I considered other adjectives but hard is probably the most accurate and the most neutral. I can't say I enjoyed 2023. I had moments - weeks, even - where I would say I felt happy. Where I succeeded in living in the Now of Wolf Thought. Looking at my journal and really adding them up, though...it was hard.
I suffered the worst bout of anxiety I have yet experienced in the first months. Started by a cat, of course. That cost me a friendship, cost me two and a half cats, cost me my health, and cost me a slew of doctor bills while I ruled out heart issues.
What it did not cost me was my God. This time, I did something different. Something I promised myself I would do the next time life got hard. I asked God to stay with me and thanked Him for bringing me through. No recriminations. No blame. No demands for the pain to stop. Just breathing in the seconds, accepting that life happens and doing my best to swim.
I guess this was the year of acceptance. Accepting that Jesus isn't coming back anytime soon. Accepting that grief will not kill me. Accepting that living angry is a pit with no bottom. Accepting that life is not and never will be safe.
The good news is that life eventually ends. I can't go back, but I don't want to. No matter how horrible a day is, when it's done, it's done. Forget it. Keep swimming.
I also started saying yes this year, to the surprise of my family. If I cannot make life safe, I may as well take risks and do stuff as stay home and not do stuff. I'm equally tired at the end. I could always get lucky and die, but I don't believe I'll ever die. Not until I'm old and crippled and completely alone. In the meantime, risking a bit to help others is a good way to take my mind off my troubles. We'll see how far I can swim in those waters.
Welcome, 2024. I'm glad you're coming. I'm glad I will be that much closer to eternity.
Keep the faith.