Monday, December 29, 2014

What Makes a Year Good?

The end of the year.....In some ways, I use to dread it as I took stock of everything that happened in the course of 365 days. An evaluation would then be made to determine if overall the year was a "bad year" or a "good year."

The mental checklist was something like:
-Have we had many hospital admissions, illnesses, or unexpected health issues? If yes, that's a big indicator of a bad year.
-Have we had lots of medical bills? If yes, another sign of a bad year.
-How much money is left in savings? Not much? You guessed it, blame it on a bad year.
-Was I able to stop stress eating and FINALLY get into those smaller sized clothes I've been saving for "one day?" No, still in the "temporary" fat jeans? Yikes! Another sign of a bad year!
-Were we able to take that vacation that we dreamed about taking at the beginning of the year? Occasionally, the answer has been yes and finally a point was scored in favor of a good year.
-Have we had a major crisis that was unexpected and caused a disruption to our life? Most likely, every year the answer was yes & thus, a bad year was the final result.

The year end evaluation based upon these factors mostly seemed to point to one thing. Bad, bad, bad. But, I don't feel "bad" about my life. Sure, there are days that are hard and are bad. Any day that involves the ICU, respiratory distress, surgeries, or panic at 2 am aren't necessarily ideal, but they pass. There are plenty of good, happy times too. Why does bad seem to be the main descriptor of my year then?

A couple of years ago, I started to take stock of how I was taking stock of my days and my years. I now understand my unrealistic expectations were always resulting in my year being "bad." A year without hospital admissions would be awesome, but maybe it's not attainable. If that's my goal, then I'm setting myself up disappointment. I once dreamed of a day when Jaycee would be off medications. Over the last two years, we have added more and more medications. It's unrealistic for no medicine to be a goal; it's a fantasy world. Being upset that medical bills prevented us from buying some new object of our desire, just seems trivial. And should my pant size really determine if my year was good or bad?

A good year is simply this, am I ending the year:
-loving my family well?
-loving God and following His commands?
-demonstrating God's love to people?
-in a better mental state than I started?
-with my husband and two children alive?

Yes? Forget the other stuff! It's been another successful good year!!

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