I’m six days late writing a New Year’s post, but that’s okay. I remember my earlier blogging days when I was diligent about posting at all the right times and holidays, but that was when life seemed predictable and within my control. Things don’t feel as much like that these as of late.
Truth is, the holidays are hard for me. After losing my mom to cancer and dealing with a divorce, many of the traditions I once cherished are either gone or have changed significantly. It’s especially hard not having my mom. When my entire family is together, there’s a void and what ends up filling that void is a tangible sadness. It’s not there so much when it’s just the boys and me, but it’s definitely there when my dad, sister and the rest of the crew gather for Christmas or New Year’s. I know over time, it will start to feel more normal, but right now, we’re in the infant years of not having her and it’s just plain ol’ hard.
Furthermore, the hardest thing about divorce is losing control over part of your children’s lives. It’s extremely challenging to cope with a co-parents’ choices when you may not agree with them. But what can one do but just pray and hope God will always take care of them and that He will soothe my anxious heart and mind.
With all of that being said, 2018 was an amazing and memorable year for so many reason. When I look back on pictures, I smile and laugh and reminisce about all the fun I had with everyone I love.
Likewise, I feel grateful and excited about 2019. To start the year, my boyfriend, Matthew, and I have made a health pact for the month of January. We’re both very into fitness on a number of levels, but like most, we let our exercise regimens loosen during the holidays. We’re back at it. On New Year’s day, we registered for a 10K to be held mid-February. I’ve ran a lot of races in my life, but most have been under the 10K distance so this will be a a fun challenge.
We’ve also decided to abstain from alcohol entirely. I heard a report recently that more Americans than ever are drinking alcohol and that a high number of professional adults consume one to three drinks every single night.
It’s easy to get home from a long day of work and parenting and enjoy a couple glasses of wine, but once I became a single mom, that just felt weird. It felt odd to be at home by myself with the boys and have a glass of wine. It felt lonely. In my opinion, sharing drinks and spirits are meant for social experience and are much more fun when enjoyed with other adults over some conversation. Last year I made the decision not to drink when I was with the boys. If we have friends over or we go out to dinner, I may have a drink but at home, it just feels strange.
Back to our goal of not drinking in January. We’ve decided to make January a detox month with no alcohol and little to no gluten and processed sugar. I may sparingly have a piece of pizza or some chocolate, but it won’t be often. Our goal is to cook even more than we do and learn more about hot tea, French press coffee and other beverages.
I’ve also decided to revisit a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I read it many years ago but at the time, I wasn’t really in a place emotionally to follow along and create my own happiness project. In the book, Rubin takes one year and tackles a different life goal each month. She tackles the goals with action items and every action item is based on research or some other type of evidence that it works. I recently wrote an entire column about it if you would like a more extensive explanation, but the gist is that our happiness is something we have some control over. We can create our own happiness, and once we start to believe that, everything changes.
On New Year’s Eve, I didn’t make any massive resolutions or life-changing goals. So many aspects of my life are great right now. I love writing and am so thankful to be able to do it both personally and professionally. My boys are the apples of my eye and the loves of my life. The three of us are very close. I could not be more proud of them. And I’m thankful for my sweet family members. With my dad, sister, brother-in-law and nieces being the only core family I see on a regular basis, we’re small but mighty.
And when it comes to romance, it’s rare to find true love at my age and in my stage of life, but I’ve found that with Matthew and it has been life-changing. I’ve never had anyone dig in and want to truly know me like he does. With him, I can be both strong and vulnerable. I can be myself. If I’m having a dark period where I’m missing my mom or when the boys are with their dad, he knows what to do. If I need help or guidance or support or accountability, he knows what to do. It feels absolutely wonderful to be taken care of by someone. And aside from all the emotional stuff, we have so much fun together. Whether we’re dancing in Cabo or bike riding along the Blue Ridge or simply sitting in my small house watching House of Cards, we’re happy together. Because of the happiness we feel, we’re in no rush to move things along until the universe tells us it’s right. The best way to let something evolve is always organically.
I do adore new beginnings but my past has taught me to be cautious of resolutions. My plan is to take on 2019 with the same dreams and hopes I’ve always had.
To honor my body.
To be me.
And to love fiercely.
Happy New Year, friends! I hope it’s the best one yet.
Jamie Miles says
Happy New Year! Dropping in on your blog and looks like you’ve had a lot of changes in life. Glad you are taking care of yourself. I’ll be interested to follow your “no alcohol” journey. It’s been a while since I have intentionally abstained but I have cut back and noticed my sleep has improved. Take care and blue skies in 2019.
So good to hear from you, Jamie! I hope you’re doing well and also wish you all the best in 2019. The no alcohol thing is going great thus far. I’ve been enjoying much more coffee, tea and water. And yes to better sleep. Have a wonderful week, month, year and let’s try to stay in touch.