I know every December I talk about how quickly the time has flown by and how I can’t believe it’s already almost the New Year. And this year, like usual, I feel a lot of that. I can’t believe I only have one more semester left until I graduate, that I’ve been living in The Carolinas for a year and a half, and that we’re getting married in less than seven months. But I also feel something new this December. I feel READY for the New Year. I feel ready for 2017.
I think I can speak for a lot of us when I say that 2016 was kind of a tough year. It came with a lot of challenges and surprises and it was jam-packed full of STUFF. Memories, trials, moments of elation, moments of devastation. Overall the year was incredible and my heart is overflowing, but at the same time I’m…tired.
It seems funny to categorize a year as “exhausting” but that’s really what 2016 was. So many nights I rolled into bed tired and woke up tired. I went to the gym tired, I ate pizza tired, I did homework tired. I logged 60 hour work weeks tired, I watched too much Netflix tired, I talked on the phone tired. That’s not to say that those moments weren’t also happy and energetic and incredible, because they were. I think I’ve grown more in this past year than I have in any of the others. And I guess that makes sense, because when you’re a kid going through a growth spurt you’re always tired, so as my soul and heart have been growing, they’ve also been a little tired.
I’ve always thought it was kind of silly to make New Year’s resolutions, and am not one to make promises and vows when January rolls around. Why wait for a certain month when you can make the decision to change at any time?
This year, though, I’m READY for January. I’m ready for a clean slate and a refilled cup. As I sit here at the airport, looking forward to seeing my family for the first time in seven months and my fiancé for the first time in three, I look around at all of the travelers milling about. There’s business people traveling alone, never glancing up from their smartphones, and teenagers playing on their tablets. There’s little kids racing up and down the hallways and weary parents chasing after them. There’s couples holding hands, couples fighting, and a few lone souls with headphones on just plain conked out getting what is sure to be a cricked neck. I look at these people, and I wonder where they’re going. Are they going home to loved ones? To see a friend they’ve been missing for years? To squeeze in one last business trip before the holidays hit?
I imagine all of their stories, and I imagine that maybe they’re all tired in their own ways as well. Maybe some of them are mostly physically tired-their kids keep them up all night, their boss keeps them at work late, their school schedule doesn’t allow for much more than sporadic naps. Maybe they’re mostly emotionally tired. They’ve suffered a loss, they’ve hit a dead end, they’ve been stuck in a rut on the same old routine.
But you know what the great thing is about the New Year rolling around? That every single person can have a fresh start. We allow a new year to dictate change if we want it to. We allow ourselves to make resolutions and vows to be better or different or stay the same, if that’s what’s working. A lot of people resolve to love more and fight less, to take more in and forget about the petty things, to make more memories and take that leap of faith that they’ve been hesitant about.
And I think that’s awesome. I’ve loved this year and the moments and people in it but I am READY for 2017. So with an open mind and overflowing heart, I look forward to the holidays and the New Year and wish you and yours the best year yet. And if you’re someone that too has had a rough year, or is just really tired, or is struggling with the holiday season…I wish you peace and comfort and rest. Know that I am praying for you and sending you love and wishing you a 2017 full of everything you want it to be.
**If you’re having a hard time this year or this season, or could just use some extra support in life, please reach out to me. I’d love to pray for you and love you and encourage you.**