I am ready to put 2016 behind me and plan to start 2017 with a fresh outlook.
My kids have been away visiting their grandparents and cousins for the last 10 days. I am now back at work recovering from 2 falls and 2 infections. This year, I will find time for myself. I will be healthy – both physically and mentally. Here’s what I have learned during a difficult last few months of the year.
I need to slow down and take care of myself
The second time I fell, I was rushing with my boys and not paying attention. I fell flat on my face and knee; they were gashed and then got infected. I looked so awful, even Brooke agreed. The fall really set me back and made me depressed. I was so upset with myself for being careless and nervous that I might have injured myself again. Thankfully nothing was broken, just some scrapes and bruises. But, I did feel physically broken.
I have to let go of this need to do 100 things at once. I have to let my house get a little messy sometimes, let the kids skip a bath, and order takeout on the weekends. I need to let go of all the single parent guilt!
I cancelled my 40th birthday dinner. I was not in the right emotional or physical state to celebrate. I do plan to put myself first this year. I will start to go out socially again and open up more about my feelings. I need to continue accepting help from friends and not feel guilty about it because it makes my life easier
I will send the kids to Montreal for long school breaks so I can get some much needed “time off”. As much as I love them, not having them around the last few days has been exactly what I needed. It’s not that I don’t miss them but I appreciate the lack of responsibility. Coming home to a quiet house has been heaven. I picked up takeout, got into flannel pyjamas, ate in bed and fell asleep at 9pm, pure bliss! This is something I haven’t done in years.
I accept that it is okay to feel lonely
I admit I that I quite enjoy my solitude, sometimes. This year part of me liked being able to call the shots with the kids and make household decisions. I didn’t miss the spousal arguments over these things. However, I also don’t want to get too comfortable being alone because I would like to meet someone. I do miss the companionship. But, for now I am going to stop focusing on this and continue to find ways to be happy and fulfilled on my own. In time, the right person will enter my life.
I have realized humour heals
It is important to stay positive and I really tried while I was off work over the past 9 weeks. I must admit I have become very funny; I almost need my own stand up show. When I returned to work and told my colleagues I need to start wrapping myself in bubble wrap they loved it. It feels really good to laugh again.
Working is important for my self-worth
Now that I am back at work, the anxiety of returning is going away. It feels really good to be useful again. Getting up in the morning with a destination has lifted my spirits. I missed my colleagues and patients. I am still scared of falling, but I think with every day my fear will lessen. It takes me longer to get to work because I am slower and more careful. I refuse to rush and if I am running late, so be it. This is all short-term while I get over this hump. Hopefully as my stress decreases, my friends and family will stop worrying and let me be “normal” again. That is all I want.
I have learned that life is way too short
Sitting home I’ve had lots of time to reflect. I really thought about how life can change in an instant. I know I have said this before but now I want to change the way I live. My kids will only be young once and I want to have fun with them. Maybe start taking family vacations or trips to visit friends and family. I want to not work so much but to be home to enjoy them. I will have time later on to work more. My kids need me to get stronger and happier. For now I will continue with my physiotherapy, try to rest and really put myself back together. I know Matthew would want me too. After everything I have been through I am really looking forward to 2017. In fact I think I might buy a lottery ticket because I am due for some good luck.