It's that time of year when people start promising things to themselves that they forgot they said come March. Yep, it's New Year's Resolution Time! I don't often make resolutions because 1.) I think that you can resolve to change your life at any point in the calendar; 2.) I am forgetful.
The beautifully confusing thing about life is that we are always in transition. Growth and improvement cannot occur where there is no change. Transitions and positive growth are often painful, uncomfortable, challenging and uncertain. We are all on this unlimited mountain-plateau climb. We struggle up the "mountain" to get to the top only to plateau and look up to see that there is more struggle to the top. It's scary, that's why most people quit or don't even try to improve in the first place. But we can't escape growth. It's always happening and it's always there. Whether we are physically growing, emotionally growing or psychologically improving something awesome yet transitional is occurring in our lives to help make it better and to help us learn how to be better next time. So we may as well just give in to the pain and go with it.
I welcome 2015 with open arms knowing that January 1st won't miraculously make my life better but it does provide that emblematic new car smell I've been yearning for since October 2014. This past year has been one of my least favorite year's of all time; possibly because I'm balancing a lot personally and there were a lot of random hiccups along the way that made the journey even more "delightful". Rather than focus on my problems and misgivings, I had hoped that really trying to be a better parent would give me some relief... it didn't. In fact a lot of my personal failure came at my unrealistic expectation of covering up my pain with trying to be a better parent. Self medicating through child pleasing is the worst. I over extended myself and exhausted myself and ultimately it was a failure for all involved. I can't do everything and I can't make everyone happy every single day because I feel guilty about challenges in my personal life. I realized that a lot of my problem was that I waited too late to communicate my needs with my children's father. We've chosen to amiably raise our kids together, therefore he is still my partner and the needs of the other person are important on some level. For the largest part of 2014 I forgot about him being a valuable resource in my life. I didn't think to have him carry some of the parenting responsibilities I was failing at. Had I communicated earlier, 2014 would still have been hard, but it may not have been so painfully difficult.
These are my personal affirmations (not resolutions) leading into 2015.
This is not going to be an easy task. It will take a lot of patience, understanding, trust, love... unconditional love and hope. It's going to take work and dedication and a never-give-up attitude. I thought I had our coparenting relationship figured out. I thought it was set in stone. But now I realize that relationships grow because people grow. Needs change in relationships; communication styles change in relationships; and goals change in relationships. I did not accept that in 2014.
I'm a former teacher and former college athlete, currently working to make life more equitable for all people. My mission is to get parents to partner with their child's teacher.