#601 Getting through it

That was a tough one.

Come on in and stop for a second to shake your head, dust yourself off, and look back at how far you’ve come.

Sure, it’s been a long year. Some crushing lows slapped you and smacked you around. There were times your heart dipped and you squinted back tears while your stomach squeezed so tightly you couldn’t sleep. There were moments you walked around in a glossy-eyeball daze — when loved ones hurt, friends didn’t stay, or someone dear to your heart slowly drifted away.

Sleepless nights, stressful nights, with teething babies, slurring customers, bad bosses, bickering boyfriends, or blank computer screens. You were feeling and you were dealing and you were reeling and you were healing.

But as you walked your hard path down your long and bumpy road some little drops of confidence dripped like coffee into your head and into your heart. As you stumbled and got back up a quiet inner strength slowly seeped into your bones. And as you climbed over obstacles set in your way some relaxed satisfaction and growing self-awareness glimmered like bright lights at the bottom of your stomach.

Yes, this year changed you and grew you in so many ways you don’t even feel or notice yet. As you struggled you empathized, as you slipped you understood, as you worked you earned…

… as you looked you learned

… as you dared you grew

… … … and as you jumped you flew.

Your dreams are still focusing and your passion is growing. Your energy is still bubbling and your story keeps going.

You’ve been through so much and gained a year’s supply of experience along the way. You’re stronger than you were last year and stronger than you realize. Sure, there were times you bent, but you definitely didn’t break. There were times you caved, but you definitely didn’t flake.

Listen up: you got bigger, you got better, and you got the scars to prove it.

So stop for a second today to smile and look back at everything you’ve done this year… everything you’ve seen… everywhere you’ve been…

You’ve taken more illegal naps and had more blurry-eyed late nights.

You’ve danced to more wedding songs and smiled at more beautiful sights.

You’ve seen more scorching sunsets and heard more head-bopping songs.

You’ve tripped a few times, but baby, you kept rolling right along.

Yes, you’ve hugged more old friends and kissed some brand new pretty faces.

You’ve cheered more on the sidelines and visited some brand new pretty places.

You tasted more meals, you got more deals, and you’ve sniffed more flower blossoms.

And you made it all the way through this year because you’re so completely


(Thanks for our first full year! If you’re feeling awesome, check out the book.)

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

138 thoughts on “#601 Getting through it

  1. Is this poem in the book too? It is wonderful. You have helped me see my past year – thank you, thank you, thank you. Poetry is healing. Onward and upward to a brand new year of exciting possibilites – hidden and otherwise. And be here now in joy!

  2. thank you so much for this, i was feeling really overwhelmed today by the prospect of the coming year, and you made me feel soo much better! this was so inspiring

  3. i’ve had a really tough year…had a lot of obstacles thrown in my way and while my friends have encouraged me to look and see the silver lining to my clouds, i’ve had problems doing that. this has definitely helpd & i’ve got big hopes and dreams for this year! happy 2010 :)

  4. Yup – that’s it exactly. Thanks for writing the things I was thinking/feeling but couldn’t. Awesome.

  5. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.
    Kudos to the year that was and to the person we’ve each become. :D

  6. Thank you Neil! Even though I dont know if ur a man or a woman, I love u man! Thank you for everything! I have now started to appreciate the little things in life! I gotta say, u, my friend, are


  7. I read this right towords the end of what has been quite possibly one of the worst weeks of my life so far. And while I was feeling particularly down and dreading everything that has yet to happen, this post was like a warm hug and a reminder that in the end, we always look back with pride and think “I made it.” I am a chronic pessimist, but this site and this post in particular just make me smile. Thanks so much, and here’s to the hell behind us, the hell yet to come, and the hope that comes with the knowledge that we will, in the end, get through it. Happy new year! <3

  8. Going through a divorce right now and after writing out my reflections of the past year and resolutions for the new year, your comments really just hit home. Misty eyes..Thanks for a great site!

  9. Thanks. It was quite a year, wasn’t it?

    Where was the picture at the bottom taken? I feel sure I’ve been there, but I can’t quite place it. Colorado? Montana?

  10. I recently came upon this site, and I was browsing through when I saw this one.

    This year had been really traumatic for me, losing my dad five years after my mom all the while heading into my junior year of High School.

    And this awesome thing #601 really spoke to me, as apparently, many others too. Just to be able to say I’ve gotten through this experience and that I can be able to live just as well as everyone else mentally and physically.

    I haven’t seen all of your blog yet, but one awesome thing I’ve experienced; Finding another family.

  11. This is a wonderfully written piece and a great pick me up! I know this was posted long ago, but I just stumbled on to your blog today.
    I sent the link to a few friends who I knew needed a boost and they all said how much it cheered them up. This puts a lot of things in perspective and reminds people of their own strength. Something that is very much needed these days.
    With all the garbage online its nice to find a positive, real site like this. Thanks!

  12. great! Actually, during2009-2010, I came across something bad, like my job exhausted me, met some bad guys, parents don’t understand me,…I don’t know why, bad things are aroud you all the time!
    Now I read this, I think everything’ s OK, it depends on what you think.
    I am glad to get this website!

  13. I may only have started reading this blog recently, but still, for the time we’ve had, thank you for chronicling the things that make life better. You’re one of them.

  14. This was truly awesome. You are truly awesome, I’m glad I stumbled onto this blog today because now I’m sitting at my desk smiling, and a lot lighter in my heart. I’m going to start from the beginning of your blog and catch up to the present.

  15. Wow, awesome post. 2009 kicked my ass…but I hung in there…now I’m the one kicking ass! Thank you Neil :)

  16. just reread this post and realized how wonderfully it fits into my life right now. this, along with the light at the end of the tunnel posts, are definitely my favorite. thank you neil and happy new year!

  17. I know I needed to grow through all I did, so I could be ready for the final chapters; to arrive where I’m heading today and “Feel it all in ‘my’ bones”…before it all becomes any more crippling.
    I know it’s after the fact, but believe in better late than never, so
    Thank you…Your work is very empowering and you really do help to “Light up my life.”

  18. Some have to learn things the hard way but get through it and learn from it!! Awesome!!

  19. You are awesome, you have gotten me through some tough times and I don’t know what I would have done without all the awesomeness!

  20. Wow, you’re amazing, every morning I get up and look forward to reading your posts. Thankyou, you’ve changed my point of view for things.


  21. Best feeling ever!! You’re so proud of yourself!!! People congratulate you and you congratulate yourself!! AWESOME!!!

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