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As I slide past the 2015 finish line, I feel a bit like that girl in the corner clutching a beat-up, dog-eared, tattered and mud stained notebook while everyone else is cracking open bright new shiny pages in their 2016 composition books. Complete with cute etsy designs on the front cover.
If you can relate, read on as I pay a brief tribute to a hard, messy, and sometimes flat out ridiculous year. 2015, you will always remind me that weird is the new normal.
- Remembering Cupageddon
You guys, remember cupageddon?
Those red cups. The hashtags. Embarassing Christians
people who use Christ as an excuse to be petty
people who talk about people who use Christ as an excuse to be petty.
We made it. We will go on. We will hold our heads high as did the who’s of who-ville now that the coffee-company-who-stole-Christmas has been exposed.
Actually, in honor of cupageddon, I fed $6.95 into the Starbucks machine and got back this shiny red cup ornament.
It’s stamped “2015”, so I can always remember the year that was ridiculous. It will hang on our tree (yes yes, a pagan symbol in our Christian home) as a reminder to me about the War on Christmas, because it is very real. And very over. Thus the whole “good news to men and peace on earth” bit. When I see this red cup, I will hear the angels whose trumpet song was a cosmic call to arms because Death was about to be defeated as the greatest secret weapon of all time had just been born: God in the flesh.
Cupageddon, thanks for the reminder.
- Hoverboards Boards with wheels and our Presidential “candidates”.
- Syria. And Paris. And San Bernardino. And Prayers.
I mean, really, the collective aches that echoed around the world this year left us all with bigger questions than answers. And 2016 will probably bring more crISIS. All while we keep manufacturing and wearing adult diapers. It’s too much, you guys. It’s really, honestly, too much. We are living in unprecedented times fighting an unprecedented enemy. You better believe that these things are gonna keep knocking me to my knees in prayer, where I believe we do our best battle.
- Life from Loss.
You guys, finding Life from Loss is one of the hardest, bravest things we can decide to do. Digging through loss to find the life, even though every fiber in your being wants to run the other way, means you will get even messier. And Loss is everywhere. All around us. This year has cemented for me that loss forces us to our knees, but that’s where we do our best digging in the dirt. 2015 knocked me flat in so many ways. My heart broke and ached more ways than I can count. But 2015 also brought rainbows and sunsets and snuggles with my best guy. I found wide open spaces, and realized my siblings are some of my best friends and favorite people on this planet.
I spent money on counseling and started embracing self-care, not as a trend, but as a necessity. I left toxic places and people and breathed deep of healthier skies. I learned am learning to be inefficient. Friday’s Rain came out this year and my muddy hands got to hold others as we dug in and declared together that loss doesn’t have the last word. Life does.
- Go Mermaid hunting.
As a sister of the girl who farts rainbows, I guess it’s only fitting that I would be invited on a mermaid hunt this year. I learned a lot about mermaids as my niece told me what to watch for. The full moon was out (the only time they show themselves), and it was the time of night when the sea is the same color as the sky – something I’d never noticed before but now vigilantly pay attention to. And the sign, the way you know if you’ve seen them and they’ve seen you: a thumbs up. So now I call this the mermaid emoticon.
While as a general rule I don’t associate with mythical creatures, I realized I could probably find more magic if I was watching for it. Mermaids are rare creatures. And sometimes I think we forget – I forget – the value of being rare. I forget to watch for it. I forget to appreciate it. In myself and in others. And let’s be honest, being rare can be exhausting, costly, and even dangerous. But someone somewhere thinks you are worth searching the horizon for. So be you. It’s actually more rare than a mermaid sighting.
So, thanks 2015, for being Ridiculous. And helping me be just a bit more, too. I’ll be holding onto these tattered pages and keep drawing on them in the new year, because somehow I think they’ll be better teachers than bright and crisp new pages with 8 ways to be a better me in 13 minutes and 27 pounds lighter.
What about you? Is this a year you’re eagerly opening crisp new pages (don’t worry, we can still be friends if you are – you might even inspire me), or dragging mud-stained lessons across the finish line?