It’s over between us. I just don’t think it was working out. I know I’m supposed to be all like “it’s not you, it’s me,” here, but you know what? It’s you. You’ve been a real bastard, so I’m leaving you. Good bye. Don’t call me, don’t text me, don’t even think about just stopping by sometime–we are NOT “still going to be friends.” Who says that anyway? Honestly, who ever really means it?
You made me a blogger, an imposter writer, but blogging saved my sanity sometimes, and I thank you for it. Sure, you brought me another year of decent runs and found me a way to manage my hip pain. You gave me only two truly hideous colds and no pneumonia or bronchitis. Go, you! You connected me with friends and provided opportunities to travel to see my friends. I got to revel in my favorite music. I even got to spend time with the band on five occasions (insert teenage girly shrieks and squeals here!). You allowed my little guy to find his place in the world–the pitcher’s mound–and provided us a platform to develop the talent he has. You reminded me what a generous, caring guy my husband is–the guy who built a wheelchair ramp for our house for one friend for one day because he refused to let a thunderstorm limit the guest list for our annual outdoor barbecue. I consider myself a fairly aware person as it relates to expressing gratitude. It’s not that I necessarily needed the reminders, but am happy to have had them nonetheless. I am.
But you took.
You took hope. You snatched this mother’s hope that her son would grow out of it. Now we know he never will, because having muscular dystrophy means that each day is his best day ever, and while therein lies some type of lesson about seizing the day and all that, the heartbreak of knowing defeats a mother’s gift of naivete.
You took our dog. It was Izzy’s time, and I thank the stars and you, 2015, that she got to pick just when and how she’d make her leave. But I miss her. And I hate being the one not letting the family get another dog when their whim hits. Which is pretty much every time anyone sees a cute (or not cute) puppy anywhere, anytime.
You took my confidence in my ability to lead. You beat me down and beat me down. Beat. Me. Down. I kept clawing back up, trying to anyway, but I don’t believe I can ever regain that before-level confidence. My capacity to lead from within has been eroded by external forces (hello funding cuts) to be sure, but you made damn sure that I was weakened internally. Just how much can I get back? ‘Cause I will. Just not sure how. Or when. Or to what level. There are times I even wonder why. But like the song says, I will get back up. Probably.
You took precious time away from family as my husband’s job required him to work all the holidays. Continued cuts to state and thus local budgets meant that his employer was unable to attract and retain qualified staff who were also willing to endure filling in crappy second and third shifts. He is a family man through and through, and regrets having missed holiday moments with his sons and extended family. You cannot ever manufacture or recover time lost. The city owes him and our boys a debt it cannot and will not repay.
I did purchase for myself the carpe diem socks I referenced in November. I am wearing them as I type. The whole world makes resolutions for the new year, but I’ve never been much good at resolve specifically for the new year. January 1 is a pretty arbitrary day. BUT I will say that because the collection of days between January 1, 2015 through today generally speaking was a total jag, I am resolved not to let 2016 beat me into a gnarled, bloody mess of submission. Quite as much. No “I’m going to work out four days per week or lose 10 pounds by March” kinds of resolutions sure to be broken by January 4 will be proclaimed. Instead, a few items on my radar to be carpe-d in 2016–
- I will play a musical instrument again. I took flute lessons three summers ago after a lengthy hiatus, and the challenge overwhelmed me. It was nearly impossible to carve out sufficient rehearsal time, and tough to unlearn what I’d done less well in the past, so I didn’t much move forward. My instructor suggested a different instrument, and I’m feeling like maybe before I die, my inner six-string shredder may have to give it a go.
- I will learn more about muscular dystrophy. “Ignorance is bliss” is a wave not to be ridden ad infinitum.
resolvemight try to swear a little less like a drunken sailor in the workplace. Might. Shit. I said might!
- I will try to keep my personal interests (how many times must I remind you that obsession has just too negative a connotation?) a little closer to my head and heart and a little further from my lips. But I will NOT curb those personal interests in my head or heart. Carpe diem is the theme today–pay attention here, people. Geez.
- I resolve to help my older son find his passion. Or at least facilitate that, if that is even possible from an outsider’s perspective.
- I will be more direct with people. I am a suck-it-up kind of gal, and I allow people to treat me less well than I deserve. Further, when people do act like jerks, I’m disinclined to call that out in lieu of peacekeeping. I am a hell of a diplomat. Or is that doormat? I have a friend whose honesty is inspiring. I’ve been off my game, and she’s called me on it. Not in a mean way, but in a way that demonstrates her affection, her genuine care and concern.
- I will step away from my phone and spend more time with books. And people. Well, with some people. . .
For 2016 I resolve to do my best with me. There is no way to make all the people happy all the time, and no shortage of people willing to tell me just how disappointed they are in something I have presented or written. On the sunny side of the street however, I have received these incredible compliments–these are words that actual people have said to me–and I am going to begin 2016 by reminding myself that kindness is greater than discontent, and happy is greater than sad, and seizing is greater than sitting on life’s sidelines.
“I read what you wrote. It’s good. You have a good voice.”
“Wendy, you are the best of all the people ever.”
“I’d read your blog even if I didn’t know you. It’s good.”
“It’s an honor to know you, Wendy.”
Who says this stuff? To me?? I love you people, I do. Cheers to 2016!