Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Year, New Me?

How many times do we hear that phrase in the months of December and January? How many times do we say it? often do we actually follow through?

I learned a long time ago that resolutions are not for me. If I don't keep them, it sends me down a path of self-loathing and I spiral on until I hit, if not rock-bottom, pretty darned close.

I have goals, though. And 2010 I hit quite a few. I never did make it down to the weight-limit for sky-diving. In fact, I've put back on 10 pounds. I'm still down 28 pounds -- about 9%. I'll take it and gladly. Why? Because I'm learning my triggers. I'm learning what sets me off emotionally. I'm learning what I do and don't like to eat.

One of my goals is to become more self-aware and to stand up for myself more. I did not put my life "on hold" for anyone this past year. I didn't "wait around" for Mr. Right-now to get in touch. If he didn't have the time, it was his loss, my gain. That's not to say that I have written these people off completely. If they do contact me, sure, I'll go out for a drink or to a movie. But I'm not waiting for them if I want to go to the movie, either. I have no problems going by myself and enjoying my own company now. Fishing by myself? No problem. L, the friend who I used to go fishing with often, has simply stopped speaking to me. She no longer replies to texts or answers her phone. I don't know why and while I am hurt because I really do like her and enjoy her company, I also realize that perhaps she was a friend for a reason and that reason is gone. I have great memories and nothing can take those away from me.

I am no longer upset that I'm on an anti-depressant. It is helping me cope and keeping me sane. Well, relatively sane. It helps to know that this is a temporary situation -- as things improve in my life then my mind will sort itself out and the need for the anti-depressant will lessen. But if it doesn't? Well, it's not exactly the end of the world either, is it? God made me this way for a reason -- who am I to question that?

I'm learning to let go of things, too. Including my son. As scary as it might sound, he is now 18. As such, it's been really hard not asking who/what/when/where. We're both adjusting to the change -- he wants more freedoms and so is frustrated when I ask when he'll be home. I explain that I'm asking because I need to know if he'll be there for supper or if he needs a ride to or from work. I need to know so that I can plan accordingly. His life affects others, not just him. We also have a living arrangement and he needs to keep his part of that. It's not that I'm taking away freedoms by insisting he keeps his part; it's that he is of an adult age and that means more responsibilities, not automatic freedoms. In all, it is going well. There are some days where the lack of communication is frustrating but as a whole, he's doing well and I feel okay with letting him go.

I spent part of 2010 meeting new friends. Well, new in that I hadn't met them in person before but I had known them for quite awhile via the Internet. What a wonderful thing the Internet can be. I met my HunniBear and Sheepie and their families last summer and both times it was just like sitting down with family. It also showed me how lonely I am here in this town and how many things I know I would enjoy doing that I am missing out on.

I knit my first pair of socks and went on to knit 5 more pair before the end of the year. Not bad considering just a smidge over a year ago I was still trying to figure out how to use two needles at a time, let alone five! I'm really enjoying knitting, though and it is somewhat frustrating not having local friends to share that with.

The last goal I had for 2010 was to try shuttle tatting. And I did so, on New Year's Eve. I'm not sure I will ever be proficient in it, but time will tell. There is a definite trick to it but I know that the things that can be created are well worth the time.

The year 2010 ended better than it began. While I was still only working part-time and still struggling financially, I was in a good home with a wonderful landlord working a job that I enjoy and I was again thinking of my future and what I want and where I want to be.

For me, 2011 will be a year of changes, however. I started a second job this past week and so for a couple of weeks anyway I'll be working 60 hours a week. It will be nice to get a couple of bills caught up and then start putting money aside for what I'm terming "My Big Move.™" I'm ready to spread my wings and fly a bit. Meeting HunniBear and her family and Sheepie and her family started a bee a-buzzing around my head.

HunniBear and I have been commenting a lot on how we must be sisters born of different parents (and since she's from Great Britain -- that is a task!). We think a lot alike, we have the same sense of humor and we both have commented how much fun we would have if we were but closer to each other. When we met in Mitchell on their move from Utah to Ohio, it was comfortable and fun.

Sheepie and her family just showed me how much I am missing out on with having no local friends to speak of. And they showed me also how easy it can be to make new friends. When we met in Mitchell on their Epic Trip™ from Ohio to Utah and back again, it was comfortable and fun. In both cases, it was full of warmth and true caring.

I looked at my friends list in Ravelry and lo -- there are quite a few in Ohio. HunniBear is in the Dayton area and she has "first dibs" on me so I looked at housing in that area. It's not horribly bad. I found a one-bedroom apartment I like that has more square footage than the first floor of the house I'm renting right now (and of which I've always maintained the first floor alone is enough for just me) for only $80 more a month. While that seems like a lot going from a house to an apartment, I'm also keeping in mind that with that there is yard care and snow removal among other things that are not included in my rent here. Not to mention lower heating/cooling costs.

Then I looked at job opportunities for me. Wow. It wouldn't take me long to find a good paying job at all. There is a really good transit system in place and so I could also save quite a bit using a bus pass instead of driving everywhere. There are two good universities should I opt to pursue some higher education.

And most importantly? A built-in network system. With people who know me, love me and really want me there. That in and of itself has been such a boost to my sense of self-worth. I have a HunniBear, a Sheepie and a Magpie all providing such wonderful support and shoulders to lean on. Mr. Sheepie even told me to make sure I bring my fishing stuffs! Mr. HunniBear and I got along great and he told me that I would always be welcome. I haven't met Mr. Magpie yet but Magpie assures me he is safe. hehe So it isn't just that I have friends...but that I have full-blown families waiting for me with arms wide open.

There are cons, of course. I would be even farther away from my father and my brother and his family as well as the extended family. It would be really hard to know that I'm no longer just 5 hours away by car. But it's my turn to see a bit of the world. I "settled down" at 18 when my son was born. I did everything I was "supposed to" and while I've been -- content? -- I haven't been truly happy. My brother lived in two states and owned a home in one before he married the woman of his dreams (and I maintain to this day I could not ask for a better sister-in-law!!). It's my turn to have my time. To find out what I really enjoy doing. To see parts of the world.

And to leave my son to fend for himself. That is the hardest part of all. He has a respectable support network here, however. And he really does like it here. He is a little uncertain of how he'll do on his own but he knows he has the knowledge and it's time to put it into practice. I'll do everything I can to make sure he's not been set up for failure, of course. But he has the basic knowledge. He can grocery shop, he can cook, he can clean, he can do laundry. He knows how to prioritize his money and is practicing that now. I wish I could set him up like my parents did for me. I wish I could leave him a car. I wish I could have money to help him out on occasion. But if wishes were horses, beggars would ride, right?

I have my Dad's support. He isn't 100% happy about it, which I understand, but he understands my feelings and he is at least at terms with it. My brother and I haven't talked about it much because we just simply don't talk a lot. My SIL and I have, though, and about the only thing she said was something along the lines of it wouldn't make a lot of difference because they hardly see us anyway. Which is true enough -- although I did refrain from saying that the Interstate is a two-way highway and they have better financial capabilities for traveling than I do. :-) I love her and I know she meant no ill-will. It is true -- we don't get to see each other hardly at all. But with better job opportunities, that has a better chance of changing.

So 2010 was the year the good started coming back again. What will 2011 bring?

No comments: