December 31st, 2017
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2017 Buh Bye

Today, the last day of 2017, tends to be a day when most of us mentally review events that happened to us during the past year and I’ve concluded, that for me, 2017 was a year of feeling it all.

2017 took me on a most bumpy and unexpected ride and I must say I am happy to say Buh Bye to one rollercoaster of a year.

From the beginning of January to the end of December, 2017 was 12 months of experiencing pretty much every emotion that there is to feel as a human being.  This unpredictability of course let me to rediscovering the sinful joys of chocolate, which I have to admit has been momentarily comforting, but is definitely a habit I need to quit in the New Year.

2017 in some ways feels as though it were longer than 12 months, yet I know this isn’t true.  As I mentally recap my thoughts and memories from the past year, I would like to give a shout out and big thanks from the bottom of my heart to all who generously helped me weather the ups and downs of the life events that came my way.

Thanks for looking out for me, reading my posts, listening to me and emotionally supporting me.

It meant everything to me.

From my mother’s hospitalization to my father’s death in February, my stepson’s death in July and a very good friend’s death in December, the fragility of life came home to me this year in an even more intimate and raw manner than I ever experienced after the death of my fabulous husband in 2003.

Maybe it’s because I’m older now and feeling more vulnerable to the unexpected changes that life brings to us.  Maybe it’s a desire for things to turn out right.  Maybe it’s because I know how much strength it takes to start over.

I felt dragged down this year and there never seemed to be any time to recover my emotional bearings.  I continued to go to work every day but felt a constant drumbeat of hopelessness and stress.  I am not an expert on keeping it all together or living your best life but something inside of me clicked while trying to process all of this turmoil and I knew something had to change or I was going to get sick.

I had to shift the balance of my responsibilities and after lots of discussions with those I care about, I made the life changing decision to leave my full-time job at the end of this year and give more time to helping my family.  The story behind making such a decision is more complicated than I can go into here but it includes knowing in my gut that I am doing the right thing.

It may sound a bit cliché, but we only get one shot at this beautiful, wondrous and sometimes tortured thing we call life and I want to make damn sure that years from now I don’t look back and feel regrets about the path that I took.

In some ways, I now feel like I am jumping off a cliff, unsure of how or when I will land, but I am committed to moving forward.

Hopefully your year was nothing like mine but today you might find yourself going through the same review process.  If you are, please be kind to yourself.  We are only human and full of conflicting feelings.

Take a moment to review your own life and look at the difficult times you have faced.  Think about the courage it took for you to move through whatever personal troubles came your way and how you worked to come out on the other side of those problems.

Give yourself credit for exercising your courage muscles and deciding not hide from life’s difficult circumstances.  Give yourself credit for knowing you might not be able to handle something happening in your life by yourself and you reached out for help.

Whether an illness, divorce, disappointments, or a loved one’s death, you found the inner strength to try and create change and deal with your personal adversity.  You discovered something positive about yourself you may not have known.

Here’s to inner peace and following your dreams in the New Year and may 2018 bring you good health and lots of love and laughter!



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2 Responses to “Buh Bye 2017!”

  1. Debbie Smith

    Mary Kate,
    Thank you for your honest, raw, loving post. You write wonderfully about feelings and events.
    I hope that the new year brings validation of your difficult decision. If the decision was based on the love for your family, I’m sure you’ll find it is.
    I enjoy reading your posts. Here’s hoping you can continue them.
    Please have a peaceful and loving New Year.
    Love, Debbie 💚

    • Mary Kate Cranston

      Hi Debbie: My family needs my help and I decided to leave my full-time job in order to give them more of my time. I felt fried at the end of 2017 because I continued to work and help with my Dad’s illness and then after his death I just kept trying to push through. I didn’t want to get sick myself so I came to the conclusion that a major change needed to be made. I am so happy to hear that you enjoy reading my posts!! I hope you and your family are doing well and that 2018 is also a peaceful and loving year for you!


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