Sometimes I am angry. Very angry. One of the things with losing the person in my life that knew me the most, my best friend, is that a piece of me literally died with him. It was a hard reality for me when I realized that all my secrets died with him. My intimate confessions and all my favorites died with him. The one person who knew and accepted all my quirks, is gone.   I now live with his secrets. His secrets live on. Mine have died and now I am alone with them. I live on knowing his loves, his favorites, and his silly habits but I can do nothing with that. I must continue to hold his most inner thoughts. I live with our inside jokes that absolutely no one else gets.  I have spent the last 3 years widowed and feeling alone because the one person that had ALL that information on me is gone. It made all my experiences bitter sweet. Great, a promotion, thanks, no one to share in that accomplishment with me and understand what all it took to get there. Great, I bought a house but I had zero excitement; it felt like just a necessity. I needed space for my son and I but this was not a dream situation for me.  And birthdays. He knew what I like but more importantly he knew what I hated. One thing of importance… raspberries. The year I got raspberry filling in my cake. Now I am a lover of desserts, which is a well-known fact. I’ll be happy with anything… but I hate raspberry. I became annoyed when family members made a big production about what type of cake to get me. “oh don’t get her red velvet or lemon flavor! She hates it!” It just brought me to 10 because I don’t hate red velvet! I like lemon cake! I hate raspberry! It’s so interesting to me that something that like this sends me into a tiff and then I fall in to a dark space. It is easy to feel alone EVEN when I am surrounded by people. It is easy to get trapped in my thoughts of “no one gets me or cares for me or is interesting really in my interests”. It had been easy for me to focus on all that I am missing and not see what was right in front of me.

Time for another birthday this year and poof, an epiphany. I don’t let everybody in and I can’t be sad that nobody knows my favorite “something” because I never share it. Nobody knew to get me something that I loved or that I wanted to even get that “something”. After all, I keep to myself and say, “No, that’s ok” to all offers my way.

Now my third birthday without Raymond, I entered 38 years old. My attitude now is being full of gratitude. I enter this new year of mine with less anger. I’m also full of awareness. What I’ve realized is instead of sulking and being angry, I may need to have a more proactive approach to finding my happiness.  One of my favorite cookies are Cheryl’s cookies. Most of my coworkers know this because I sprint for Cheryl’s cookies whenever someone brings them to the office and I publicly profess my love for them.  However, a few select people know my absolute favorite local bakery and they make my absolute favorite cookies. Nonetheless, my issue today, on my 38th birthday eve, is that I need to stop sulking and stop being angry that I am alone in this world and I mean that in the sense of feeling like nobody gets me and the one person that knew absolutely everything about me is gone.  This new year of mine, I am going to be proactive in my happiness; intentionally. One thing that I decided to do this year, is to have gratitude. This birthday, like an elementary school student, I brought cookies to work. I wanted to enjoy my birthday with the people that spend the most time with me and honestly knew me very well. My coworkers; my team. My late husband and I often joked that we spent more time with our work team then at home. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, these people have seen me at my worse and they have seen me at my best. They deal with grumpy pants in the morning and a diva at least once a week. Part of the reason is because I like my work family and I would like to give a moment of appreciation. The second part for me is that this is an occasion when I can provide my favorite and we all enjoy it. I would like to be open to allow people back into that space. It isn’t easy but I will first start with myself. I’m getting pleasant surprises along the way too. As it turns out, my family still does not know my hates, but they have figured out my likes. So far, there are less disappointments and instead of always feeling broken, my heart is slowly starting to become full.

When you are ready, I recommend it: New Day, New Year, New Gratitude. You are ready!