You’ll hear it everywhere you go: 2016 was a _______________ (insert word) year. That choice of word ranges anywhere from awful to terrible—with many other descriptives in between.
I really don’t know if 2016 was any worse than many other years, but I do know that it was surprisingly challenging and wearing for me. I arrived at the last week of the year feeling like I desperately needed to let go of a heavy weight of fatigue. Marvelous things had happened, but the effects of sadness and stress weighed a ton.
In addition to the multiple deaths and loss of friends and family I had a very personal challenge handed me when my landlord arrived at my doorstep on April 1 with a letter in hand. I wasn’t home at the time so my houseguest accepted the letter and put it on the mail stack without another thought.
When I saw his writing on the envelope later that day I dropped everything to grab for it. It was one of those letters I raced through to get to the bottom line as fast as I could, I needed to know the big picture story before I had brain space to consider the details. Just tell me! Tell me! The key phrases: I retired today, putting the house on the market, buy it or move out, 90 days. Things—everything actually, can change so quickly: News of death, news of health changes, news that your home isn’t secure…. Here in one of the craziest housing markets in the country this was not simple news and it was definitely not good news as a renter. There were few housing options available but good decisions still had to be made very quickly.
I’ll go straight to the bottom line for you, it all worked out. It was a long, difficult, and extremely stressful 4-plus month wait to get to closing. How I became the homeowner instead of the renter is quite a story that involves people from around the world.
To change my perspective I needed to take the long view, take the time to remember how it happened, how it worked out. The first thing for me to remember was that people prayed. Before any decisions were made people said, “I will pray,” and they did. Then a decision to move ahead was made with input from an expert who had offered to help. And then, from many places came more of the most beautiful words in the world: I will help. We want to help. Of course, we’ll help. Will you let us help? I want to be part of your story, please let me help.
As the year ended I stepped out from under the fatigue of the hard work and stress with an improved view. 2016 is the year that help came. This change feels so much better and helps me look forward to the new year with a lighter, more joyful outlook. Happy New Year.