2016. Who’da thunk it. I have to admit, this New Years deal is not my favorite of holidays. It always seems to slam home the point to me how fast time is flying. It also puts the reality right in my face that, once again, I did not do all those things I said I was gonna do over the last year. Lose weight and get in shape, start doing day trips on the weekends and try to tick off a few bucket list items. Start taking time for ME. The list goes on. I internally scream to myself, “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” The answer is complex, or maybe it’s simple. I think depression is a major part of it. Now, mind you, I function, not firing on all cylinders, but I get the important stuff done. But, my energy levels have been in the basement for years. I am dealing with menopause and the side effects of a blood pressure med that I have no choice but to take, aches and pains, and all those lovely effects of aging. Toss the MM roller coaster in there, along with the stress of raising a child in today’s world, money concerns, and you have a perfect storm. It’s hard to feel hopeful. There is just SO much to worry about. For a long time after Tim’s diagnosis, after the initial long time where I was, without a doubt, in a grieving period, I played mind games with myself. Every time you find yourself too down in the dumps, you don’t have to look far to find folks who are so much worse off and would trade places with you. We all know we don’t take comfort in that. Certainly not. But we try to get our chin up and soldier on, counting whatever blessings we may have. But, I have always been a realist. I know people who make up their own realities, which really have no resemblance to reality, when the truth is too hard for them to deal with. They just live in a world of make-believe and pretend nothing’s wrong. That ain’t me. So, even if I try to count my blessings and concentrate on what’s NOT wrong instead of what is, well…..it’s short-lived. The big picture and the plain truth is, my little family here is dealing with some really tough stuff. You don’t get much tougher than the life or death struggle. And, there are many around me in that same struggle, at different points along this scary path. I have always been on over-empathizer, but one doesn’t have to be to get emotionally involved and really feel for these people, and know that you are one of them too, just somewhere else on that same path. That is the reality we are living with. And trying to cope with.
How does one get the spring back in their step under these circumstances? I just don’t know. I know that what I am doing now isn’t working for me. The lack of self-care, motivation, it’s all been a big fail. One thing I am glad about is that we went to California this year. At one point, when scheduling it between Tim’s work and Liv’s sports calendar became really tricky, Tim said, “why don’t we just go next summer?” But, I told him flat out I was not OK postponing it. He might be on chemo by then and suffering side effects. Liv would be out of high school but who knows if she might actually get a job that summer or if there would be pre-college events in the mix. Nope, I booked it and off we went. It was a great trip. Neither Tim nor Liv had ever been there and I saw places I’d never seen before too. It’s been 30 years since I was there anyway, so it was like a new experience. It was very hard to come home. Liv wants to move to CA. It really is another world out there. I want to move away from here all the time, but I know it’s just because I want to run away from our problems and disappointments. There are too many reasons why moving isn’t an option for us.
But, at least we checked a huge bucket list item off and that gives me some solace as this year comes to a close. After a difficult year last year, with Liv losing her best buddy and some other really hard things for her, this year is shaping up well for her. She loves being a senior, going out to lunch with friends, etc. It agrees with her. She is very sad that things are ending, so that part is hard, but, mercifully, she was able to forge stronger friendships with some of her other buddies after the drama of last year, and things are generally OK for her. When you’re a parent, they say you’re only as happy as your kid(s) are. It is so true. That is probably part of my problem this year, as she told me in June that she has been struggling herself with the blues for several years and never told us. Finding out that this MM roller coaster and the separation from more than half of our family has affected her this badly was a real game changer for me. To hear that my kid was not spared the depression aspect of this darn roller coaster we’re on, well, it was depressing. The three of us heard someone say, recently, on TV, that parenting is trying to protect your child from anything that can hurt them, whilst at the same time trying to give them wings. I told her, “that’s it, that’s exactly what it’s like, and it’s HARD.” There was and is so much I am not able to protect her from. And that SUCKS. How the heck do you try to make what we’re going through, easier for her? UGHHHHHHHHH!!!
So, 2016 promises to be a tough year for us. A lot of changes loom. Liv applied to 8 colleges, already was accepted to one, and then got another letter inviting her to apply for their honors program. I am NOT looking forward to my kid going off to college. But, I have to give her wings. And, maybe it’s time I give myself wings too. I spend ALL of my time doing things for others and nothing for myself. That has to change and I better find some raison d’etre, since I really can’t afford more depression in the mix when she leaves the nest. I still have a glimmer of hope that there is some happiness to be had in our future. I have to. I tell myself that she is starting a great adventure, learning to take care of herself, and growing up, and isn’t that the goal anyway? So, this year, I spose my goal is to try to get back to LIVING life. Because it occurred to me very recently, that most of my life has been spent just COPING with my life. Sad, but true. And life is to be lived, isn’t it?!
So, cheers to 2016, and getting on to the business of LIVING.
Wishing you all health, happiness, and blessings too numerous to count!!!