I know it sounds trite, but I honestly can’t believe that 2019 is already over. I know I’ve reached the age where time seems to go by at warp speed, but I’m still having a hard time accepting that we are now into a brand-new year.
Part of the problem is probably that this past year has been an especially busy one, in both good ways and bad. It was a good year for travel, with a relaxing family vacation in Florida and several visits to out-of-town family and friends. The highlight was a wonderful cruise on the Rhine River last May that enabled us to visit four different countries and sail along the famously scenic Rhine Gorge. We also welcomed a new dog into our home, which is both a joy and an adjustment as we all learn each other’s ways. (He’s taught us not to leave food unattended, and we’re trying to teach him that furniture is off-limits for dogs.)
The biggest challenge, by far, was my mother’s decision to move into a small apartment in a nearby retirement community. It was absolutely the right decision, but it involved a tremendous amount of time and work to get her packed up and moved into her new home. And then we had to go through all the stuff she and my father had accumulated during their lifetime and decide what to do with it all. (Note to self: get rid of all unnecessary possessions. Immediately. Don’t saddle our kids with this task.) Getting the house ready for it’s new owners was the next step, which involved lots of cleaning, painting, updating, and dealing with a few unpleasant discoveries such as the impressive mold growth under the kitchen sink from an undetected leak.
All in all, the past few months have been such a whirlwind of activity that the holidays basically sneaked up on me this year, and by the time I got into the Christmas spirit, they were almost over. Can it truly be time to take the Christmas tree down when it seems as if I just put it up yesterday? Thank goodness for the traditions that we observe each year, because those provide the memories that make the holidays so special and real, even during the years that they rush by a little too quickly.
And thank goodness for the changes that each year brings, too. It’s comforting to know that Mom is so happy in her new apartment, with a support system that she needs at this stage of her life. It’s fun to see my daughter and son-in-law buying my mom’s old house and making it into their own family home. Best of all was the special present we received from my son and daughter-in-law on Christmas morning: the news that we’re going to be adding another grandchild to our family this coming June.
So while I might not have been quite ready to say good-by to 2019, I’m not really sorry that it’s over. I’ll treasure the good memories and try hard to remember the lessons I learned from the challenges. But mostly, I’ll look forward into 2020 and do my best to make it a very good year. Happy New Year to you all!