So I've never been big on New Year's Resolutions. I've never really seen the point. We all say we're going to change, but none of us usually do. One time I actually did quit smoking (2007), but that was about the 5th time that had been my resolution. Still going strong on that one, btw - 6 years now. Yes, I've had a few cigarettes since then, but only on certain social or ridiculously stressful occasions (like the day Little was diagnosed). But still, not a smoker anymore! :)
This year is different. This year, I have resolutions. 2012 has not been my best year. It's been downright hard. I have struggled with finding a balance between Duchenne and everything else and I have had some health problems (mainly in the form of headaches and migraines). I have been burnt out, mistakenly believing I am in this alone, I have not taken care of myself, and I have been incredibly selfish in my way of thinking about what needs to happen in the future. All of these things have caused me to lose focus of the person I need to be in the world and the wife my husband deserves. Until recently, I had no idea how deep into my own grief and worry I had spiraled.
So here they are, my New Year's Resolutions:
1. Stand behind and beside my husband with whatever job decision he thinks is best when his contract with the army is up in 2014. I have been so ready to run away screaming "Were freeeeeeeee!" when his enlistment is up in 2 years that I had been demanding that he do ANYTHING but re-up in 2014. I was convinced that Little could not live an Army lifestyle with the constant PCSing and finding new doctors and therapists and schools and friends (me too). I was adamant that it was time that we get to live near family in Arkansas - bc hey, I moved all the way to Alaska for him! Wasn't it my turn? Mister said we were only going to be in the army for 4 years.....we just hit 8. Yes, the army means total health care coverage for Andrew. Yes, it's a steady paycheck. Yes, it's job security. Yes, he'll be halfway to retirement when his contract is up. But I WANT OUT. Do ya'll see how selfish I sound? Well I didn't. Not until a few days ago. Not until some deep soul searching and hard praying. What is wrong with me? How dare I put my wants over my family's needs like that? That is so so very unlike me. I cannot believe I was putting added pressure on him by taking one of his options completely off the table then making him feel like I would hate anything else that didn't get us back to Arkansas. I feel stupid and mean and ignorant. How can I be so selfish as to refuse to consider a perfectly acceptable solution to our needs just because I don't like it? It's not about what I like or don't like, it's about what my son and husband need. So if Mister decides, even at the last day of his enlistment to stay in and submit a WOC packet, then I will applaud him for his honorable and intelligent decision and handle whatever that means for us, just as I always have.
2. Make time for my marriage. For the past year and a half, I have not been a wife and mother, I have been Andrew's caretaker. Andrew doesn't need a caretaker, he needs a mom. Mister doesn't need a roommate, he needs a wife. He needs someone to come home to who has more to talk about than genetics appointments and how we should break all of Little's crayons to promote a better grasp on them. The last time we left Andrew with a friend and went to dinner? Our anniversary. In June. And we were back before his then bedtime of 7:15. Way to go, Palmers. I want to be a wife my husband is excited to leave work for, not one he stays at work to avoid.
3. Learn to be more like a Proverbs 31 wife. Oh yes, that part of the Bible. Don't know what I'm talking about? Check out this link: The Wife of Noble Character I am currently reading a book by Sara Horn called My So Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife and it's pretty eye opening. It's right up my alley, with her sarcasm and self deprication and introspection. But I am learning that I have not been the wife that God wishes me to be. I am supposed to lift my husband up and I don't always do that. He is a good man. I haven't necessarily treated him the way I feel about him this past year bc of how my headaches and medications and trying to figure out how to plan for Andrew's future and blah blah excuses have made me feel and act. Well it's time for me to cut that crap out and make sure he knows everyday that I know that he is a blessing in my life and that I love him more today than the day we took our vows. I need to learn how to let God lead instead of my pride or attitude.
4. Learn to let go of Little a little. This one is going to be very difficult, but I think preschool is going force it on me. I have to take a few layers of that bubble wrap off and let him be a child - even though it might kill me.
5. Go to the dentist. I can't believe I said that either. I may have to be fully sedated, but this is the year!
6. Start counseling. Not counseling other people, but going to counseling myself. I've been wanting to go since Little's diagnosis, I just haven't done it. But it's time. I can't do this alone anymore, I need to talk to someone who can help me figure out how to find the balance. Please don't expect me to come type it all here, what we talk about in the sessions (some stuff does remain private, believe it or not), but know that I'm going and I'm not ashamed. And if you go, you shouldn't be ashamed, either. Life is big and heavy sometimes and I am learning that sometimes we need help with the load. Heck, sometimes we even need someone to point out that we are carrying the load all wrong!
My migraines have been getting better, my medication for them seems to be working and I stopped taking my allergy meds which seem to be the cause of one of the other types of headaches I was getting - so that's awesome! I've been going to the Y pretty regularly now and working with a wellness coach and taking yoga and it all does wonders for my mood and self esteem, not to mention ability to let Andrew out of my sight for an hour or so at a time. I am feeling better, so I am hopeful that these resolutions all have a good chance at sticking - even the dentistry one (ohhhhhh dentist......).
So I am ushering out a difficult 2012 with hope that 2013 will be a start to a better way of life, a better sense of direction. I have hope that I can give my family a better version of myself - a version that they deserve. A version I wish I had been all along and am so sorry that I haven't been. I have gotten lost in Duchenne for a while, but I refuse to stay under the cloud. I'm coming back up this year. I promise.