The Hard Doesn’t Mean That The Good Didn’t Happen

The Hard Doesn't Mean the Good Didn't Happen

The Hard Doesn't Mean the Good Didn't Happen

I’m trying to look through a lens of perspective at the year that was, or still is, 2014.

It’s difficult. I struggle to see past the Big Things—the loss, the hard times, the depression, did I mention the loss? I maintain that 2014 ranks as one of my hardest years ever, with 2003 surpassing it.

But good things happen every year.

Every. Single. Year. Even during the worst years. The hardest years. The most excruciating years. Even in the midst of all the ick and the ugh and the loss and the pain and the hurt and the omg-make-it-stop, good things happen.

I am guilty of focusing too much on the omg-make-it-stop in 2014.

Yes, a lot of OMG-MAKE-IT-STOP happened. Incessantly. One thing on top of another. And just when I thought it might be okay to come up for air, another wave crashed down on top of my head. Crash, crash, smash, smash, bubble, gurgle, choke. All year long.

Except for little bright spots.

And those little bright spots matter. A lot.

I remained mostly blind to those bright spots until recently. In fact, I can give Facebook—of all things—the credit for opening my eyes to the light I couldn’t, wouldn’t, or refused to see. Oh yes. Facebook. My husband calls it The Devil, and in many respects, he’s right.

But Facebook reminded me about The Good and The Light in a year that felt steeped in darkness.

Yes, I’m talking about Facebook’s Year In Review for 2014. I’ve seen lots of complaints. I understand the complaints. I do. The algorithm’s main problem is that computers don’t offer human empathy or compassion. Likes and comment don’t always equate to what was a highlight in our year.

But mine? Reminded me of some really good stuff.

Like when LittleBrother got Student of the Month? I forgot. Oops?

Oh. The Pittsburgh Marathon? That was this year? I RAN A MARATHON THIS YEAR!

And yes. Grandma died. And it was awful. But the love people showed me during that time? Amazing.


And then there was that Major Award. Not too shabby, folks.

Next up, a visit with my daughter. Oh man, that was so freaking amazing.

AND THEN! My husband ran the Columbus Half Marathon with me! MY HUSBAND. RAN 13.1 MILES. BEST EVER.

Yes. And then my other Grandmother passed away. And the fallout was painful.

But then my daughter celebrated her birthday and the Internet surrounded me again.

The Hard Doesn't Mean the Good Didn't Happen

I thought about the awesome things that didn’t make the review. My sons’ birthdays. My birthday. Some accomplishments. New friends. My fastest mile of my adult life. Growing in leaps and bounds in self-compassion and understanding. Great times with friends. Our annual beach vacation. And on and on.

And yes, I could take the time here, in this space, to list all the things that went wrong; there were many. But I can’t. I don’t want to. I don’t feel a desire to do so at this point.

I’m not saying the good stuff ends up outweighing the bad. 2014 remains the hardest year I’ve had in quite some time. I feel thankful to simply be sitting here, typing this, sharing with my readers, my friends, my loved ones. But the hard doesn’t mean that the good didn’t happen.

I need to hold that close, repeat it to myself often.

The hard doesn’t mean that the good didn’t happen.

The Hard Doesn't Mean the Good Didn't Happen

In case 2015 doesn’t go as swimmingly as I dream, in case the bad starts to outweigh the good again, I need to tell myself—time and time again—the hard doesn’t mean that the good didn’t happen.

So… thanks, Facebook? You’re good for something.

Here’s to 2015!

The Hard Doesn't Mean the Good Didn't Happen



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The Best Christmas Gift of the Day

The Best Christmas Gift of the Day

The Best Christmas Gift of the Day

I really struggled with The Sickness today. At one point after cleaning up the mess from Christmas Waffles, the room started spinning. To say that I didn’t feel well ranks as a gross understatement.

Still, it was the first Christmas the boys and I spent at home, so I wanted to make a tasty Christmas dinner.

I worked hard over a roast, mashed potatoes, and other side dishes. Writing this now, I just realized I forgot to make one of them, and I blame Medicine Head for my forgetfulness.

Right before we sat down to eat, I started to worry. I felt overly warm due to spending hours in the kitchen and thus my frustration level started to rise too. What if the boys complained about dinner? What if the meat was tough? What if my mashed potatoes were too lumpy? Or too runny? Would I be able to hold it together and be patient despite feeling so awful?

After we sat down to the table and prayed, the boys started to inhale dinner. INHALE.


About five minutes into the meal, BigBrother made me cry.

But good tears.

“Mommy, this meal is so good. It’s like the best present of the day.”

LittleBrother agreed. They both started to go on about the meat and the potatoes and how yummy everything tasted. This all came hours after they declared my waffles for breakfast the “best waffles ever.”

I attempted to lift a bite too my mouth, but my vision blurred. I set down my fork and blinked back a few tears. I didn’t consider that the tears I might shed at the dinner table would be caused by my boys’ big tummies and big love. I didn’t even imagine that they’d declare my meal the best gift of the day.

It took me awhile to clean up after dinner as I hand-washed my grandma’s china and then loaded the dishwasher with the rest of the evening’s dishes and utensils. But I did so with a heart so full of love and appreciation for my family. I also did so with a chest and sinus system full of congestion, but I didn’t feel so awful anymore.