Friday, January 2, 2015

So long 2014, can't say I will miss you

Dear Mother Nature: it would appear you were not listening very well.
Myself and many other people requested snow before Christmas so we would not just have to dream about a white one.
There is something wrong with having a green Christmas.
I can recall childhood Christmases full of the white stuff so we could go tobogganing and make snow forts or our own version of Frosty before running into the house to warm up our frozen feet by the fire while sipping a mug of hot chocolate.
We should not be taking the dog for a walk while wearing running shoes and a jacket.
However, two days after the last present was opened, Ma Nature and her cohort, Old Man Winter, got together and plopped a bunch of the white stuff on us – when it is no longer needed.
Snow is a Christmas thing and once Christmas if finished, I personally no longer have a need for the frozen rain that piles up on the driveway, sidewalk and car.
I especially do not need it on the car where it makes seeing out the windshield most challenging and causes me to be late for work (OK, that last part isn't too bad actually.)
The problem is, we are still looking at many more weeks of winter before things start to heat up and the glorious days of spring thaw the land and warms my heart.
But no snow for Christmas day seems a rather fitting way to close 2014, a year fraught with challenges, heartache and some very dark days.
My children lost their beloved grandma – my mother-in-law - last year. While at times we  had a stormy relationship, there was always love, so her passing was a tough one for me, but much tougher for my wife and our children.
At times the little old lady drove me crazy, but I am sure there are times I drove her crazy. Such was our relationship.
Christmas was tainted by the constant feeling something was missing throughout the entire festive season.
The year that is no more also had its fair share of challenging mental health days. Some very dark days were endured in 2014, days of immense difficulty.
The first half of 2014 was, simply put, no fun at all. Living with mental health issues can be a nasty business and there were many days during the early part of the year that were nearly more than one could bear.
But as always, you soldier on, you grind it out as best you can knowing this too shall pass. And for the most part it did. The darkness did return in spurts throughout the year, but compared to the constant barrage of the early 2014, it was a blip in a relatively tranquil sea.
But I shall not miss 2014, nor recall it as a banner year in my life.
It wasn't all bad and 2014 held moments of great joy and victory, but to be honest, I am kind of glad is it over.
I do not put much stock in the changing of the calendar.
Typically the arrival of a new year feels a lot like the old one, but I am hoping for and am optimistic 2015 will be a better year.
And why not? Why let the hard days of 2014 carry on and plague a new year that everyone says is a chance for a fresh start?
There is no reason to think 2015 will bring with it the same bitter fruits of 2014. And if it does, well, then all I, or any of us can do for that matter, is keep on keeping on.
Take the hard days one at a time knowing eventually the dawn will break, the birds will sing and life will get better.
I have no grand wishes or resolutions for 2015, just the hope of better days. And right now, that is good enough for me.

Copyright 2014 Darren Handschuh

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