Putting a Bad Year to Bed

Audrey Cade

By Audrey Cade | Dec 24th, 2018

Has it been a bad year? All of us eventually get our turn to experience a really rotten twelve months. You know, one of those years that we just can’t wait to be over because it’s been a virtual garbage fire of disappointment, heartbreak, and failure? If this year was a stinker for you, take heart because it can’t last forever! Saying goodbye to a disastrous 365 days is extremely satisfying and lays the path for a more agreeable new year to come!

Any of us can look back over our lives and easily identify high and low points. For most of us, childhood is a carefree and happy time with few truly dark moments, and many of us can count other important life milestones, such as the birth of children or a special trip, among the good times in our life. If there are good times, there must always be bad ones, as well. Perhaps the death of a loved one, divorce, or financial struggle.

Sadly, we must often experience bad times to fully appreciate the joy and light of the good times in our lives. Usually, when things get very bad, we can at least count on conditions eventually improving!

A bad year is like an out-of-control, sleep-deprived, sugar-crazed toddler. There’s really only one thing to do to make the tantrums, destruction, and nonsense stop: put that bad boy to bed!

Of course, a bad year (or a maniac 2-year-old) doesn’t want to go down without a fight! What if they miss something? Maybe there’s one more opportunity to cause chaos and ruin the carpet? We may have to break out every lullaby and bedtime story and beg, cry, plead, and rock them ‘til we’re about to drop to make them finally pass out. Once they do, we’ll do anything to avoid waking the angry beast!

But, think about it…after a long, glorious nap, baby bad year wakes up refreshed, with a new attitude, and ready to start fresh!

We don’t have control over all circumstances influencing how good or bad a year is, but there are many things we can do to improve our outlook and banish negativity from our life:

1. A bad year doesn’t have to mean a bad life!

Yes, we will all have moments (even months) that make us feel like they’ll ruin us and never end; but, it’s extremely unlikely that the current period of doom and gloom will become a permanent fixture. Hold on tight, ride it through, and keep the hope alive for better things as this year turns over to the next! Your attitude is a very powerful tool, so it’s very important to have a positive perspective on the big picture and not allow a year to define a lifetime.

2. Bad times teach good lessons.

Not to sound trite, but bad years are like the fire that makes steel stronger and more powerful. You can either look at a craptastic calendar as a time that will define you by breaking you and making you weak, or you can allow it to make you wiser and better-equipped to face future challenges.

3. Give a bad year a great send-off!

Maybe a lullaby and a cuddle are far too kind of a way to put your bad year down, so think about ceremoniously bidding a bad year adieu with a fun get together, a burning of last year’s calendar, or other creative steps to send the message that this past year is over, and on the way out!

4. Take charge of turning the tide.

Positive change won’t always happen by accident; therefore, sometimes we must grab the reins and steer ourselves toward success! While we can’t make the dark cloud of a divorce blow away before its time or suddenly have improved physical or financial health, we can purposely plan good things for the time ahead to give us good things to look forward to and adopt habits that will promote better things. Consider planning some special activities that will boost your morale, set some goals to get your money matters or physique in better shape, and essentially plan on life being better!

5. Laugh your troubles away!

Sometimes the best way to invite trouble out of your life is to laugh in its face! In the heat of the moment, it can be difficult to find anything funny about a minor crisis or flub; but, it can be very therapeutic to look for reasons to laugh at dysfunction. Imagine yourself in some screwball comedy where everything goes wrong, allow yourself to lose your mind for a hot minute to laugh at what a mess things are, then rebound off the endorphins of laughter. Most likely, you will be able to get a genuine laugh about the circumstances at a later time when things are much more stable.

6. Break up with bad.

Bad years are like bad boyfriends – they all go away eventually, and we always feel so much better when they’re out of our life! It’s okay to say “2018, you suck! I’m tired of putting up with all your problems, so good riddance!” It’s magically cleansing to make a conscious decision to end a bad chapter, and although the aftershocks of the damage caused by a bad year (or a bad man) may rock us even after they’ve left, we’re already on the path to better things by ending a bad relationship!

If this year has been a dud, there’s no reason to believe that the next one won’t be much better! We can’t control everything around us, but we can resolve to shut the door on past negativity to clear the way for a brighter future! We will all endure our fair shares of years we wish we could forget. The good news is that we all also get our fair share of sunny days, as well!

As forgettable as the bad times are, they are full of lessons we can carry forward to help us in the future, and they give us context so that when we have a good year, we know it’s really good because we’ve experienced bad ones too!

Now is the time to send a cranky year to bed because a new one is ready to start, and who knows what amazing things will be revealed to us in the next twelve months? This might’ve been a bad past year, but it’s going to be a Happy New year!

Audrey Cade

Audrey Cade

Audrey Cade is an author and blogger focusing on the interests of divorced and re-married women, stepmoms, blended families, and co-parents.


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