sites. Everyone seemed to be living the BEST life, except for me. Funny thing is, people who didn’t know I was dealing with PPD, thought that based on my Instagram account, my life was perfect! I can remember laughing when a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile said that. Am I just like some other people in only posting the best things? Am I putting off an image that isn’t a true reflection of what’s actually going on in my life? But how do I even share about these feelings I’m having? I don’t want to be a downer…people don’t really want to see depressing status updates or pictures of what I really look like without my game face on. These were constant areas of struggle for me.
One of the things I found hardest to see/read were posts about “living each moment like it’s your last!” I remember every time I would see someone post something along those lines of live your best life now, my heart would start to race. My palms would get clammy. I would get so anxious, worrying about the need to make each and every single moment count. Do you know how exhausting that is, especially with three little kids?! The generation that we live in is the now generation…and I’ll admit it, I fall for it too. We need to do and see and experience everything NOW! Because who knows if we will get a second chance. “Today is all we are promised, so don’t waste it.” Do you feel the crazy pressure to live up to that? Cause I sure do. And honestly, I think that’s what made me fall even further into my depression was knowing that I wasn’t living each moment like it was my last. That many moments of many of my days were spent laying in bed, having zero energy to do much of anything besides make sure my kids were fed and alive by the time their dad came home.
So now finally feeling back to my normal self again, you can see now why 2015 feels different already! I feel like I’ve fought my fair share of battles over the past two years and I’m ready to fearlessly and courageously take on this year with joy, excitement and much anticipation! And so my resolution is not to live every moment like it’s my last, because that’s not realistic. I resolve rather, to simply be present in more moments. To enjoy those precious, little moments. To not worry if every single moment is “Instagram-worthy.” To put the phone away more and to sit on the floor with my daughter and play barbie dolls. To color and paint and craft and celebrate the brilliant creativity God has given my children. To be carefree and have more dance parties. To find absolute pleasure in building my son’s Thomas the Train track for the hundredth time and playing engines with him. If we don’t leave the house all day and stay in our pyjamas while playing with toys and watching movies, that’s ok too. I’m not missing moments, I’m living in those precious moments. I’m not missing “my best life”…this IS my best life. These are the best moments, the most cherished moments.
And that’s one of my resolutions for 2015. I hope you can find more of those moments to cherish in your everyday too! Happy New Year to you, my friend!
Love & Blessings,
P.S. What are some of your resolutions? Maybe we can help each other keep them. Leave it in the comments below!