This has definitely been my most interesting year. LOTS of firsts happening. For my (most likely) last 2016 post, I wanted to reflect, and look forward. Set intentions.
I took time recently to reflect when I had been single about a year. You can read about that here. In the previous post I reflected on the bad, and how far I’ve come.
Really, 2016 hasn’t been about the dating as much as its been about self discovery. I present to you my top 3 lessons for this year:
- I’ve learned how to say “yes” again. Many people talk about people pleasing, and learning to say “no”, and exercising your “no” muscle. But guess what? Same way with “yes”. I had become a a person that was closed off from others. It was one of the unhealthy copping mechanisms I developed, keeping friends and family at a distance, and saying no to new experiences allowed me to hide. It allowed me to feel safe in a space, even though I wasn’t happy. It kept me from experiencing the fun things I wanted to do, knowing that having fun would make the not-fun totally un-awesome home life glaringly clear. So, I had a year of Yes, in a way. Learning how to say yes to the things that made me happy, that I wanted to do, brought joy back into my life. One of the things I re-discovered? My love for hiking and nature.
- I’ve learned to push through the fear or uncomfortable. Which doesn’t mean its not scary as hell. Or that I like it. It means I’m learning how to live bravely. It means that even though I might say “no”, if the reasoning for the no is fear, then I re-evaluate. Running is one of those “no” things that I keep doing. Do you want to do a 5k? No. Did it anyway. Same with the 10k. And now I am training for a half-marathon. Do I WANT to do it? No. It scares me. Will I do it? YES. Because it will feel amazing to accomplish it. This morning…. Did I WANT to run in feels like 7 degrees F temps? NO. AWW HELL NO. Did I do it? YES. Like the badass that I am, I put on all the clothes I own and still went. I had “fun” running 4 miles with friends. I would do it again. I even made a snow angel.
- I’ve learned – or am still learning to trust myself. Listen to those instincts. Those little voices in your head. The gut feeling you get. Most of the time, its leading you exactly where you need to be. And, also, along the same lines I’m learning not to over-think things. Just act. Just decide. Just pick – just like with my 3 year old who sometimes takes forever, I give it a 3-2-1 countdown and jump into the choice that FEELS right.
These lessons guided me into new experiences, and situations. I’ve spent the year building my tribe. My support system. My people. Often, when you are in a committed relationship you do everything together, this is your person, your best friend, your support system. Overnight, that was gone. I was so scared of raising kids on my own, but not anymore. First, I’ve done it and while its not easy it is doable. Second, I’ve asked for help. It is sooooo humbling to have to ask for help, but it is necessary. I’m much more ok asking for help now. There is no more facade. There is no pretending that I have my shit together. There is no more half truths about how much or little the kids dad helps. It just is what it is. Alternatively, my situation allows me to offer more help. I have days and nights at times where I do not have kids. I am able in those moments to be more available, more present, and more helpful to my friends. I am able to reach out to others and offer a mom-break, and take them out, or listen to venting. I’m able to be a better friend.
It was a year of new beginnings and so here are my top 5 memories/moments.
- Getting a tattoo. For sure! This tops the list of things I did in 2016.
- Getting a divorce – I mean I had already dealt with the heavy emotional stuff by the time this was final, so it felt very freeing.
- Going to Nashville. On a bit of a whim, with only a few weeks planning, with a guy that I was seeing. It was a lot of fun. And eye-opening. But mostly fun. I have a lot of great memories of Nashville and even of Crazy Joe.
- Fostering animals, and the adoption of one very special kitten. Bringing in a new family member is always exciting, and this one is especially cute. I know she will bring many cuddles in the new year.
- This is cheating a bit – but all of the fun memories with my kids! We were able to do so many fun things together this year, and hopefully made great memories for them! Its amazing watching them grow, and I’m so thankful I get to experience childhood all over again through their eyes.
I’d like to also set intentions for the new year. Resolutions of sorts.
- Cut down on the clutter. My house has been in flux with many projects. Those projects are done, and its time to settle in. I need the stuff to have a real place in the house, or it goes. Same with toys. Its hard for kids to put away toys, if the spot for the toys keeps changing!
- WRITE! I love writing here. It really helps me to process. I enjoy the comments, and getting other peoples views. I also want to try writing fiction, or take a writing class.
- Read at least one book per month. I could read more for sure, but this is a nice easy goal, of one book per month.
- Go to one NEW (to me) place in the area per month. I want to get out and really experience Cleveland. Find the good and find the bad.
- Travel to at least one NEW place per season. This winter I’m going to Hawaii, for my birthday, for the first time. I’m thinking Spring, Summer, and Fall should have their turn too.
- Meet new people – who share interests. Previously I was in a meet-up group for hiking in Michigan. Now I am in a meet-up group for moms and play dates. I’d like to continue to explore interests, and be social at the same time. Yay Extroverts!
- Branch out from online dating. I want to try speed dating. I want to challenge myself to create more real life interactions with guys. Also, does anyone want to go speed dating with me!?!
- Learn a skill. I have a few things in mind. I’m a decent baker, I’d like to explore if this is something I’d like to do professionally.
- Get a job. Wow I feel like I’m really filling up my calendar. But I want to do something part time, maybe even retail at a favorite store once a month. Because – Hello discount!
- Continue to support causes I believe in – with time or money. I will continue to foster with the APL. I will also look for other opportunities to give to others.
- Support the arts – and go to a show/art gallery/play once per season. Every three months. I think I can handle that! Also, an easy way to invite someone out.
- And last, but not least, I want to be a better mom. Not in a Suzie Homemaker, everything is honky-dory way, but in a real emotional and supportive way. I want to remember to parent them how they need support and love. To be understanding and loving of their needs as much as my own.
I am no longer just surviving, but I feel like I am thriving. I feel like I get to have fun again. Its been a big year of transitions, and I am REALLY looking forward to settling into routines a bit more in the new year.
Onwards and upwards – here’s to the new and scary! I’m ready 2017.