8 years of memory jars! wow...and it's been a year, that's for sure. the kind of year where I found myself saying to my kid, "I know it's been shitty, but let's sit down and make the effort to think of a few good things to put in our jar so we have something to share on New Year's Eve. maybe we have enough space from the trauma of it all to appreciate the experiences?" hopeful as I was, I suppose I was bound to be disappointed, especially since my Teen showed more interest in the process last New Year's than he has in the past, by insisting on designing our yearly star himself. it was a pretty star, but his enthusiasm for the project didn't carry through. read on to find out what was good for us in 2021:
new running shoes!
birthday week lunches, gifts, ice cream, cake, dinners, cash, salt bath...
playing Yahtzee w/Grandma (Mom)
Grandma laughing at the movie Slapshot
got a new hat
ok, well...there were significantly less happy moments in our jar than there have been in the past, but as I've said, and I'm sure we can all agree, it's been a pretty rough year all around (unless you're a billionaire that got richer from all the collective suffering, in which case, karma will get you my pretties). the 'awful' was not just pandemic related in our case - I mean, my mom died, and then we lost our housing and had to move. it's been utterly terrible, and we've had quite a rough time navigating it all, but I think we're coming through it a bit, one way or another.
for myself, even though I fell off my running game after Mom died, the gift of running shoes was/is a blessing, and definitely made the journey more fun (not to mention easier), and when I'm ready to get back to it (soon, soon), they'll be waiting for me. and since I spent the year responsibly keeping mostly away from people, it was wonderful to spend time with two of my close friends who made the effort to help me feel loved and cared for around my birthday. my mom spent two blessed weeks visiting before she died, for which I will forever be grateful, and during those weeks we had a lot of fun together, because she was moving away, and we didn't know when we were going to see each other again. sigh...it wasn't supposed to be 'never'; she was planning to come to the Teen's high school graduation this summer. anyway, Slapshot was one of her favorite movies, so I've seen it about 5,678 times and know it by heart - but I wasn't really watching it that night, I was watching my mom laugh harder than she had for a long time, and it made my heart happy. and she kicked our asses in Yahtzee so bad, the Teen accused her of cheating, lol!
as for the Teen...he had it rough. more than a year of remote learning, not being able to go anywhere or do anything with his friends...they did stay in touch through online gaming, but...it wasn't ideal by any stretch of the imagination, and I feel all their relationships were hurt by the separation. he needed to get out so badly he ran away from home for two weeks and sent me spiraling even further into depression as if losing my second parent and my housing wasn't enough. he was similarly affected, and more. we worked through it well enough to be on a somewhat even keel now, and honestly, I don't feel like it's my place to talk about him so much on my blog any more, as he's past old enough to have a say in such things, and I know if I asked him, he'd tell me not to write about him, so...I (mostly) won't. I can speak to the fact that he had some truly wonderful moments this year, but I recognize that there's some real healing he needs to do in order to feel ready to acknowledge them. I truly hope he does.
some things that didn't make the jar but should have, include (for me): taking part in the Roma Women's Poetry Project writing workshops sponsored by ERIAC, having one of the pieces I wrote included in Wagtail, the first anthology from Butcher's Dog magazine, and taking part in the online launch event. spending time with friends, going to my son's gigs, and reconnecting with my tarot practice were also highlights, as well as going on a few dates, even though they didn't pan out into anything worth writing about. during a time in history when things could be so much worse, I'm exceedingly grateful for the privilege of continuing to have opportunities to create my life in the ways that nurture and sustain me, mind, body, and spirit, and to have the means to offer compassion and understanding to as many others as possible. I hope absolutely everyone gets to feel similarly blessed this year ~
check out our memory jar posts from years past, below!