Reflections on 2018

As December progresses, and the year draws to a close, I think about where I’ve been and where I’m going. This was another year of big changes and growth.

I am mostly healed from my divorce. My kids’ dad left for good in December of 2014. It’s been four years of learning how to single-parent. It’s been four years of healing and moving forward. It’s been four years of handling home repairs, and kid schedules, and budgeting, and grieving the loss of the life I thought I would have. It’s been four years of learning to love myself. It’s been four years of accepting that things didn’t turn out the way I thought they should and not only surviving but thriving. The ripple effects and moments of sadness will always be there because of the way things ended, but we are all OK.

I am re-certified to teach and am working. This has been a huge boost to my confidence level. When I took time out from paid employment to raise kids, my self-esteem took a hit. It has been wonderful to re-discover my passion for education. It has been a joy to be back inside schools, even as a substitute, and to see what’s going on with students so many years after my last teaching gig. What I’ve learned is that kids are still the same, and teachers are still some of the best people around. I’m so glad my children are products of this school district and the particular schools they attend(ed).

The man I love, the man who has been instrumental in my healing, moved in this fall. This was a natural progression of our relationship and our circumstances, and it feels good. I will admit I was a little worried simply because we get a long so well. We don’t fight. It’s just easy, easy, easy to be with him. I worried that if we lived together that might change. I worried for nothing. We have settled into a routine that suits us. He still thrills me with his kiss. He still makes me laugh ‘til I cry every day. His love is like the softest, warmest blanket tucked around me, and while I will never make another person my home again, he is the closest thing to home I’ve ever felt. I am seen, heard, respected, and cherished. I once read that we should try to find someone who loves like we do, and I thought that would be impossible. He has taught me I was wrong.

My daughter who went off to college this fall is on her way home today. She’s not just coming home for the holiday break, she’s coming home for good. Turns out, her choice of school wasn’t a good fit, and it was taking a huge physical toll on her. So she’s coming home to take classes at the local college and hopefully, transfer to the nearby university next fall. She has agonized over this decision and second-guessed it to the point of making herself ill. She recognized that she needed to do what was best for herself and change her situation. When your kid comes to you with a spreadsheet of classes, transfer credits, and a plan, you go with it. She’s been on a steep learning curve this fall and is ending her year doing what’s best for herself. That makes me incredibly proud.

My son’s transition to high school has been smooth and drama free. This isn’t always the case with him. His autism often keeps him from fully understanding or communicating understanding of major events (like sister leaving, or mom’s boyfriend moving in) for up to a year, so we could still see some push-back about school and household changes in the future. Generally speaking, though, he seems to have adjusted well.  He’s a good-natured and happy kid who invites us to dance parties in his room on a regular basis. We are happy to oblige because it’s worth it to see him jump around with a smile on his face as we dance and sing along with him.

I am grateful for another year of growth and healing and trials and triumphs. There was a time in the notsodistant past that I wanted to die. I’m so glad I stuck around. I really never could have predicted that things would be the way they are, but sometimes the way you THINK things should be isn’t anywhere near as wonderful as things actually WILL be if you just shut up and let things unfold. My life has unfolded in the most unexpected and delicious ways.

Time to shut up and see what 2019 has in store…

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