We are down to the final 2 weeks of 2014. Majority of people are feeling good knowing they are about to get a fresh start at completing a New Year. Many of you might already be making your New Years resolution list. And I am sure a lot of you probably have the same vague items on your list… “Get fit”, “Eat healthy”, “Exercise”, “Join a church”….
December 31st, 2013. New Years Eve. I picked up my best friend from her Dads house. We had casual conversation that led to not knowing where we wanted to eat and driving around for an hour. (The most we ever fought about was not agreeing on dinner places). I suggested Olive Garden, she suggested Mirko. We ended up in a booth at Mirko Pasta. We causally laughed about the fact that the pasta we were inhaling was going to be our last “fat meal” of 2013. After dessert, I pulled out my phone and we started on our list of New Year resolutions. They read like the examples I listed above. Some more detailed than others.. “Become wives”, “Go on our honeymoons”, “Take a honeymoon trip together because our weddings were so close”… I can’t go into detail about those because my eyes swell up with tears. On the way home I remember busting out laughing with her because we both said it was the most fun we’d ever had on a New Years Eve night. A vivid point out that we were both getting older. Her response to getting older “Embrace it”. I remember thinking, “Another positive thought of Brittany-1; Another negative thought of Samantha-1”.
Let’s fast forward.
As I stare at the list we made last year, I come to the vast realization that even though 2014 was probably one of the worst years I’ll ever face, I don’t want to let it go. I don’t want to start a New Year or make a new list. Because with 2015 comes the painful truth that TIME IS MOVING ON. And to accept the fact that time is moving on means I must accept the fact that it’s moving on without Brittany. Some of you may say that sounds completely absurd, while some of you might know the exact feeling I am talking about. Wouldn’t the exact thing you wanted to do be to have a new, fresh year to move on? Not exactly. You see, the more it moves on, the larger the gap grows from the last time I saw her, our last memory, or the day our world came crumbling down. And that scares me shitless. I often think, if our waiter that night would have looked at me and said “In 4 months, you will lose your best friend. The very one that sits at this table with you now..”, I would have laughed in his face. I’m sorry, have you lost your mind? Nothing will happen to her. Nothing CAN happen to her. But exactly 4 months later, the impossible happened.
My list for 2014 turned into this: “Question God and your faith everyday”, “Don’t even put on makeup because chances are by the end of the day, it will be cried off”, “Question why” (more times than I even care to count), “Push the people you love away”, “Become scared to get close to anyone because the fear of losing them, too, will take over”, “Emotional eat”, etc. But as a look back on my list, one important thing sticks out… “Be STRONG”. Well, that one was hard. All the other ones came easy. But, BE STRONG? Not so much. That’s something i’ll have to carry into 2015. And hopefully succeed.
My point is this- you never know what can be thrown your way in 365 days. Your list won’t play out like you want it to, but that’s okay. Ultimately, its not our list that matter anyway. Truth be told, your best friend could be taken in 2015, you could lose a friendship, you could have to bury a parent, spouse, child… So I encourage you to make your list look like this:
1. Watch a sunset with someone you love
2. Watch the sunrise with someone you love
3. Mend a broken friendship or relationship (Life is too short!)
4. Watch your children grow and accept their mistakes, it simply means they are full of life
5. Stop waiting for the right time and MAKE TIME
6. Lose interest in material things, those aren’t welcomed into Heaven anyway
7. Take chances
8. Visit another Country and learn the culture and language
9. Pray. This one is vague but I mean, really PRAY!
10. Look past peoples flaws and love them anyway, everyone has them (including YOU)
11. Embrace whatever age you are turning this year, it means you’re getting older but it means another year of experience. It’s a privilege denied to many
12. Randomly call or text an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while
13. Enjoy your favorite foods
14. Pick up a hobby that really, really brings out the best in you
15. Give money to a homeless person
16. Take the trip you’ve been waiting to take
17. If your unhappy with your job or work situation, QUIT!
18. Love the seasons. With each one that comes and passes, its a new chapter in your book
19. Stop complaining- and I mean this one in all seriousness. STOP. THE. COMPLAINING.
20. Hold the ones you love and still have tightly. Don’t ever hold back. You might never get the chance once it’s gone.
And last but not least…
21. BE STRONG
My New Years Resolution list will look like this with every new year I am given. Instead of just a “list”, they will be more of a “bucket list”… Because you never know when your time is, nor do you know what moments will be the last ones you have… so embrace them. And above all else, LOVE PEOPLE. We are all in this together. My 2015, and every year after, will be spent honoring Brittany by truly living and never, ever holding back.