A new year. A new decade. This past week I have spent copious amounts of time on social media, reading numerous “New Year” posts from friends and acquaintances, celebrities and just random people that I stalk.
Everyone has a lot to say at this time of year. Thoughts run the gamut from surviving complicated years to celebrating fulfilling ones. There are diatribes about what was lost or found, the state of the world, the joy that births and weddings bring and the holes created by lost loved loves. The common denominator? Hope.
Many wish for new beginnings and better days. Some want to repair relationships; others want to put bad ones behind them. There are those that want a better world and others who hope their children will be safe. There are celebrations to look forward to in 2020 — weddings and births, milestone birthdays, travel and time spent with family.
No matter what mountain was climbed, it appears that everyone on social media, and in life, wants the next year (and decade) to be just a little bit better.
My new year began as it always does – surrounded by the friends that have become my family. However, it wasn’t without its bumps. I was distracted by two upcoming surgeries (more on that next week.) I failed to call my childhood friend at 12:01 am to wish her Happy Birthday for the first time in 40 years. I didn’t eat black-eyed peas – a Southern tradition of good luck. And I made way too much food, some of which I forgot to serve. But all of these mistakes were on the heels of a wonderful week spent with my two grown children, a blessing that I do not take for granted. After dinner one night at our favorite local tropical spot, the bill did not come because it was taken care of by my girls — a thank you for taking them on vacation. This moment brought me to tears, and made me realize that even though I had some missteps this past year, I have tremendous joy and gratitude for the life that I have been given.
If I crafted a post like the ones I scoured over the past week, it would include the same highs and lows as most that I encountered on Instagram and Facebook. Whether you’re a celebrity or just a normal human, a lot can happen in 365 days. I spent hours and days processing information about my family after my mother died and learning to let go of the past hurt.
I rekindled old friendships and redefined ones that no longer made me feel whole. I celebrated my children’s accomplishments and special birthdays, and rejoiced with friends and family during holidays. I traveled with my husband to celebrate the great achievement (outside of having my girls) of being married for 30 years. I persevered through injuries and tried my best to offer love and kindness to those in need. I opened my home to people I love and who love me back. I took baby steps toward getting to know cousins on my mother’s side, who had for many years been strangers. I let go of disappointment as best as I could. I realized that building a business is a lot harder than it looks.
So here we are again at another start line.
Another year of living, of pictures of sunsets and dogs, of people trying to make their businesses work, children graduating, engagements, birthdays and anniversaries celebrated, of love defined in different ways. We are also at the beginning of heartache, loss, discovery, and sadness. We can’t have one without the other because the scale of life has to balance. Every step of our journey puts weight on each side, tipping it in our favor or in a direction that can bring us to our knees.
My husband becomes frustrated by the endless paperwork on his desk. He says it is overwhelming at times, messy and complicated (just to couch this a bit, he is very neat.) I offer him a very simple explanation. “When your desk is cleaned off, it simply means you are no longer around to keep the mess in motion.” Morbid, I know, but filled with life’s essential truth. We are here for another year – another decade hopefully – to celebrate life’s ups and downs, to revel in the good and cry crocodile tears for the bad. We are here once again for the joy and the pain. Each day is a mystery, a present to be unwrapped, a tangle of complications to be unwoven. This is still our time to live and we need to work at it to the best of our abilities.
Happy New Year to our Living The Second Act readers and supporters. May your stories continue to flow from our pages for years, and decades, to come.Read More From Mimi
Mimi L. Golub is the Co-Founder and Co-Editor of Living the Second Act, an online magazine for women in their 40s and 50s who are seeking the truth. Mimi has written for numerous publications including The Huffington Post. She is the author of the someday-to-be-published novel, Boxed In. Mimi is also the writer and a staff editor of From Our Kitchens, a nonprofit cookbook that was released in 2018. In her spare time, Mimi loves to workout, drink tequila, and volunteer with many local causes. She lives in Newton, MA, with her husband and has twin girls who have left the nest. You can find her former work on: tequilainbed.com
Follow Mimi on Twitter @mimigolub