Last January I shared my shabby, entirely much too loved, Hanukkah tablecloth, and stated my New Year’s resolution to celebrate me more.
I was thinking in terms of not judging so harshly things like my very imperfect Hanukkah tablecloth, and be more appreciative of my accomplishments, more aware of the things in my life that were meaningful to me. I was thinking more in terms of tangible things, looking at my life with new eyes, and see what I valued, what I didn’t.
So today I’m reflecting on my 2013 blog, and wondering if I accomplished this goal. I think ‘yes’ is the answer, but in ways I hadn’t anticipated.
What I was really longing for was to be more firmly entrenched on my own team. My relationship with my husband is forty years old, and I’ve been a mother for forty-four years. I needed to take some of me back, and it wasn’t easy.
I don’t know if everyone who married young, and became a young mother goes through this, but I sure did, and am continuing the process.
The part of the taking back process I’m finding the most difficult is guilt. It’s the plague of women everywhere, I know; I’ve got a master’s degree in social work and I read. But knowledge didn’t help at all.
Guilt, guilt, guilt. It was so difficult at first, to do what was right for me when I’ve always done right by others. So, awkwardly at first, I began listening to myself, and only doing what felt like an internally correct thing to do.
Often the right thing to do was apologize, or to go an extra unwanted mile because I could tell I needed to. Even harder than an apology, (and anyone who knows me would happily tell you how difficult that is for me) was leaving a good friend behind. She was a very good friend, the kind you can count on, the kind you treasure. Yet when I understood it was too painful for me to continue watching her destroy herself, and there was no way I could be of help, I vanished from her life.
Talk about guilt, that was a doozy. She wasn’t doing well, and I thought it kinder to drop out than to say why. So I slipped away, and ever since noticed what I visualize as a large white rope levitating on its own, and coming towards me from time to time.
It hovers in arm’s reach, and I always feel the urge to grab it, get sucked back into that killer guilt. The damned rope can pop into my head at the oddest times, but as long as I see it, and not grab hold, I don’t go back.
This makes for some uncomfortable moments, yet I’m acutely aware those moments are a small price to pay for not living in guilt.
My wish for 2014 is more freedom from negative emotions like guilt, and worrying about what everyone else thinks. And while I’m at it, how about resentments? I’d like to dump more of those. And any anger about things I have no control over, and doing what I can where I can, and then let it all go.
And isn’t that the same serenity prayer I have prayed all my adult life?
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
Although, up until now, I think I missed out on a lot of the ‘me’ part of it.
I’m already beginning to see, when I take the time to be genuinely authentic, nothing else really matters, and I shortchange no one in the process.
Happy New Year everyone, I really mean it.