#603 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


(For the first time in a long time, I left Comments open on this post. Feel free to drop a 2013 or 2014 message! -Neil)

Photos from: here, here, here, and here

58 thoughts on “#603 Getting through it

  1. Thanks for this message. For the whole blog and all the awesome things you find and that inspires me so much. But for this particularly post, thanks a lot.
    Have a surprising new year!

  2. I discovered this blog after watching your TED talk which had left me feeling inspired and full of gratitude for the blessings this year has given me. Thank you for taking the time to stop and appreciate all the little.things that make our lives so wonderful. I am determined to do the same in the coming year! Looking forward to seeing what awesome things this year brings :) Best wishes from Scotland! Megan.

  3. Thanks for the smiles all year! It’s really something special to know that there will always be a smile waiting in my inbox when midnight rolls around around. I hear the ‘ding!’ of my phone around that time and I’m like, “Oh, my smile’s here!” Thank you :)

  4. Meditation… mindfulness… pursuit of happiness… Zen Habits… and this blog. What a year. Thanks, Neil, for the continued inspiration.

  5. A million times… Thank you. I’ve had an awesome year but a few years ago, I had a very rough one and reading this blog was one thing that got me through. Happy 2014!

  6. Thank you so much for inspiring me every day with your words of wisdom. This website is a shining beacon in my day, and I thank you so much for adding a little sunshine to my day :)

    1. Start the new year out right and ditch the “really mean guy”…I’m sure you deserve someone who honors who you are. 2014 won’t be awesome for you if you’re stuck with someone mean.

      1. You must believe you’re worthy of SO much more= true LOVE!!
        Hear it from Stevie~
        “Cheaper than FREE!”

  7. thank you for making me laugh, for making me look at everyday things in extraordinary ways, and for the beautiful thoughts in today’s post.

  8. “Morning has Broken…” Yay!!!
    Blessing’s to everyone far and wider than they were 10 days ago! Hahaha-
    Happy New Year!

      1. Thank you and back at ya’ Kathy!
        I was singing aloud in the car to a Christmas gift, digitally remastered Beatles Greatest Hits and although I kinda miss the snap crackle pop, I missed you all more…pumped up the volume to “HELP”… Awesome musta heard my “Crying” cuz voila, the cage gates opened and what’s as good as Holding hands when crossing the street, singing together and encouraging one’s life tyo carry on with passion…and if you haven’t already heard, hears one for you and you, heck it’s free, with LOVE from me to everyone!

  9. Life is amazing … We can give different meanings to it! I choose to always believe that many beautiful things can happen even in times of darkness. This is not easy but we can not give up this treasure. We just need to see the world as a child and rediscover the world!

  10. Yay, thanks for the post and for opening up the floor for comments! It’s been a fabulous 2013 and so pumped about what’s lined up for 2014! Living the dream a step at a time!

  11. thanks for reminding me that all the anxiety, guilt, shame, worry and anger can peel back like a dead skin. my mom sent me this post, as i was two days deep in another yearlong cycle of unhappiness and despair. i’ll shed that skin, now, and try to emerge anew.

  12. I’m so feeling this post today! Several times today I found myself smiling and feeling so grateful for the joy in my life, joy which is made up of all of my experiences this year, both pleasant and painful. Maybe the specter of turning 50 has given me pause, but I’m much less careless about people and experiences in my life…all are valuable in their way and I’m careful to give pause to my gratitude. Thanks for a beautifully thought-provoking post, Neil. :)

    P.S. Nice to see some familiar names and lovely to see new appreciators of awesome! Happy New Year!

  13. I love your blog!! I just stumbled upon it a few days ago and found that it was quite similar to my own where I blog every second day about something that makes me happy. It’s been a great influence on my life so far as I have a reasonably debilitating chronic illness and it is the one thing that always lifts my spirits! the link is http://www.sprinklingsofhappiness.blogspot.com if you’re interested. And I’m excited to add this to my reading list in the future!!

  14. I love this so much, thank you. Recently watched your TedxToronto talk on the 3 A’s of being Awesome. http://bit.ly/1iGFHCI. Attitude, Awareness, and Authenticity. Find myself now needing to look at the world through a somber, enlightened 3 year old’s eyes :) thank you, love your work.

  15. Am going to email this site to a couple of friends. Site is amazing for the winter months. It truly is all about the small joys in life. Your site just boosted me out of my melancholy today. Don’t think I saw this one (could be wrong). But drinking a warm cup of cocoa, while watching a snow storm outside. Basking in the warmth of your fuzzy socks, sofa and laptop.

      1. Thanks Klalota so much, I think Neil’s inspired me to write about what I’m grateful for, thanks again for your comment, means a great deal

  16. Favorite part of every day at the office…your quipy, happy AWESOME email! Thanks Neil. You make the world a better place…just like your mom said you would! ;)

  17. That was brilliant, Neil you are not only very observant of the human condition but a great writer as well. I don’t know if you can feel the waves of what you do, but your benefit to your audience ripples out and out, and we go looking for and finding awesome. You deserve a Nobel peace price, IMO!

  18. what a stupid site, and a stupid book, my gf spent 17.50 on a book on where captain obvious plucks out the most obvious thinks about everyday life and puts them to text? this is literature? this is a best seller? you people can’t make a list of 12 things to be grateful for on your own? stupid sheeple.

  19. Thanks because it has been a strange tough year…but I felt I was getting stronger and stronger. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep it in mind, and to always remember how awesome is life…
    So thanks for this post and for your blog.
    And how i learned this year from Costa Rican friends I wish you just PURA VIDA!!

  20. 2013 wasn’t too bad of a year. I lost weight, hubby got a new job, my bff had her first baby, we got our first dog. I did have family go in and out of the hosptial a lot, but they are all fine. 2014 hasn’t been great so far… chemical spill in our water supply, lots of snow and cold weather causing school to close…… hopefully it’ll pick up and get awesome!

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