Last year I had a few setbacks. Nothing life-changing, just disappointing really. I am always tempted to see the glass half empty, I have always been this way. But maybe this could be the year. Maybe 2020 is the year that all this changes. Before you roll your eyes, let me explain. Even though a few things didn’t work out as I expected them to, I am going to try to see the other half.

As the year wound down, I began thinking about what would make this new year any different. The answer, it seemed, came in all the things that didn’t go perfectly.

Pregnant woman holding her belly - But this could be the year, so cling to hope

I was trying to pray more last year because I usually go through an unnecessary process of stressing and worrying before I remember to pray and trust.  All year I had major experiences that have strengthened my faith, so maybe this will be the year l remember that and skip the stress dance and go straight to the source of my strength.

I didn’t read as many books as I wanted to in 2019, but this could be the year that I do. I mean I already have a list in place, so all I have to do is keep going.

2019 was supposed to be the year I completed my thesis. I didn’t, but I read so much research last year that I found an even better angle, one that I am even more excited about. So, I’m sure this will be the year I finish it.

I tried to lose xx pounds, but only made it halfway there. But, hey, I am lighter than when I started last year and my goal is 50% completed, so maybe this could be the year.

There are puzzles and a big book of science projects I was supposed to do with my children. But, after our failed attempt at baking cookies where they fought the entire time, then complained that the cookies “didn’t even taste good,” I opted for different kinds of activities for us. But, maybe we can be that family still. They are a whole year older now, and maybe their personalities have been refined to the point of enjoying joint, structured activities.

It’s a new year, it could happen, right?

I wanted to join a gym but it caused me too much anxiety, so I joined an online training program instead. Now that I know I can do a squat without embarrassing myself, this could be the year I walk into a gym and sign up. Maybe I’ll even meet another awkward mom and we will become friends, and we will laugh while cheering each other on.

I tried to have more date nights with my husband that involved us getting dressed to the nines and going to fabulous places. But, instead, we got quick runaways that involved us parking our car next to a local street vendor and stuffing our faces and laughing till we cried at our version of date night before racing back to collect our children. It wasn’t the exact setting I imagined, but man did we have fun finding the best gyros or doubles (Trinidadian street food). And, if nothing else we are learning more and more to carve out time for ourselves, so I can see us continuing and improving our date nights this year.

I wanted to be a zen, no-yell Mom, but I lost my cool a couple of times this year. My kids still know how much I love them. And we have gotten great at apologizing to each other over the past year. So, with my kids promising to stop engaging in death-defying feats and me committing to being a better parent, I believe that this year we will have the kind of relationship I have always wished for us.

Why am I telling you this?

It’s the beginning of January 2020, and everyone is full of hope. Everyone except maybe you. Perhaps last year you fought the greatest battle you have ever fought. Perhaps the last few years made you into someone you barely even recognize, someone who cannot afford to loosely hope and believe. Because, I am sure your year was a lot more difficult than mine. I am sure you had more than minor setbacks. I am sure that you faced loss and hurt and changes, unlike anything I can ever know. And, I make no comparisons between me not losing weight and the loss of a baby.

And it is for that very reason I am sharing with you what I think the other half is. I always thought the other half of the glass was the perfect half that I wasn’t lucky enough to know, and that’s is why I never recognized it. That’s why it always seemed so elusive. But, what if that other half was simply the audacity to survive the circumstances?

If you are like me your losses were unbearable, and yet you are surviving it.

It may not always feel like it, but you are. And maybe in an act of complete bravery, you are pregnant again and trying to stay strong as a New Year looms. And maybe your last pregnancy didn’t give you the precious ending you desired, but maybe this year, this baby will. You are already on your way, you know your body so much better, you have sought support, and you have developed strengths that most only dream of. So, perhaps your answers also lie in what didn’t go perfectly last year.

This year, this pregnancy, this baby will be different.

This is a different pregnancy, a different baby, a different story, with a different ending. ~Lindsey Henke

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