Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Retrospective

I honestly can't say that I'm sad to be parting ways with this year.  It's true.  Ugh.  

I looked back at last year's 'wrap up' post and remembered what a crappy time 2011 was in so many ways, how I was relishing a new start.  If I had known then what I know now, I would have gone into total hiding to try and escape having to deal with what was to come.... however futile that attempt may have been, it would have been instinctual, that's what self preservation is.   The upside?  I'm still here.  I'm smarter, faster and stronger.  That's what having your ass kicked repeatedly will do to those tenacious enough to just ride it out in between firing off defensive punches.

Look, it was certainly not all bad.  Because I'm getting older and my memory is beginning to run together, this post is being created strictly so that I can remember exactly what went down, not to wax poetic about it.

1.  I started my new job.  I love my job, and it's the first time since 2004 (when I was still doing hair) that I could genuinely say that.  That, in and of itself, is a great accomplishment.  Leaving behind a perfectly respectable and financially sound job with killer awesome hours and TONS of vacation time (all summer and any holidays that kids get) may seem crazy to some, but even as I sit here at work for the first time EVER in my working career on a New Year's Eve, I wouldn't trade my decision for anything.   So good on me for taking the risk and making the change.  Just patted myself on the back.

2.  I took trips.  I went to New Orleans.  I went to Nashville, which is now in my top five favorite US cities, took a small weekend getaway mother/son trip to Chattanooga with The Kid and went to NYC solo and had a great time.  I suggest that everyone travel alone at some point in their life.  It's good for you and you will experience your destination in a way unlike any other.  Honestly, it's become one of my favorite ways to travel. 

3.  I made new friends.  Now, this is notable for a couple of reasons.  Mainly because it goes hand in hand with the fact that I re-learned how to enjoy having a social life.  After so many years of spending all of my time being a wife and mom, I admittedly lost the inclination to willingly put myself in social situations more than a couple of times a year, anything more than that caused me an inordinate amount of stress and I was far more content home with a book or movie.  I still love that, but feel like a much more well rounded person now that it's not solely how I spend my time.    Meeting new people does come along with the territory of leaving your house, and I'm incredibly pleased to have broadened my very small circle of friends with more quality individuals.   I still come close to being a borderline loner/introvert when left to my own devices, but there are a few more people in my world worth bucking that inclination for.   I have allowed the right people to become closer to me and it's paid off.  I've become a bit more emotionally and physically accessible.  This makes me truly happy.

Then there was all of the horrible stuff.  If you know me, then you know all about it and I certainly don't need to recap it all here.  If you don't have a clue as to what I'm talking about, then you missed it and I'm still not going to recap it.   I'm glad that with age, I have gained the ability to learn from the bad instead of letting myself drown in it for too long.    I have learned that avoidance of troubles is only going to compound said troubles, so you may as well take the bull by the horns and deal sooner than later.  The longer you wait, the harder it will be to find any resolution.   Procrastination = BAD

This year reminded me that even when you haven't done anything to warrant drama, horrible times and big trouble, you can't control what the people around you are going to thrust you into.  When you love someone, sometimes their actions inadvertently take you along for their hell ride and you suffer along with them, even if you aren't the one that went looking for it.  Fair?  Hell, no.  Real life?  Yep. 
I've made it through what seemed unthinkable in many ways, and rather than it kill me, drive me insane or ruin me forever, I'm just a bit worse for the wear and a whole lot smarter and capable.   So, that's something.

I'm incredibly unforgiving and hold a grudge forever.  It's genetic, I'm telling you.  This year has made me ponder when it's appropriate to forgive.  Sometimes it's the right thing.  Sometimes, if you stomp your foot and refuse genuine sentiments of remorse and a desire to make things right when it's coupled by a pattern of action supporting these wishes, you just end up shooting your own foot off.  No one wins.  Regrets happen down the road.  It's all avoidable.  I'll continue to try and find that balance.  When you're an all or nothing sort of gal like I am, this can be the hardest thing to do.

I've learned to stop ignoring what my brain is trying to tell me.  I've pinpointed that as the root of so many problems.  My instincts always scream at me about people, and in a misguided attempt at being more open minded, more forgiving, less suspicious, judgmental and harsh, I ended up not listening to myself and that has been the direct cause of so many issues.   In the end, I'm usually right about folks.  Trust me, getting rid of people you've let have access to you after they've been in your life for a while can be trickier than shutting them out straightaway.  It's just not worth it.   Go with your gut, even if it makes you look like a jerk.  I'd rather be perceived that way than feeling stupid later and having to kick myself repeatedly. 

People with nothing positive to offer, who don't share fundamental attributes and perspectives can take a hike.  I'm a nurturer by nature (I know that can be hard to see if you don't know me incredibly well), but I'm not Captain Save a Ho.  I don't respond well to passive aggressive behavior, guilt trips and attempted manipulation by others.  It makes me mean, and I can be meaner than just about anyone I know if push comes to shove.  You'd think that with all that meanness flowing through my veins, I wouldn't allow others to treat me badly.  That's admittedly been a problem for me my entire life, and every year I become more adept at learning when to say that enough is enough.  No matter how much you care about someone and want them in your life, it's not worth bending on the standard of treatment you know you deserve.  I'm getting there.  I'll always be a work in progress, but aren't we all? 

So, just like any other year, it's been a totally mixed bag.  I have no idea what's coming to me in 2013, and I have begun to learn to have fewer expectations.  Life's a roller coaster.  Sometimes you just have to throw your hands in the air and give in to the experience instead of attempting to control everything.  Not only is that an exhausting way to live, it's just not entirely attainable.  I'm trying hard to be done with that mindset.

Thank you to the people who have made me laugh, comforted me when I cried and put up with me in general.  I hope that I've done right by the folks that I truly value and consider friends, because you're the only ones I really try with.... you're the ones that are worth it.  

New Year's Resolutions?   Um, no.  Except maybe cursing more creatively.  That's not a bad goal.  

1 comment:

  1. "but I'm not Captain Save a Ho." ~ The best. xo