It’s a New Year. I refuse to do a resolution. January 1st doesn’t start my time to change. I do hope that I can keep up with moving more, eating healthy and being more social. I bought a rowing machine (yay me). I have been out snowshoeing and even organized a bunch of ladies to come out to enjoy the trail. I did a quick snowshoe last night before it got dark. I like it since it is fresh air and enjoying what I can of winter.
I thought I would review the decade. I saw that there was this feed on Twitter on people doing the highlights of all their major successes which is great, but doesn’t feel real. If you never really look at it all then it seems to defeat the purpose of how things changed. 10 years ago in 2010 I was 34. I had all my kids. We were married for 10 years and we’re living in a 3 bedroom mobile home for a family of 5. Oldest child would have almost 8, the middle was 6 years old and the youngest was 18 months old. Yikes. Remembering that reminds me that I found that time hard. I worked a bit to have my own money. I knew I was done with having anymore children. The older girls were in school.
Many things happened during this past decade. I finished my administrative diploma and was able to get a good job. We built a house and everyone has a bedroom. I stepped out and started painting and then doing paint nights. I went on a retreat that then started a change in my spiritual life. Meditation classes to taking reiki. I have grown. I have expanded my “what’s possible”. I met new people and opened up to my community more. We went on a big family trip to Cuba which was so exciting for all of us.
Then I think of the hard things. I found being the mom of three kids difficult. I really lost myself for awhile during that time. This past decade I have really led myself back to me, but I remember myself back then. I was still the martyr. I was still thinking if I made my husband happy we would be happy. It didn’t work. The youngest child had a terrible accident which resulted in emergency surgery and a hospital stay. It changed me. It made me never forget that the most important connection was with others. It changed how I dealt with anger or others. I watched my husband cry. I watched my little boy look to me on how he should deal with it. I didn’t cry and kept reassuring him what the next step would be. He made it through besides a good scar he doesn’t remember anything except what we tell him.
We struggled this decade with true family fun. I remember after living in our camper when we built the house I can say that camping wasn’t the first thing I wanted to do. We still had lots to do the next summer and I am sure we did little to get a way. The next summer I had enough of doing nothing. I fought for just taking the camper to a small lake and said we needed the time away and that we would camp close to where my husband worked. He said he wouldn’t stay there. He was busy. I said I didn’t care. The kids needed playtime and away time. He did stay with us every night we were there and everything that could go wrong did. The tire had blown. We didn’t know the camper well, so struggled to get the hot water going and on and on. It changed from that point on. We try to go somewhere even for a few days. We see the benefit for all of us to get away so we can actually be more grateful for what we have when we get back.
I felt for a time that I improved as a parent. I calmed and released control. I felt like I was a cheerleader for my children and tried to call them out on their bullshit too. But, I am more unsure then ever. My older ones are teenagers. I have realized more and more that I have tried my best, but they don’t see things like I do. What keeps me grounded in this? Is remembering what I was like as a teen. My life circumstances were different, but I do remember that my parents voice were in my head. I did sometimes listen to that and save myself trouble and other times I did not. I feel that in the past decade I have had to lose that want for my kids to take the well lit path when I have to realize that they may take a darker turn or be idiots and I can’t control them at every moment. I can say I keep talking and hope things sink in, because it is when I am not there at a party or when they are driving that I hope what we have taught them keeps them safe and come home.
The family evolved with some more than others. My youngest was so bitterly shy, but has blossomed into a still quiet and can push through some challenges. He has come a long way. My relationship has evolved substantially. There are things that have been gained and lost but, better communication and just an acceptance of who I am to him. We help each other out where we are weak. He is more grounded and I am more feet off the ground. We have learned to relax with the kids and where to get tough. But, also, be soft and love them through hard things.
This upcoming decade will see my kids grown up and gone. Change is eventual. This decades end feels much better than the beginning. Looking back has helped because sometimes I feel I have accomplished so little. I do hope that this year brings more social events. We have a graduation, birthdays and a 20th anniversary. We have a small trip planned for the two of us next month. Little by little things change.
Take some time and think about your decade and look at the good and the bad. It can help you gain perspective on how much you’ve changed and grown.