If I had to sum up 2009 in one word, that word would be "Change". This year has brought more of that one thing into my life than anything else, and it’s been a challenge. Change isn’t my best thing, I admit that, and this year was apparently sent to fix my little wagon for once and for all.
In 2009 I made some easy changes – like I spun and then knit a sweater, becoming someone with a new skill. I made some hard changes, becoming someone who could- together with a friend, start and run a company and change the world into a place with the Sock Summit and Knot Hysteria in it. I changed to have the skills that took, and I changed into someone who could handle that. I learned new software, I hired people. I fired people. I changed. Our house changed. Sir Washie moved on, the plumbing broke, we got a new furnace, and we had a big hole where it turned out that 120 years of change had changed our foundation in a big way without our permission.
I watched other people undergo huge change too. I have had friends and family divorce, separate, lose jobs, get jobs, marry, have babies -get sick and get better. They all changed in the process. I supported my husband while he started a new company and changed into a person managing that big construction process. I watched him continue evolving as a spouse and a parent and changing into someone who can make a decent pasta dish. (Big change.)
My oldest daughter Amanda changed. She became a 20 year old, found the part of her that was brave and left the country and the continent and went to swim on the Great Barrier Reef and walk in a rainforest without me. My middle daughter Meg became an adult, and changed into a University student and someone who could ride her bike to Montreal to create even more change in the world. My littlest daughter Sam was 15, and she has endured the deeply personal change of taking on the world on her own terms and learning the hard thing, that sometimes change happens whether you are ready or not, and she rose to the occasion in a way that made me proud.
A lot has changed in the last year, a lot. Good change, scary change, big change, change that improved things in the end, change that really did not. Change that shook me, frightened me, made me laugh and then left me crying in the bathtub. Change that changed everything and change that oddly, changed nothing. There was change that I resented and fought like a demon, and change that I had been waiting for that left me breathless with relief when it came. Change that made me ashamed, change that made me proud of myself and others, change that made me feel like I don’t think I can take much more change, and change that made me understand deeply that change is all there is, and I don’t get to pick, even if I don’t want to change anything.
2009 was change, and as I sit here on the last day of this most eventful of years, looking around at nothing that is the same as it was 365 days ago… I realize that as beautiful, necessary and enriching as much of this change is, I can only do one thing. I can end as I mean to go on. Strong… worried, brave, frightened, happy, sad, hopeful and not alone. In other years I have tried to end the year as I meant to go on by cleaning my house so I don’t take dirt forward, tidying my business so as to not take unfinished things forward… and this year, all I can think is that in the face of all this change, I might need the big picture.
This year I am ending as I mean to go on by trying to appreciate the change in myself and others, and by acknowledging that I’m not really in charge of much change, and that all will be as it should. After all, everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not all right, it’s not the end. My house is dirty, my business is unfinished… but I know where my girls are, safe and strong, my husband loves me, our families are intact and my changed house is still standing.
I’m ending as I mean to go on….and 2009?
Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.
Happy New Year everyone. All our best to you. Catch you on the other side.