Sayonara 2018!

By:  Talyn Terzian-Gilmour


I might be in the most perfect place on this cold, rainy, December night. I’m lying cozily in bed, next to the 12-year-old as he re-reads one of his favourite books. Even though it’s been a VERY long day, and even though I’ve still got to write this entry, I realize just how fortunate I am that he still seeks me out, asking me to join him in his room during his “quiet time” because I know this won’t last forever. 

We sometimes speak with one another – we do a run down of our favourite parts of the day and our not-so-favourite parts. Oftentimes I have to squeeze things out of him because he’s not one to share his innermost feelings – unless his innermost feelings have to do with his favourite video game, a YouTube personality, or the latest Nerf gun he wants to get his hands on. Both of us are wild dreamers so sometimes the conversation turns to things like what we would each do if we won a million dollars. Tonight, though, like many other nights, we’re just quietly enjoying being near each other.  I love that. 

The 8-year-old is a different personality altogether and much more independent, but tonight he’s also come in to be a part of our time together, showing me the paragraph he’s written for school tomorrow, peppered with the cutest spelling mistakes (“ENTHEN the moose made a big surprise ENTHEN he…”) – again, I know this won’t last forever.

Despite my desire to stop time in its tracks and preserve these years of innocence, I take stock of these past eleven-and-a-bit months and all I have to say is, SAYONARA 2018!

And sayonara kids – time for bed and finally a little bit of time for me.  I can quietly contemplate…

Of all my years on this here, planet Earth, this has been one of my hardest. One might say it’s because I’ve “grown a lot” this year. Growth can be challenging – especially when it’s in a direction that’s different or unknown, or in my case, especially challenging when it’s been completely unexpected.

Speaking of challenges, when one figures out how to keep my children from coming out of bed no less than a dozen times after they’ve been asked to GO to bed, speak up, let me and Mr. Niceguy know, for now I’ve had to get him involved!  We’d greatly appreciate it!

In any case, growth is what I was talking about – or more diplomatically, using, to refer to the boatload of not appreciated, unanticipated happenstances that I’ve experienced and had to endure over this past year. Yet I remain optimistic and a happy-go-lucky, glass-is-half-full kind of person (deep, deep down when I’m not feeling like I’m in absolute despair). I can’t help but admit that this year hasn’t been all THAT bad, I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences too, but on the whole, I’m done with it and believe that when the clock strikes MIDNIGHT, and it’s officially January 1, 2019, this year will be behind me and the giant blackboard eraser of the universe will grant me a fresh start.

I know I’m not alone in this thinking…for many, resolutions are a way to wipe that slate clean. They’re almost an attempt to, not only erase but, admonish the past and proceed toward a more hopeful future…

Once again my train of thought has been interrupted as Mr. Niceguy becomes not-so-Mr. Niceguy and I turn into a screaming banshee because we’ve, once again had to ask the 12-year-old and the 8-year-old to, for the last time (probably not), stop holding a conference in the middle of the hallway over the cheque writing and cashing policies of their fictitious bank (I gave them an old cheque book from the 1990s to play with months ago and in an effort to STAVE OFF bed time, they’ve pulled it out and decided to “lend each other” money to buy the latest and greatest) at 10 o’clock at night!!

As I was saying, I know I’m not alone in thinking that with the ball drop, we all get another chance at getting it right. Whether it’s to get back into the skinny jeans, or to really go for a promotion or even a career change, to choose more whole food options instead of the Tim Horton’s drivethru (as much as it’s often a gift from heaven!) or whether it’s simply to be more present, many of us share in that hope for something better.

One of my favourite lines in a movie comes from Forrest Gump – “My momma said, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” I love the boxes of chocolates that also give you a “map” – the triangle one is hazelnut, the one with the pink dot is strawberry but dark chocolate with a pink dot is raspberry, and so on.  In life, we often don’t get a map…just like I don’t have one guiding me when it comes to keeping my future world bankers, engineers, artists or famous chefs in bed!

I think life is what we make it.  And we have to do the very best we can because as 2018 as taught me, it’s extremely precious and before we know it, we picked that one chocolate we don’t like too much and can’t very well put back in the box.

So, I’m going to take what I’ve got, and when I’m not to excited about it, make it into the best thing I can think of, like lemonade out of lemons. We mustn’t forget that we often have the power to make the most with what we’ve got, and in keeping with that other famous line in Forrest Gump I’ll leave you with: “…you can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it.  There’s shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo…pineapple shrimp, lemon chrimp, coconut shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad…”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!  May you all get to feel the warmth and love of this season and I wish for each and every one of you that this next year is the kind of adventure that leaves you craving for more!