The holidays can be a triggering time for anyone struggling with life’s realities. Grief, poverty, addiction, abuse, divorce, mental illness, general malaise. Whatever demons lurk in the periphery of your daily consciousness.
Coming into the trailing days of 2018 has had me thinking about the life I’m in now. 20 months out. 50 years away. 35 minutes ago. However long it’s been in whatever time-space continuum we continue to inhabit.
With the aggressively merry season of joy and peace finally fading. As the sun returns. I’m feeling the weight of the many emotions I sit with.
Christmas is a difficult time of year for a solo-parent. There is intense pressure to make it a magical, joyous time. Not for any cultural and external force really, but just for these beautiful and pure little children who WANT to feel that sparkling excitement and embrace the light. Christmas, for me, triggers the realities of what used to be and what is. Our one-parent-two-child household and all the responsibilities that lie on me to make that function. The memories of a time when the holidays did not contain this dragging grayness. The person who should be with us through it all.
I’m working to stay in the present and focused on the potential ahead. I’m thankful for my little place in the world. I’m open to whatever this future may bring. I’m broken and beaten and still a bit ragged around the edges. I know myself and my world on a deeper level than I’ve ever encountered. I have a lot to learn. I’m still figuring all of this out.
The changes I have already encountered in life #2, my home, professional identity, personal life, social circles, daily patterns and activities, have been a seismic shift for 20 months. I’ve found my way into a new rhythm. My kids are settled, contented, trusting of the existence we have drifted into. New normal is in full swing and feeling comfortable and promising in many ways. And dark and foreboding in others. But that’s ok.
Things I have realized in the past year:
1. I don’t like IPAs. Tim liked IPAs. I don’t have to buy IPAs anymore if I don’t want to.
2. I’m just bad at doing laundry. I really don’t care about it very much. It’s not because I have a coin-operated laundry room in the basement, I just don’t really like to do laundry.
3. While my genetics and hypothyroidism do contribute to my chronic struggle with weight, most of that has had to do with my own patterns and behaviors. It’s on me to change that. I have the capacity to do so.
4. I’m very snobby about sheets and I can accept that about myself.
5. I’m still 100% positive that there is no higher power controlling our existence. Like, I’m CERTAIN, guys.*
*(but, you know, you have the right for feel and believe whatever is true for you because that’s totally your truth and I totally get that.)
6. Even more than his presence, personality, motivations, intellectual curiosity, and co-parenting, I miss the love I shared with Tim. That’s been that hardest thing to process and one of the last doors I’ve opened up. The loss of loving and being loved. It’s a very achy wound.
7. I really truly am trying my hardest to be everything I need to be.
8. I’m doing fine.
2019 will arrive in a week. I’m not sure what it will bring, but I know it will bring new perennial beds. I know it will bring opportunities. It will bring whatever it will bring, and I’m strong enough to handle whatever that may be.
(ps, so are you.)