...EOY round-up, y'all.
I know EVERYBODY posts end of year stuff & I know it gets old, but this is the perfect vantage point for reflection & projection. New Year's Eve holds a special place in my heart b/c that was the day, 6 years ago, that a typical argument lead to the best decision I have ever made. Though I blurted my intentions out in the heat of anger, it was a long time coming and as soon as I said "I'm looking for my own apartment", I felt a shift within myself. It was a small moment in time, but a huge turning point in my life. One that I will never regret.
As 2011 draws to a close, I'm neither happy nor sad to see it go. I remember when 2009 ended, it was such a relief. That was a year that put my marriage to the test, big time!! Between the grief I felt in March when my cousin, who we were fostering, ran away and the financial crisis we endured after buying our home, I couldn't escape that year fast enough. 2010 brought quite a bit of excitement, particularly in May when we took a family vacation to California. There is little that can compare to the magical feeling one gets when they take their first steps into Disneyland. As 2010 ended, I was full-bore into a new healthy lifestyle that eventually led to a 30 lbs weight loss. Not too shabby.
When 2011 began, I was feeling pretty damn good. I was exactly halfway to my goal weight, we were not nearly as stressed about money as we had been just a few months earlier, I was a couple months into my new managerial position at work, and our marriage not only recovered from the beating it took in 2009, it was (and still is) stronger than ever. That being said, this year hasn't been without it's challenges. I fell off the health wagon & sabotaged myself w/ sweets & cheese, gaining back half of what I worked so hard to lose. That and the inevitable financial stress many of us are facing in this economy, has caused me several intense bouts of depression. In August, my mother & father in law separated. Their divorce has taken an ugly turn that is difficult to watch. Especially when I see how it affects my husband. Then last month my Dad learned that he has colon cancer & will be undergoing surgery next week. While all of these things have been devastating, there has also been a fair amount of happiness and joy, which is probably what keeps me standing tall when I'm at my most vulnerable & overwhelmed.
I'm hopeful that 2012 will be a good year. Not blindly hopeful, mind you. I don't believe that things will be all peaches & cream or that at the stroke of midnight fairy dust will sprinkle down on us, righting all wrongs. It's more of a realistic optimism. It's a sense that all bad things will have a positive counterpart. It's a living example of the old (and over-used) saying "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger". I won't make any New Year's resolutions, but I will pray for resolution. Resolution for my in-law's divorce so that my mother-in-law gets the closure she deserves and can begin to live her life without feeling as though the bottom is about to drop out. And so my husband can rest easy that his mom is okay and possibly so he can begin to mend fences w/ his dad. Resolution for my dad that they will remove the cancer that has invaded his body and he won't have to endure chemotherapy. And also that the time he has to take off from work to recover will not take too much of a toll on his finances. And yes, even resolution for myself so that I will put an end to my self-sabotage and just be comfortably confident. I'm also praying for resolution of our fertility struggles; whether that be in the form of a pregnancy or a doctor telling us it won't ever happen.
Without fail, the end of the year brings with it a sense that we are starting fresh. It's a time to reassess those things that were important to us last year, clear away the debris, and embark on a new journey. (Maybe that's just me, but somehow I doubt it.) As I start getting older, I have a greater respect for time & all it's limitations & possibilities. I know there are things that I simply can't control no matter how badly I wish I could. I also know I have the power to change many things. I suppose I'd be lying if I said that I'm not going to make any New Year's resolutions b/c I have inadvertently perpetuated the same one for many years and that is to improve upon my life & the lives of those around me as much as possible. While most resolutions fall by the wayside after a few days, weeks, or months, this is one resolution I, personally, have never broken. It's vague enough to be attainable, big enough to be constantly necessary, and simple enough to be accomplished.