I used to love New Years.
Reflecting on the past year. Setting ambitious goals for the new year. Turning over to a fresh start on a new calendar. It all felt so empowering. It was exciting. Infinite potential. Blank canvases. Opportunity.
But all of that is different now.
Like so much else in my life, this is different.
I still dive head-first into reviewing the year and reflecting on life and change and whatnot, but it seems like that head-first dive quickly turns into a feeling of overwhelm and struggling to keep my head above water. I think about how this New Years’ is so much different than it should be. I think about how this New Years’ is so much different than I imagined it would be even last year. I worry about having overspent and underinvested in the realms of finances, family, and self-care. I wonder if I’m really doing my best at carrying grief. My head starts spinning with all of these thoughts and questions and wonderings.
And then there’s the Christmas hangover. We have experienced such beautiful moments of joy and togetherness with the people we love over the past week. Dear friends who welcomed us in once again for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Late nights of sitting around kitchen tables playing cards and laughing. Quality time with our families over the course of a couple days up in Cleveland. Good movies and heartfelt car conversations. The incredible gift of hearing people say Alexander’s name and remember him in the midst of our celebrations.
And all of those beautiful moments colored by the underlying grief of just plain missing our sweet son.
As 2017 draws to a close, I just feel weary.
It’s different than last year. I don’t have the same fears or the unbearable sadness that I was carrying last year. But as the calendar turns once again, I find myself just feeling weary.
I’m weary from the energy it takes to put on a happy face when some days are still so hard.
I’m weary from doing the hard work of grief and talking about the hard conversations.
I’m weary from the emotional energy I have spent this year trying to figure out the changes that have happened in myself, our marriage, friendships and other relationships in the aftermath of losing Alexander.
I’m weary from getting too much sleep some nights and not nearly enough sleep most other nights.
I’m just weary.
And so, tonight, we’ll ring in 2018 quietly with our closest friends. We’ll usher in another year with all of its hopes and fears. We’ll think about Alexander and say his name and dream about what New Years’ Eve would be like with an almost 18 month old running around and keeping us on our toes.
And in the midst of the weariness and the ushering in of another year, I’ll think about that sweet boy of mine, just like I do every single day.
Oh, my Alexander.
You are loved.
You are loved.
You are loved.