It’s Going To Be A Great Year

 

It's a New Year!

As I sit here on New Year’s Eve thinking about the past year, I feel really good about the changes I’ve made in my life during 2011. I faced some heartbreaking choices and I ended my marriage. A sad but necessary decision to improve both my life and the lives of my children. I’ve embraced being single in a way I never did before now. I’ve discovered a peace that I haven’t felt since Steve died. But, it’s been a long, hard year to get to where I am now….

Last year at this time, I had the unsettling feeling that 2011 would be the year I would have to accept my marriage for what it was or decide to end it. We had been in marriage counseling for many months and things were not getting better. I knew that my children were unhappy and it was breaking my heart to be living in a home with so much conflict. I was praying for guidance, taking anti-depressants and experiencing an anxiety that was overwhelming. It really came home for me when one of my friends asked me, “What are you doing to your children by staying in this marriage?” What would Steve want me to do? What would he EXPECT me to do? The answer was obvious but so difficult to actually make.

The morning that I asked for a divorce, there was no fight. No argument. No trigger. I just knew there would never be a “good” time to break up our family. We may not have been a family for long (just two and a half years), but we were a family nonetheless. There were four children involved in my decision (my stepson and my three children) and I was heartbroken at the thought of hurting them. So, I just asked for the divorce and he agreed. That was it. We told our children that afternoon. Their only concern was whether or not they could continue to see each other. We assured them they would still spend time together and we started the difficult process of ending a marriage.

I was not prepared for the grief I felt during my divorce! It felt so familiar to me but completely different at the same time. How could I be hurting so much when this was my CHOICE? Steve was taken away from me and this time, I walked away. How come the feelings felt so similar? I grieved my way through, with the help of my counselor, and accepted that any loss of a relationship is still a loss.

When I came out on the other side a few months later, even my 10 year old daughter noticed a change in me. “Mom, you’re so much happier now,” she told me one day as we were riding in the car.  My friends started commenting on how good I looked. It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I was feeling more like myself than I had since the day that Steve died. I began to believe that healing was happening in my life and it felt awesome!

I started working out and eating healthier. I’ve surrounded myself with positive people and met some new friends along the way too. I began dating again and even ended a short relationship when it wasn’t making me happy. I’ve become stronger this past year in ways that I never could have thought possible since I lost Steve. What I’ve discovered is this: when I remarried after losing Steve, I thought that I had to be married to be a good mom. Now, I know that I am a good mom when I am taking care of myself emotionally, spiritually and physically. Being happy for me no longer depends on whether or not I am in a relationship with a man. It has taken me seven long years to get here, but I have finally arrived!

I like being in a relationship so I am dating and enjoying the prospect of finding that someone special. It’s completely different this time, though. I don’t hesitate when I feel like a man isn’t right for me. It’s liberating to be able to tell someone that I don’t want to date them anymore because I refuse to settle for anything less than complete happiness this time around.

I am also starting a couple new Bible studies, continuing to workout, exploring new hobbies (who knew that painting could be fun?!) and just loving my life right now. 2012 is going to be a great year…..I can feel it!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. shannon legree
    Jan 06, 2012 @ 10:10:19

    Yes it is! I refer to 2012 as the year for moving forward, positive changes and family! It will be all that u make it! Wishing u and your children the best this year!

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  2. Christine Smith-Johnson
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 00:38:55

    I cannot believe I found you. You think just like I do. 🙂

    Since Jeff died, I have become even more stubborn, especially when it comes to our happiness and health. I feel we deserve to be treated the way we want to be treated. If not, then there’s no place in our life for that person. You and I know the true blessings of life, and I see so many who do not have a clue. The best in life is about love, family, happiness, and helping others, not outdoing the neighbor, or gossiping, or hurting others. I want to spend my time being happy. I do not want to argue or worry about the small things. It’s senseless. Life is to short and so many think this is the normal way to live. I just don’t get it.

    After our experiences, we need a man who doesn’t panic, throw temper tantrums, or sulk. That just builds to our frustrations. I personally had rather be with someone who can discuss issues, solve it, and move on. To me, that is what it takes to make a relationship work. If they can handle things in the heat of the moment, then everything else just falls into place. I am sorry for blabbing. It is really nice to know someone else feels the same way.

    I am so glad you are finding your happiness. You truly deserve it. Cheers to your new year, full of new blessings.

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