It would seem like this post's headline is a mistake, right? I must have meant that the post will be about how to have a good year this year, in 2019. But no, I've got some magic to share about how to turn back time so that your memory of the past year is a good one. Weird, but true!
How to Have a Good Year, Last Year
I suspect that these intro paragraphs will give it away a little bit. You'll think, "oh, that's what she means." But I encourage you to play along as the post continues, because I think I'm on to something. If you know me, you won't be surprised when I say how much I love hygge.
I truly believe that running after it, in the ways that work best for you, can truly be life-changing. Hygge is about creating warm, cozy experiences that you embrace as they happen. When they are over, they immediately become sweet memories.
Could be big memories like having all your children home for Christmas, or small ones like the exquisite joy of the cup of cocoa you had right before you left for work one morning. You can anticipate hygge moments, too, like when you imagine how it will feel to come home after work, drop your purse or briefcase, and slip on your favorite pair of slippers.
So here's my great big belief about hygge - the cozy joy is cumulative and you can find ways to create it and experience it even when you are going through really hard times. It just means you have to be on purpose about it, when it doesn't come easily. And you have to decide that those moments count.
Here's an example - if you had an awful fight with your best friend when you met her for lunch, you might think about it for the entire rest of your day. And, going to bed that night, you might just hunker down under the covers and hope the next day is a good one.
OR, you could tell yourself that that fight was awful, but be grateful for those 2 really good cups of tea you had, the wonderful movie you watched curled up next to your husband on the couch, the way he hugged you when you told him about the fight, and those precious moments when you cuddled with your daughter as you read her two sweet bedtime stories. I mean, that almost sounds like a good day, right? Except for the fight.
Gratitude for 2018
I had very difficult 2018. SO many things went wrong, not the least of which was that my mother died. I wanted at least ten more years with her - some people live to their 90s, so why couldn't she?
But the reason I am not writing to you from under the bed is that I tried very hard not to miss the good parts. Sure, there were moments when I couldn't stop crying. And at least one panic attack that woke me up in the wee hours of the morning and kept me from going back to sleep.
So, I made sure to fully acknowledge the awfulness of some of the experiences I had last year. But I hesitate to write it off completely. To say that it was a "bad" year. Hard year, yes! But it had some very good moments.
I got to see my aunts and cousins several times while Mom was sick and then for the funeral. My cousin, Cheryll, stood next to me as I said the words I had planned to say for my mom, and then she was there when I cried while singing Carol Burnett's "I'm so glad we had this time together" song. It had meaning for my mom and me, but I couldn't quite get through it. But my cousin was right there.
And so many other things will become sweet memories. Doing karaoke in front of the TV with my son. Sitting next to him while we watch our favorite shows. Re-connecting with two good friends of mine and having them over for dinner.
All the laughter. The good Hallmark Christmas movies. The sweet potato casserole that came out just right for Thanksgiving. And so many other good memories.
What about your experiences in 2018?
Yesterday, I encouraged you to think or write through each month with an eye toward what went wrong.
Today, I encourage you to mine each month for good moments. For sweetness, kindness, hugs, your favorite desserts. Whatever warmed your heart.
Take a moment to hold them close and express gratitude for them. Hug them back in return for the warmth, coziness, or sweetness they gave you last year.
And then, feel your heart begin to open to everything wonderful that this new year might bring.
See you tomorrow!