Present Tense

So long, suckah!

pastSo, last year on this very day, I wrote a note to 2013 and told that year in no uncertain terms, how much it sucked. I kicked it in the ass and said good riddance; I even went on to say that I was sure that 2014 was gonna make me forget all about the challenges of 2013. I was right. 2014 was even worse.

I won’t go into all of the tribulations of the past year, other than to say that losing my dad in April pretty much set the tone. What I will say is that I feel as if the last 18 months have been my personal ‘dark night of the soul’ that is required of all humans. Could it get worse? Of course and at some point, it probably will. Far in the future, if I have anything to say about it…which I probably don’t. And that brings me to the year’s large lesson.

Control: we have none. Planning: kind of a joke. Loss: inevitable. Time: dampens the pain and gives us perspective.

“This too shall pass” is such a cliché, but it’s such a useful one. Time is like a power wash. If we can just get through another hour, another day, another week and if we watch and listen and pay attention, that time also gives us the space to see events in our lives with more clarity. For me, clarity is comfort.

I was listening to my latest guru Caroline Myss recently and one of her main lessons is that we will NEVER know why things happen the way that they do. We just won’t and wasting our time digging through our psychic and emotional archives for “why” is a waste of time. Life truly is unknowable and if you relax into that, peace will find you.

So, I bid farewell to the hardest year of my life (so far). I can look back and see a cross country move, leaving friends and comfort behind, losing my soul mate dog, losing my dad, navigating a new environment, trying to help my 94 year-old mother accept her ‘new normal’ and recently retiring from a 30+ year radio career. That’s a lot to pack into a year and a half, but it has passed.

I’ve emerged from my dark night and though I’m still a little banged up, I’m ready for 2015. I’ve come to the conclusion that my mom is in the right facility and she’s safe and comfortable. I’m completely at peace with leaving my job. I am ready to take more time to explore our new home and community. I’m going to get back into my health and wellness routine. We are heading back to my beloved Rocky Mountains for a ski trip in about a month and then spring will come, as it always does.

The biggest thing that I’ve taken away from this period is that I am now more in tune with other’s losses. I am a more compassionate and empathetic person and I’m able to express that now. In 2014, 9 of my friends lost their dads and I know that so many more humans suffered as well. The world has been a brutal, chaotic place for the past year.

Peace begins in each of us and in the choices that we make.

Peace be with you and in you. Here’s to a new year and a Detroit Lions play-off win. For my dad.

December 31, 2014 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , ,


  1. Happy New Year!

    Comment by Anita | December 31, 2014 | Reply

  2. Jane, this is so good for me to read. I lost my older brother to stupid cancer last month and am probably going to lose my beautiful yellow lab to old age soon. You wrote what I cannot even speak. Thanks.

    Comment by Elizabeth Gardner | December 31, 2014 | Reply

    • Elizabeth
      My heart is with you. Honestly, it’s so hard and everyone says that time helps and when you’re in the middle of that grief, you just don’t want to hear that because ‘time’ is such a relative term. I know that for me, everyone telling me to be grateful was also something that I just didn’t want to hear. So, all I can say is hang in there. I know exactly what you mean about not being able to speak. I get it completely. It just sucks and I’m so sorry.

      Comment by janelondon | December 31, 2014 | Reply

      • Thank you Jane. “Time” IS a relative term. A lot of what people are saying to me I cannot grasp right now. We are never given more than we can handle, right?

        Comment by Elizabeth Gardner | January 6, 2015

  3. Jane, thank you so much for sharing your journey and perspectives with us! I am so very sorry for your difficulties and pain the past 18 months, but thankful that folks like you share this tidbits of wisdom and enlightenment so that we might be able to draw something helpful from them in our own time of need.

    Comment by Suzan | December 31, 2014 | Reply

  4. Thank you for being you. So glad we have you to write it all down for us. Happy New Year Jane.

    Comment by Terri | December 31, 2014 | Reply

  5. not getting into details….all I will say is ‘thank you’ (and miss you in the morning)

    Comment by Judy | December 31, 2014 | Reply

  6. Once again, you’re in that room in my brain with a lot of other strong women with great advice. I’m looking forward to 2015 . . . it has to get better. I lost my parents a long time ago but I also lost two dogs this year. It really is like losing a child . . . especially if you’ve never had human children. I wish you and yours and me and mine best wishes in the new year.

    Comment by Jason Burns | December 31, 2014 | Reply

  7. Thank you (again), Jane, for sharing. It seems to be a survival tool to recognize that while there will undoubtedly be more hard things ahead, there will also be healing from the current hurts with the passage of time. I have also had a pretty rough year plus, and have hope looking forward. Peace to you, and a Happy, Healthy New Year!

    Comment by Susan Herr | December 31, 2014 | Reply

  8. Another great blog Jane. The fact that we have no control, and understanding and realizing this is so big. I have learned from you, how you have dealt with your father’s passing. How you have taken care of your mom. Our families seem to mirror one another so much, as do many of our classmates. Live for the day. Don’t look in the rearview mirror as it does no good. Did I help someone today? Am I focusing too much on helping my clients and neglecting my family? This is my struggle at times when it has been too long between phone calls. Here is hoping that 2015 will be a healthy and fulfilling year for you and all the readers.

    Comment by Tim Lankerd | December 31, 2014 | Reply

  9. Once again, very well written. I’m knocking on 59’s door and, with that, 59 years of experiences and super bad years that I thought couldn’t get any worse, but did anyway. A lot of self therapy and some reinvention of myself have pulled me up most of the time though. I can certainly relate to each word you put down. Keep on keeping on Jane. You continue to make a difference in so many lives including mine. Thank you.

    Comment by Peggy Lee | January 5, 2015 | Reply

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