Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008's Theme Conclusion

At the beginning of the year, I had two words that kept coming back to me over and over. That is how 2008 became the year of Laughter and Possibilities. I had theme verses to match, as well, and I cannot remember my exact references. One dealt with how laughter can turn to tears, even in the best of situations. So, how did the year pan out?

As for Laughter, it was a good year. I learned that I enjoy being a mom the most when the boys and I have something to laugh about together. When I relax and laugh with my kids, I like the person that I am a lot more.

Laughter also applied to my friendships throughout 2008. I got closer than ever before to my local girlfriends. I think I had to have laughed more in 2008 than I have since before I ever heard the term "Postpartum Depression."

It isn't that there was more to laugh about though. I have learned about the intimacy that comes with female friendships. Even in the most un-funny situations, my girls and I can laugh at something. We laugh until we cry over a misspelling of a text message or a sarcastic comment in Sunday School. House Bunny quotes are sure to end any seriousness we were feeling and make us giggle.

I had to leave my friends behind to move to Tupelo. This is the hardest adjustment I have made in a long time. You don't realize how much a part of your life someone has become until they are suddenly a 4-hour drive from home. I have managed to see at least one of my girls, once a month. Four of us went camping in October. We went back to Brandon for Thanksgiving, and Cat stopped by my house on her way to TN, Christmas night. There have been a few nights when I go to bed and just wish one of them could be here, so I cry. And I think of how laughter often turns to tears.

But tears can also turn to laughter. So, I am expecting an upswing soon. ;)

Possibilities. What a crazy theme for the year. When the word wiggled into my brain last January, I was reading a Yada Yada book and thinking of how awesome things begin as possibilities. It didn't occur to me, then, that not ALL possibilities are happy things.

As the year began, I was working as Key Accounts Manager for the Cokesbury store in Jackson. I was enjoying my job and the people I worked with. I was also exploring the possibility that I might actually have a career-minded bone in my body. I was learning just how much it is possible to get done in a day, when you have a purpose and some form of a schedule. I saw how it was possible for my spirit to actually thrive off of routine.

When I traveled to TX, last February, I caught some sort of viral infection, collapsed in an airport bathroom and was taken to the hospital via ambulance. They told me once I was re-hydrated I could go but ended up keeping me 3 days. As they ran test after test and Corey flew in to rescue me, I faced the very real possibility that my life might not be a long one. I remember lying in that bed, staring at wires and tubes, thinking about Natalie. That may have been what jump-started my need to fight God over losing Nat... again. But, that is another post altogether.

As Corey drove me home, I discovered something new about myself: I like being rescued.

Back to work, I considered a job as a store manager in Columbia, SC, where I grew up and where my parents still are. I didn't have any real desire to leave Brandon (see aforementioned friends and laughter), but the possibility SEEMED very God, at the time. My vision swam with possibilities for my future. I could become a store manager. Maybe go back to Columbia and live near my family for the first time since I got married. My kids could grow up with their grandparents nearby. But, could I handle the long hours and all of the responsibility? Could I still be a good mom? What would that mean for Corey's school and career? I could stay on as KAM at Cokesbury and perhaps move up the ladder until I found myself working in the Publishing House. Where better to be discovered as a writer than by making friends with people at the publishing house? Maybe I could use my salary, after debt was paid off, to go back to school. Could I juggle work and school and family?

In the end, I came to realize that most of those possibilities will still exist later. At the time, I was seeing my children only long enough to feed them bathe them and put them to bed. I didn't get off work in time to pick them up from daycare and the babysitter's, so Corey did all that. My house was a disaster, which drove Corey nuts. I had become very apathetic about certain parts of my job (selling choir robes always made me think of the vanity of the church). So, I left to be a full-time mom again. I missed Louise and Osman. I still do miss Louise and Osman. When we were living in Brandon, I tried to visit often. Now, I have to deal with emails and phone calls.

I have learned a lot through this theme. The possibilities for my life, for any life, are endless. Every choice can bring a new adventure, a new friendship or a new loss. The possibility of a career brought me to Louise and Osman and many other people that I met while working at Cokesbury. The possibility of a move to Tupelo brought me to these wonderful teenagers and the friends I am making. The possibility of illness brought me to a place where I could engage God honestly and search for the peace I needed in Natalie's death.

Tomorrow holds an infinite number of possibilities. Also, everything I love about my life was once only a possibility. My children were possible pregnancies and possible births. My husband was once the possibility of love. My friends used to be strangers. It was possible I would meet them and possible I would get to know them. Possibility needs circumstance and my own personal will to become more than JUST a possibility.

So, here we are at the end of 2008. My theme for this year was almost too easy. The years before were not as much fun. 2007 was the Year of Purpose and Vision, which brought a year of struggles about who God intended me to be and who I wanted to be and what the heck I am here for anyhow. 2006 was the Year of Contentment. Never ask God for contentment unless you are ready for Him to strip you pretty bare. 2005, the first time I accepted a theme, was the Year of Freedom. It was, by far, the hardest and the best theme God has ever given me. It laid the foundation for all that has followed.

Onto 2009... The Year of Patience.

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