To all of you….to all of us …thanks for 2008! It was incredible…some highlights for me:
2008 was a year of reconnecting with old, old friends, via Facebook, primarily. I’m glad for the service, because without it I would never have gotten the energy or motivation to reach out to the friends I’ve contacted these past six months. I mean, what’s better than a virtual reunion — getting caught up without having to diet? I love it!
2008 was a year of NOT being diagnosed with terminal illnesses. My health exams continue to be clean. Praise. Please donate to any breast cancer or women’s health care society.
2008 was a year of NOT being pregnant. A post for another day; an ambivalent emotion. Finally, a birth control that works (email me for details). Still, cuddling my niece/goddaughter Cameron makes me wonder, am I really done having babies?
2008 was a year of watching my children cultivate their independence. School and friends expose them to stuff I’d put off a while (” The Clone Wars” and “Hannah Montana” spring to mind). But natural maturity leads them to not only tie their own shoes but also wonder why water freezes and how babies are made. Potty training parallels social obligations in frequency, demand, and unpredictability. I am sort of not prepared. Oh, how do my kids feel? Hmm…is parenting about them?
2008 gave me the chance to remind myself of my identity beyond being a Mom. Since Mitzi’s birth seven years ago, I’ve done little but change diapers, lactate, give birth, nurse, change, play with, dress, cajole, punish, and adore 4 remarkable kids. Will you think less of me when I admit that sometimes I feel that I have a bit more to share with the world outside my home? This year I took stock of my skills as a Mom, a teacher and a writer, and hopefully have set into motion the beginnings of new adventures for me, Jennifer-beyond-Mom.
2008 showed me that commitment is more than passion and interest. It’s staying connected regardless of the dry spells, the confusion, the apathy. Commitment is acknowledging that nothing is easy, no matter how important or miniscule it appears to the naked eye. Love, marriage, parenting, career, it all takes work. Any day we can wake up bored, uninterested, tired, uninspired. Taking the next step, seeing beyond the moment of apathy to the moment of enlightenment — well, that’s the stuff of commitment.
“No one said it would be easy. At least, no one said it to me.” — Name that movie!! (Seriously, I may give you a prize!)
For 2009, mostly I wish for you all honesty, in feeling, in manifestation, in conversation, in the quiet of your bedroom, in the chaotic anonyminity of Donovan’s or whatever local bar you and your significant other have visited in order to share some Guinness stout and truthful revelations.
For my part, I can honestly say this — I am not perfect. In any area of my life. That’s okay with me — in fact, it’s a relief. When you’re staring down 40 years old,the imperfections and failings of your adolescence are as mushy and in-the-past as pureed peas. I hope that my kids can see me and know that despite my imperfections, I strive each day to better myself in ways big or small. I don’t want perfection; I want to avoid stagnation. I want to be better for them and for me.
2009. Here it comes. We’re all ready. The question is, is 2009 ready for us?
Live out loud.