The Year That Was

by EMMA CRAUFORD

It’s 6am and I can’t sleep.

My mind is a jumbled mess of Christmas to do lists and random thoughts and although I feel bone weary, I decide to get up. Maybe if I start writing my mind will quieten down?

It’s rare I am up before one of my sons, so there is something special about a quiet house, where everyone else is snug and sleeping and I have the lounge and the peace all to myself.

Staring at my Christmas tree and watching the rain outside I can’t help but wonder what next year holds? What’s around the corner that I can’t see or plan for yet?

I feel like this past year has been one long lesson for me in Just Showing Up.

You see I love answers. I love solutions and systems. I love logistics and procedures. Set a goal, define my next steps and BOOM  – here is the outcome!

But in this past year it has become painfully obvious that this life ain’t going to always follow my Action Plan.

This past year I have learnt how to sit in brokenness with someone I love dearly.

No amount of coffee or casseroles was going to solve it this time, so I learnt how to sit in the brokenness and in somehow just sitting there, hopefully share in some of the pain. I had to learn how to keep fighting the urge to solve or fix and just keep showing up instead. To weep with a friend in silence, without answers, has taught me that sometimes we need to just BE, especially when there is nothing that we can DO.

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The same goes for my children as they get older and the issues they face in their own little worlds can’t always be fixed by me. Oh, this has to be one of the hardest lessons for any parent. I can see your struggle, I can feel that hurt or confusion, but there isn’t necessarily an answer or solution this time, buddy.

So we show up. Listen, encourage and BE there and learn how to watch them grow from tough lessons that we would prefer they didn’t have to go through.

The same goes for my marriage too.

After only a short 15 years, I am still learning that although large and fancy gestures are lovely, nothing can replace small daily acts of kindness towards each other.

Why is it is so easy to show kindness to nearly the rest of the world and yet it be such a struggle to extend it to those we love the most?

The daily ritual of kindness is like oxygen to a marriage. Without it, the stress and strain of this life will suffocate even the most solid of relationships.

I struggle with kindness when I am weary. And the problem is, this is the season of life when I feel a constant weariness. So, I have had to learn this year how to keep choosing kindness, in-spite of how I feel. Between you and me, I think I will keep working on this one for the rest of my days.

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If I had one wish for the next year it would be less drama and less pain for the people I love around me, but I know deep down that this won’t be the case. I have learnt that much already.

So next year I will keep doing the same as this year.

Just Show Up. Be present. Sit in it. Listen. Walk beside.

Does it feel like enough? Not always.

Will it lighten their load? Maybe.

I am going to fight the urge to make new year’s resolutions that I know I can’t keep and instead resolve to Keep Showing Up for those around me, regardless of time or cost.

E x

emmaEmma is from Sydney, Australia, where she is raising 3 beautiful boys alongside her husband.  Her happy place is her kitchen, and cookfasteatslow.com is her blog about her everyday simple food, her faith and her family.

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