I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. I rarely make them. If I make a promise, it will be one I feel like I can keep, no matter what time of year the subject comes up. However, January often has me thinking about the past year and what I want for the coming year. Over the past few weeks I have sought focus.
My life has been a whirlwind of mothering and nursing my husband. In between the demands those things bring, I have worked – music classes, playing piano at my church, volunteering at my church, editing books, and a million other things. But I had not set any goals for myself. I have been existing rather than living.
There are some very good reasons for this. I have difficulty fully acknowledging my own personal pain and suffering. I suppose the term for that would be, Denial. My husband’s last manic episode traumatized me more than I allowed myself to acknowledge at the time. It has been three years, almost to the day, since he turned a corner and headed back to earth and relative wellness. But I had yet to let go of my anger and bitterness. He spent about a year fully immersed in CrazyLand and several months traveling there. So, I had a lot of anger. A lot. Three years is a long time to carry it around.
For Christmas, my mother gave me some journals. I have been unable to write in a journal for nearly my whole marriage (6.5 years now) because of my denial. Journals are where I face my feelings and deal with them. I decided that I was ready. I wrote my first few entries starting this month. The anger and bitterness and tears flowed. They fell out of my soul and onto the pages of that little book. What release!
During this dark time in my life I had also ceased to feel God’s presence with me. I grew up in a family that tried to place God at the center of all things. My relationship to Jesus had been very important to me. Through all of my trials with my husband, I cried out to God, but was incapable of hearing Him answer. It turns out that I used the anger and bitterness to block His voice. In the last few months I have felt that closeness returning as I began the process of letting go of the past. The past few weeks have been fabulous.
Career experts tell us that we need goals and focus to succeed. I have had none. I take on projects here and there, but have had zero success planning a career. It has been hard enough to plan the next doctor visit. Now? I realize that I have always loved writing. Always. Since I learned to write. Perhaps my parents remember whether or not I told stories before I knew how to read.
I love to read. I love humor, fantasy, romance. I have devoured a lot of fantastic tales. I have edited some books full of excitement and drama. I wanted to copy them. I recently realized that I am not those writers. I also love stories about “regular people.” So, as much as I love WendyLCallahan (yes – a shameless plug for someone whose work I have edited), I will never write her stories. I will continue to enjoy them. I will edit as many as she sends my way. But I am going to focus on writing more like DebbieMacomber. Again, I won’t try to duplicate, but I will find inspiration in examining the lives of people who might just live next door to me.
I will continue with music as long as people will let me. But it has never been my passion. People are my passion. The students that have touched me over the years and buoyed my spirits in times of trouble have played an important part in my life. I have been honored to pass on to them what I know. I will keep doing that as long as there is interest, but I have a feeling that I will not be teaching many music lessons in the future.
I am at a crossroads. That feels pretty good after wandering in a fog for a few years.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Leave a comment if you like.