Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Persistence of the Possum: Reflections on 2019

2019, y'all. What a damn year. I saw this meme about 2019, and y'all, I feel this so much:

It's the first time I can remember being really ready for a year to just be done. There were definitely some aspects I will savor and am grateful for, but I'm definitely okay being able to write a new year on my checks.

One of the unexpected happenings of this year was nightly visits to my deck by a possum I named DDP (Diamond Dallas Possum - after one of my favorite pro wrestlers, Diamon Dallas Page obviously). Prior to his visits, I knew little to nothing about possums. With time, I've come to know a great deal, look forward to his visits, and regularly share his appearances on my Instagram stories. I may even go so far as to name possums one of my favorite animals. In case you've missed him, here's my guy. . . 

Yes, this is totally weird, but it's my thing y'all, and I love it.

I found myself absolutely captivated by this possum. I would spend time just watching him do his thing. Also, do you know a possum can spend literal hours eating? Can you imagine? I joke a lot about this possum, but also what I came to appreciate is how I craved him. I couldn't wait for him to show up. And when he did, I slowed down. Amidst everything else I had going on, I would just sit and watch him go about his nightly deck routine. What was even wilder is that he doesn't mind my presence. I've learned to tell possums apart (again, I did not see that coming 2019!), and he was never startled or scared by me unlike others. Over and over, I watched this guy show up and just doing what he does.

The persistence I've seen in DDP's routine is akin to what this year has been like for me. And yes, I indeed have found a way to build a metaphor around a possum. 

But persistence for me has only been possible because of the people. For all that 2019 has thrown at me, I've taken it on because of the people. It has been the people who when I was having one of the hardest weeks of life this summer showed up my door with coffee and hugs and trashy magazines and just made sure I was okay. It has been the friends I can text my snark and/or happiness to (depends on the day/hour) and find that connection and comfort. It's been the people who I don't get to see in 3D nearly enough, but we can meet up, and it's as if no time has passed as I soak up the goodness of our friendship. It's been the new colleagues and friends I have found who have provided positive energy and support I have so needed. It's been my family and husband who have given unwavering love and have known just what to say through it all. Amidst the struggle (and the good times, too), I have seen how much people matter, and I am so grateful for the ones that surround me. If you are one of those people, thank you. You rescued this year and me in so many ways.

Even with all that's gone down, I enter into 2020 hopeful. It would be easy to have given in, and I would be lying if I had said there weren't many moments I had wanted to. But I'm still here. I thought of this scene from Angus today. Rick Sanford (James Van Der Beek) is playing the role of 2019, and I like to think I'm playing the role of Angus:

I try not to set expectations for years, as I can fall victim to comparing my real life to a make believe experience I've crafted. What I will say is this - I enter into 2020 ready for whatever comes my way. If I can make it through 2019, I can certainly manage whatever the roaring twenties have to offer. . . Although if the big guy upstairs is reading this, a calmer and less stressful trip around the sun would be appreciated.

Let's do this 2020.