As I have matured (don’t laugh, just…dont!), I try to reflect on a regular basis, examining events and thoughts, trying to gain more insight into things and to make wiser choices when new ones come along.
Since 2009 when my husband died, I’ve had some rough times – but also some good times. Friendships have grown stronger and deeper, new grand children arrived, and some relationships have improved. I also had to sell my little farm, opened my heart to the possibility of love and got dumped, and had to financially finagle how to keep the farm out of foreclosure. I’m still a little raw, to be honest. Actually, I am still a lot raw in many places. So what have I learned this year?
When your kids stumble, sometimes it is okay to let them do so, and then wait for them to heal from the shock of someone not always picking them up, and let the relationship heal on its own time. These things cannot be forced. My two younger daughters have made some tough decisions this year, and while they might not be the decisions that I would choose, I support them as best I can. I try to tell them, “Life is hard, and it is not fair – but there is still a lot worth doing, seeing and being.” There is still a lot of acrimony between the sisters, but I’m chalking that up to three girls so close together in age. It is my hope that as they all move towards maturity, the rifts will heal.
I learned that I was ready to learn to love someone new- just apparently they weren’t ready to learn to love me. Of all the things I experienced this year, this was indeed the most damaging to me. It shook my trust down to the roots. Even though it has been seven months since we directly interacted, I am not over it. I want to be. He’s obviously more than over it. Actually, there are days that I wonder if I was simply a gullible fool, ripe for the picking. Sometimes, it is like a scab that gets bumped off and the bleeding starts all over again. Then I feel silly, like I am very young and insecure again, and angry at myself for opening up to someone completely. So I swing between civility and calm (These things happen), anger (I’ve never, ever, been treated this way), melancholy (What might have been) and confusion (What the hell happened?!?) And then I just get disgusted and think “I know why there have always been spinsters dammit”, LOL!
I’ve made some wonderful new friends, and my existing friendships have deepened to the level of sisters from another mother. I’ve made male friends that have absolutely no romantic interest in me whatsoever, and they are teaching me a lot about things I do not know – tools, construction, wells, root cellars, and sometimes, how men think. I see good husbands, strong fathers, grieving widowers, caretakers of aging parents, and I am privileged to see real men in all forms. It gives me a greater appreciation for the fact that there ARE good men around, who are not emotionally stunted or too damaged. Granted, I know some of those too. We are still good friends, and I listen to their dating woes, their issues that they wrestle with, and that too, shows me another side of men – the vulnerable parts.
I learned to think things out when it comes to housing, to land, to buying. Yes, I have a dream to return to the country and to homestead. But I can do it more wisely, more slowly, and without getting tied up in debt so that it is something that I could lose, again. It is difficult, because I want this so badly that I can taste it! I also don’t want to be foolhardy. I’m wading my way through terms new to me, concepts that I am trying to understand, thinking about my life as it is today but also keeping an eye on how things might change and how to incorporate those into a manageable homestead for one, in case there never is partnership again in my life. And I discovered Pinterest (Eeek!). Beats a bulletin board with magazine photos any day though 🙂
I learned that I may not really understand tools, but that I can always learn – sometimes without putting out an eye or cutting open my flesh! (But, swearing still follows tool use, sorry)
The things that I would like to take forward into 2014 are these:
Worry less and dance more.
You learn more about someone at the end of a relationship than at the beginning.
Think less, laugh more.
Always practice contentment.
Be forgiving, first of myself, then of others. I’ve not walked in their shoes.
Trust a little less easily; but give without restraint to those who earn your trust…over time.
Things aren’t always going to go according to plan, so, keep doing yoga to remain flexible!
It’s okay to cry when I hurt, when I am lonely, and when I am frustrated – no one is here to see me anyway!
Remain open to the possibility of love.
It has been a good year, an extreme year for growth for me. I’m a little dinged up, but I will survive. I always have. I have so much to look forward to, and no advance knowledge of my expiration date – so, I’ll take some chances, take some risks, and accept that sometimes I may stumble or even GASP! fall down. I’ll just try to avoid those that would kick me when I am down.
May your 2014 be a great year, a healthy year, and a year of LIVING!