By: Lauren Hearne
It’s a time to reflect on the past year and plan for what this new year will bring and make lists/goals/resolutions/etc. I always loved the idea of a new year and the hope of what that may bring and a chance for a fresh start. I always loved the idea of making one – five- and ten-year plans, reflecting on things I have accomplished, and putting that “check mark” next to those items.
I have lived my life according to list and check marks. I did everything in this arbitrary order that we’ve been told to live life by:
- College – check.
- Adult job – check.
- Girl meets boy – check.
- Girl and boy get engaged – check.
- Girl and boy get married – check.
- Girl and boy buy home – check.
- Girl and boy have baby – pause…. you’ll have to wait a year of trying after an early miscarriage and then be fortunate enough to have a baby in 2017
- Girl and boy wait to try for a second (because society also thinks it’s appropriate as soon as baby #1 is born to ask when baby #2 is coming) – 16 wk. miscarriage in 2020, stillborn in 2021
Having a baby wasn’t just a check mark that I could check off, which brings me back to the new year.
Lists, goals, 1-5-10 year plans are all a joke. I have a few other choice words but decided that wouldn’t be appropriate. We can do the things in order, we can plan all we want, but if like me your past year(s) reflection didn’t end with a baby in your arms how do we continue to pretend or plan knowing that this year may end the exact same? It’s heartbreaking, its disappointing, its full of pain but it’s not a reflection of you or who you are.
You are so much more incredible than you could ever know. You’ve known love and pain like no other. You have the gift of empathy that can’t be taught. You have suffered and every day you still show up. You show up for you. You show up for all those babies you’ve longed for, some you may have held in your arms or your hearts.
So even if your year isn’t how, you wanted it to look, don’t forget to recognize how much you have changed, grown, and showed up every single day. Our life isn’t a pretty highlight reel we can throw together; its full of good and the ugly, the joy and the sad, everything and all the in between.
It isn’t just an easy check mark.
If you are feeling like me in the start of this year, I just wanted you to know you are not alone, but I am damn proud of you for how you showed up!
Lauren lives in a camper and travels the US with her husband, Tom, and daughter, Olivia. Lauren and Tom have two angel babies, Noah and Carter, and travel in their honor. They have two dogs who also road warriors, Frenchie and Rocky, who were born around the same time as both of their babies. They’ve learned that life is short, so go out and live your big dreams.