The longest night of the year is ahead of us, beyond which this strange year will finally come to a close and the light will take over again. This long night is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on all the lessons and gifts that came to our lives this year.
Of course, I can only speak for myself... If I learned anything from this year, it is the re-discovery of my innate strength. It's that inner power that takes you through the day even when you can't stand at all; the motivation to push through murky waters without knowing what's on the other side (or at the bottom of it); the energy to keep inching forward, tiny step by tiny step, until you gain your strength to stride again.
And last but not least: The profound knowledge of the cyclical nature of things: there are ups, and there are downs, there are plateaus, and they are all what need to be now. They are all temporary, and they are all okay - even if they feel unbearable, or bore us to death with their drone of beige. And it is especially important to remember this when you're at the darkest depths of despair. It may not feel like it at all, but if you just bear it a little longer, accept it for what it is, and don't be harsh on yourself for not getting up sooner - it will melt away and be replaced by a new you: stronger, happier, and so much wiser.
I'm thankful for the many months of waning light and increasing darkness, for bringing me the help I needed; for showing me who my true friends are; for eliminating what's unimportant and clearing out the fog. And I am excited for the next year, facing it with a renewed sense of joie de vivre mixed with a lot of perspective and compassion.