I recently had this thought of wanting to make an impact on the world somehow. The thing is the only impact I may ever make will be on my family, maybe my friends.
After my father died a lot of people came forward and told us stories about what he did for them. We found that he affected far more people then he himself probably ever imagined. It was almost extraordinary, and it made me think about myself. It made me think that I doubt I’ll ever reach people with that much magnitude. This didn’t make me sad, it just made me think.
I’m an introvert. I don’t always like people. I like the people I choose to be my people, but I’m not a people person. I hate crowds. I get overwhelmed easily. If I get myself out of the house to an outing of any kind, I always need a moment to decompress. It literally takes energy out of me to be social. What I can’t decide is that just who I am, or who I’m choosing to be? It’s probably a little bit of both, but I’m ok with that.
Sometimes I feel like I try, and nothing comes from it. Then I accept that either I’m just the wrong tetris piece for that moment in time. I spend the night beating myself up about it. I spend the night sometimes getting irrationally angry, more at myself then anything. We are our own worst enemy.
I just read the Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, and the words she wrote about on her introvertedness (yes I just made up that word) resonate in me. I know what it’s like to fall victim to easily saying no. Saying “no” is actually more of the easy way out for me.
After my father died it became even worse. I lost interest in things that I use to love. I fell into a depression of sorts, and getting out of bed even became hard for me. I had to though. I am wife and a stay at home mom. I have people that depend on me to live. So I did, but I wasn’t really living. I think I was just going along with the flow. I started to eat and drink my feelings. I gained all the weight back I had worked so hard to lose after having my son. This made me sad for myself. I stopped liking any of my clothes. I actually hate getting dressed in the morning right now, but that is something I’ve started working on.
I stopped having alcohol for the most part. I have it on special occasions or Sundays, but otherwise I’ve given it up. Two things have happened; my stomach is happier and I sleep better. That last one came as a surprise to me. For months I’ve been waking up at 3 AM, unable to fall back asleep. Now I sleep through the night. Of course now I stay up later reading so that might have something to do with it. It helps calm my brain and turn it off.
Then I started portion control and calorie counting. I know that shakes, clean eating, and whatever new diet fad is going on work for some people, but it’s just not for me. It’s awesome that people find what works for them! I like to eat food, and so I want to be able to eat what I want, just within reason. It’s what has always worked for me. It’s what I’m doing now.
Now I’m starting to walk again. Maybe I’ll try yoga again, but I’m also kind of interested in Pilates. I have chronic migraines and muscle pain so I can’t really do any high endurance exercise. It wears me out, so I have to do what I know I can handle.
So this is only the beginning of finding me again. I’m trying to find happiness in little things throughout the day. I’m looking for the good that falls in with the bad. Let’s not lie to ourselves; there will always be some kind of bad that happens. Some kind of drama that unfolds itself when you least expect it, but there is always good in this world too.
I see the good in my son’s laughter, or when he learns something new. I see the good in my husband’s horrible jokes that make me laugh anyway. I love his hugs, and just being quiet with him. I love cooking, and baking. I’ve been scouring Pinterest for recipes I want to try in this “new” year.
I’ve started living again. I’ve started enjoying the little things like the smell of rain in the desert, or a good walk. I’ve discovered Arnold Palmers. Look I know those have been around for a while, but I’ve just now discovered them. They are amazing! They are the perfect afternoon drink.
I like Sunday dinners with my mom, and aunt, trying out new recipes for them or old ones that I tried and true.
I’ve started reading again! Like actually reading, and not just listening to audiobooks. After my father died, audiobooks were a godsend. They were exactly what I needed. The majority of books I read last year were audiobooks. So really I didn’t read them. I listened to them. I still count them though, because it takes brain power to listen actively to them. I still enjoy them, and always have at least one going.
I still miss my father. I still get angry that I didn’t have more time with him. I was sad around the holidays, because it was just hard not having him there. It wasn’t the first holiday season without him, but it was the first one that felt actually real. The one before I was still numb from it all. Things will pop up that remind me of him, and I get sad but also happy. I was lucky to have him as a father.
I was lucky.
I’ve grown since then though. I’ve molded into a new normal. I’m still floundering, but I’m making the most of it. There are still a lot of unknowns in the world, but for now I can live in the day to day mundaneness. I can enjoy that mundaneness. Sometimes it’s just sitting on the couch finishing a book. Other times it’s being in the moment with my son, while he sits on my lap watching whatever new show he likes on Netflix or PBS kids. It’s watching old favorite movies. It’s reading out loud to my son, or watching him play with his father.
It’s laughing again, really laughing, and feeling it deep in your stomach.
So maybe the only impact I’ll make will be on myself, and my family. It’s good though. It’s happiness.
When I say New Year New Me, I mean it. I really really mean it this time.