2012 is over, and it has been one whirlwind of a year! So full of ups and downs. So many changes. So much joy. So much pain. Laughter. Tears. This was my first full year as a mommy, and like everyone says, the first year is the hardest. I moved 3 times. My relationship with my baby's father ended suddenly and painfully. November turned one year, experienced her first 'aware' Christmas, grew from a tiny baby to a walking, babbling toddler. I discovered an inner strength I didn't know I had. I had my heart expand, break, heal and expand once more.
The past few days have been so positive for me, that I can look back on this entire past year with fondness and a feeling that everything happened for a reason. I'm uphill from the valley of heartache, and can finally attest that the pain doesn't last forever, and things do get better. The traumatic memories fade, your heart opens again. New love glows on the horizon. There is a peace you can only find in yourself, once you are free from negative emotions and really embrace living in the present moment.
I'd like to say I want calm and stability out if this next year, but I have a feeling I'm on a life path that will lead me many places, regardless of my own plans, so instead I will intend to embrace and enjoy my new path, wherever it takes me. And I intend to hold strong to the true sense of self I have tapped into; I've learned a lot about what I truly desire, cherish, and need out of life and future relationships, and I don't want to get swept away in the current of life and forget it.
As for my New Years resolutions, I'll keep the list short. I feel like everyone forgets their resolutions after the first three months anyhow, so I'll only make ones I think I can accomplish every day, or early next year:
1.) become a better, more involved, more present mother. The recent challenges I have faced revealed a dark discovery when it comes to how I parent: sometimes, when I would become consumed with grief, frustration, stress, or sorrow, I had a really hard time giving November all my positive, loving attention. I didn't become neglectful, but I found myself zoning out, feeling 'blank' and emotionally absent during these moments. This also made it harder to handle her moods of neediness and clinginess. I did not like the chasm that formed between us when I was depressed. I have recently become much more aware of this tendency and have been determined to remain 'present' and involved, and will make this my focus this coming year.
I will pay less attention to my phone and iPad when she's awake. I can let the chores go for the moment if she needs me; sit down, hug, play, whatever she needs. The chores will still be there once she's feeling soothed! I will keep myself actively focused and playing with her, instead of dwelling on painful thoughts just because I have some free time while she plays. I know I won't always be perfect but ill try my best to be damn close! I love November more than anything, and being more involved with her every minute of the day brightens my mood, opens my heart, and keeps negative thoughts at bay. So it really is well worth it!
2.) Be a better listener. I talk. A lot. I wouldn't say I'm a bad listener, but I feel like I do more talking than listening with my friends and coworkers. I think this is especially so since I only work a few days a week, and seldom see my friends; when I have company I just want to talk and talk. I talk about my day, my life, my struggles, my baby, boys, every thought in my mind, my baby again, boys again...
I want to talk less about myself and ask more questions from others. It's hard because lately I genuinely need a sounding board but I must temper my need for expression with a genuine interest in other people's lives.
3.) Vacation. I can't really remember the last vacation I had. I think it was a short stay in Long Beach, WA Like 4 years ago? The last three plane trips I took were for touring with bands I was in; as fun as that sounds, its nowhere near a true vacation. I've been really nervous about flying with November but I think it's time to take our first vacation to...California!
4.) Go on dates. I've never properly learned about dating in an 'adult' way. My relationships and flings usually start out as drunken encounters. I usually go on dates AFTER I'm already dating someone. I would love to experience the whole 'will you go on a date with me so we can get to know each other?' kind of thing. I decided not to date until after the new year, and now that it's 2013, I'm excited to do things right. I'm in no way desperate for a new relationship; I love my life, I'm happy with myself, I'm happy single BUT I'm also cautiously optimistic about my romantic future. It's a new year, a new life, and a chance to start over.
Goodbye 2012. Goodbye November's sweet baby-hood. Goodbye Spencer, old life, old home, old memories. Goodbye old dreams, old plans. Goodbye heartache. Goodbye bad choices. Goodbye bad feelings.
Hello 2013. 13 has always been my lucky number. Hello November's toddlerhood. Hello new adventures in motherhood and life. Hello to the new memories I will make, the new life I will build, the new love I will find. Hello to making new dreams and seeing them manifest. Hello to better choices, more happiness, better times.
Wishing you a happy 2013!