I can't really sum up this year much better than it sucked in so many ways. With my 17 year relationship imploding, it's pretty much dominated most of my head space for much of the year. I've had to deal with heartbreak, hurt, anger, rejection, self doubt...you name it, pretty much every negative emotion out there, I've felt it this year. I've also had to grieve the life I had planned for myself, growing old with my loved one, watching our grandchildren play together. I've had to get used to doing things on my own, such as caring for three kids, dealing with them in the middle of the night when they're throwing up and I'm not far behind. I've had to negotiate tasks that my husband usually did, get used to going to parent and couple events alone, endure the looks and gossip and slowly get used to the idea of being replaced.
Yeah... this year has sucked big time.
However it has also really really rocked in so many ways. I learned that I have the best of friends near and far. From a group of girlfriends that you only hear tell in movies or novels, to online buddies who have listened to my many rants and cries, to my old friends and family back home who welcomed me with open arms and a whole new group of friends who have loved me to bits. Really, other than my children, my friends and family are my reason for survival.
I've had to negotiate so many new things relying on my own strength and without the support of my spouse. From being afraid to fly (and believe me, I clutched those arm rests like no one's business, but I did it!) to going to the dentist, lawyer, accountant, stock broker. To simply driving in places that I'd rely on my spouse's expertise. In that, I've learned that I'm pretty damned capable of these things myself! Go me!!!
I've had to adapt as a parent, which has been the hardest. I've had to go nuts in carving out time for me to do things with the guys when I'm not running amok taking care of the mundane things. I thankfully have awesome support in getting to do so. I've had to alter my relationship with them since I'm the primary parent 5 days out of 7. I've also had to let go of some things. Instead of trying to be the perfect parent in someone else's eyes, I've had to redefine what the perfect parent is for me and my guys and that is still a work in progress, but one I'm starting to clue into and that is bringing a lot of relief to me.
This year has been very rough emotionally, but I've survived and that in itself is an accomplishment. It's been 10 months since my ex spouse ended our relationship. I barely remember how I got through the first month, what I do remember, I look back in amazement to see how far I've come emotionally because I was a living, breathing wreck! I sometimes go into meltdown mode, and the anxiety is my biggest problem now, but I am smiling again, a lot. I feel lucky, I feel loved, I feel beautiful and I'm looking forward to the future, whatever it may bring, because i know I can handle it, some way, some how!
My ego took a serious beating this year. I mean, what can you do after someone who've loved for 17 years and who you thought loved you, decides to move on quite suddenly without warning. You feel pretty freaking inadequate. LOL Superficially, I thought about what was on the outside and what made it so awful, less superficially, I thought about the inside and internalized a lot of ugly things about myself. However with all that I've had to accomplish this year and all that I have, I'm not feeling so bad in the smarts department. More and more, I catch a look in the mirror and am surprised that there is a pretty good looking gal looking back at me. I've learned that I do not have to look a certain way to be beautiful. I've embraced and will continue to embrace that inner diva, and judging by all the diva-esque birthday gifts I got this year, I'd say I'm doing a good job. Most importantly though, I am judging a part of myself by the company I keep. I've got to say, I keep some damn fine company, and if they can embrace and love me the way that they do, I can't be all that bad.
I received some pretty awful news a few hours ago. After my initial sob, it made me reflect on how fast and precious life is and how it can change in the blink of an eye. Sorry, for the cliche, but everyone has those wake up moments, we all need them. It's made me focus on all that I do have rather than what I do not. I've had a huge loss this year, I will feel it forever and it will take a while to recover, but I have gained sooooo much this year too. Most of all, my new and improved parenting relationship with my boys, the amazing friends old and new, here and away that I have, and the growing sense of self worth I am working on. I hope by this time next year, I'll start showing signs of that force to be reckoned with that I'm aiming to grow into. :)