The year 2013, the ‘damage’ it leaves behind.

2013 came. She approached us shyly, batting her eyelids and drawing circles in the sand with her toes and all. We encouraged her. We yelled “Happy New year!” in unison, with enthusiasm. Slowly she grew confident and took charge. She demanded for a place in our lives and we happily embraced her with unbridled expectation.

Things got real. Along the way somewhere, she shook us up a bit. She gave us laughter with hints of sadness here and there. She gave us new life in newborn babies and yet it did not relent on the deaths and funerals now and then. She gave us hope with a tinge of disappointment from time to time. Now she is done with us. Her time is up! She begs to leave, but she can’t leave us the way she found us, can she? She cannot just up and go without leaving a mark, right?

As 2014 knocks to be let in, I carry with me silt carried from 2013.  Like a flowing river 2013 had to leave some residue in me – its way of engraving the words ‘2013 was here’. The ‘damage’ is so much so that I feel like a different person. I even feel the need to get re-acquainted with myself.

She twisted my dress sense a whole lot. See, I was a jeans and pants kinda girl. I swore by trousers and never cared for the girly outfits. Then 2013 happened. She waltzed her way into my wardrobe and introduced me to dresses and skirts. How did this happen? Who even let her into the privacy of my closet! She went a step further and replaced me, the leggings hater with a leggings crusader! Miracles indeed do happen! I never could stand leggings before. Especially leggings worn as pants. Look at me now. All I do is gush “Aren’t these the most comfortable garments or what!” as I pull a pair of leggings on.

She tested my patience all right. I never realized how much I lack in the ‘patience’ department until 2013 came and shoved into my face the slowest house help in the world EVER! A very nice girl, don’t get me wrong. Very kind. So soft spoken. But too. Damn. Slow. I had to grit my teeth, bury my head in the pillow and scream into it because I could not scream in her face. Did I tell you that she was the nicest girl? I had to be patient with her. It was torture, but I survived. I became acquainted to patience for the first time and ever since we met, I think it is the most underrated virtue. I henceforth swore to take my responsibility as a mother more seriously because I would hate to subject another human being the torture of teaching my grown children the basic life lessons that I should have taught them when they were little.

2013 you! Do you know what else she did? She made me a believer. She took me, an all time skeptic and turned me into a believer of love. A risk taker – come on, who doesn’t think that getting married is the biggest leap of faith one can ever take, huh? I can’t believe this year did this to me. I’m exuding a bunch of emotions that I never could allow to get the better of me. I ask, who is this person?!

I never did admit it before but 2013 made me face the reality. I finally embraced this very unusual side of me. I, Renee finally came to terms with the fact that I infact…do not like cake. Yep! I don’t. I think I had pretended for far too long and the year boldly decided “That’s it! Enough is enough. You have to admit it this minute. You don’t like cake. Now say it!” I had no choice but to repeat “I don’t like cake” with my head facing down. Pretender!

While we’re on food stuff; ironically, she made me a baker, this unpredictable year. Yes she did. She made me a cook. A good cook! (Toot! Toot!) She had me flexing my culinary muscles and whipping up recipes left right and centre. Hailey and Heidi have so much to thank 2013 for because they had their appetites whetted like never before. We sure cooked up a storm!

As we cooked up a storm and stuffed our faces, she made sure that I watched my weight. 2013 introduced me to the wonders of the hoola hoop. It is fun, first and foremost, and secondly, it works wonders on your waistline. I think I almost got rid of the evidence left after carrying two pregnancies, don’t you agree? Anyway…I recommend.

2013 leaves in me an early riser – something I hope to carry well into the new year. It gifted me with twin nephews, what joy! She however robbed me of my cousin. Bummer! She dished me lessons on motherhood by making me feel the pinch of being away from my babies for a while. Then she brought MD back home for good, YAY! (I warned you about this mushy woman!) 2013 taught me to appreciate people more. She restored my trust in both the human male and female species, except politicians – let’s not get carried away now. 

I have learned that for every minute that I breathe (and hence fill these pages), every second that I am healthy and strong, every moment that I get to share with loved ones, that I should be thankful. It is a huge privilege. One that I am not assured will always be there.
What’s more, 2013 drew me closer to God. A very good place to be.

Reading all these, don’t you feel like we just met? I know. I feel like I just met me too! What about you, how much ‘damage’ did 2013 do to you?

Happy new year my friends. See you on the other side, God willing.
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