Outside of a small, specific circle, I was quite shy and quiet as a kid. When I was in third grade, I found out that a classmate thought I didn't like him because I never talked to him. I was devastated, and I realized that, as much as I wanted people to like me, it was even more important to me that people know I like them. I made a conscious decision to learn to step outside of myself and be more outgoing, to not just think kindly of people, but to find ways to actively show them kindness.
The last 6 months or so, I have failed pretty spectacularly on both thinking and showing kindness to people. I have definitely let the frustration of feeling like my brain is a capricious reprobate just waiting to betray me affect my mood more than I should. This year has, in many ways, been pretty marvelous for our family. Chief among them, we escaped the death trap rental house we lived in for almost 2 1/2 years, and finding treatments to tame the functionally deficient aspects of both Doug's brain and my own. On the other hand, since I am whatever the exact opposite of hypochondriac is (would that be a hyperchondriac?), that entailed an avalanche of unexpected medical bills. Adjusting to medications meant, for me, a semester-long adjustment period of feeling disorganized, inarticulate, forgetful and exhausted. I'm mostly back to normal now, but it did result in one B+, which hurts my little, perfectionist heart more than I want to admit.
Doug is working on a career transition that seems promising for him and for our family. He's so good at his job, and I'm tremendously grateful he won't likely have to it a whole lot longer.
We've had a lot of ups and downs, but things have definitely been trending steadily up. But I'm afraid that life has crapped all over a lot of our loved ones the last couple of years, and that, combined with the fatigue of the pace we are of necessity maintaining right now, has made it difficult for me to remain focused on my many, many blessings.
It is not lost on me that that has coincided with a sharp decrease in the amount of writing that I do. Generally, I'm good at being happy. Its kind of my thing. Usually, I also have a long fuse and am quick to forgive. If I don't take the time to organize and record my thoughts in writing, all of that starts to go downhill. And my insights--particularly in things that really matter--tend to dry up. I've been impatient. I've been overly sensitive. I've been angry. A lot. I've been uninterested in even trying to forgive. I've been critical of almost everyone I know.
I need to let go of my frustrations with my limitations. I need to be actively grateful for my blessings. I need to be more mindful in my parenting, better at balancing and prioritizing my time, more consistent in family habits. I need to be more forgiving: forgive them if they keep screwing up, forgive them even if they're not sorry, forgive them no matter what I see in their family's eyes.
The list goes on. But all of it becomes more doable when I write. I am not verbal. I can do it, but it isn't my strong point. Thoughts that I can only seem to dance around in conversation or internal monologue, flow relatively easily and completely when I sit down and write.
The last few years of our family are essentially lost when it comes to records. I haven't blogged and I haven't journaled. I need to take time each Sunday to plan my week, and find at least an hour somewhere in the week to write.
I've come to realize that the writing I share is a testimony, and, perhaps more importantly, that which I keep for myself in one of the ways I pray, and one of the most effective ways for me. I need both the testifying and the praying to hand over my burdens so that I can be the wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend that I should be.
This year, I want to become someone that 8-year-old version of myself would respect.