I’m lying in bed, snuffling. It’s December 31st 2013, and I am tolerating a cold that has been kindly shared among friends and family. But I don’t mind! In 4 days we celebrate 10 years of marriage, with a (fairly) small number of loved ones. If we could, it would have been a bigger party, but finances and situation don’t allow at this moment in time, and like our wedding 10 years ago, the party will be a fairly shoe string affair, filled with love and laughter.
But it’s important to celebrate. Ten years may just be a drop in the ocean, compared with the silvers and the golds, but to be as happy, happier even, than the day we married, is something I want to sing about! In Ten Years our family has grown from three to five, not mentioning the pets, losing one, gaining 4 others. We’ve watched and participated as our garden change from a leylandii surrounded blank canvas, to something surrounded with dogwoods and red robin trees, inflatable pools in the summer, mud in the winter. And now one third filled with a big rabbit run for our latest family additions. And a 30 foot eucalyptus my husband regrets us planting.
We’ve had our family crises.
There have been bouts of serious depression.
We’ve had some horrid illnesses, and threats of more serious illness.
But no more or less than other’s endure. For the moments of sadness and hurt and loneliness, there have been moments of pure joy, excitement and contentment.
For several of these last ten years, I would arrive at December 31st, eager to see out the year, and hopeful the next one would be better. Several years seemed full of endless bad luck, or sadness. And depression held a shadow over many of those years. But this year I am looking back and find myself not wishing 2013 away with the same passion. We’ve had hardships, and the year has not gone without troubles, but this year I feel content.
This year I feel like maybe I have cracked things a little bit. This year I have been more “myself” than any other year. This year I have grasped far more strongly the idea of being true to myself. Of realising that my needs and desires are as important as those of my family and friends. It’s happened in the past, through necessity, when depression was the master and I was too weak to do anything in a rational and reasonable fashion. In those times I did things out of self preservation, but sometimes crassly and in hurt and anger.
This year my motives and actions come from a gentle place. They come from a place of love and worth, for family, for friends, but primarily for myself. In 2013 I have learnt a little more the benefits and positive self worth, of learning to love and appreciate myself, and of what that entails. Of being able to say “I am enough”, and “My feelings matter”. I have learnt that changing habits can be hard but emotionally freeing. I have learnt that we allow ourselves to be used, or we make a stand and allow our feelings to be heard. I have learnt that some people won’t like the changes, and that others will congratulate you. If you’ve been a “yes” person, and suddenly become unavailable, you will cause ripples. But if you are being true to yourself, you will feel comfortable and happy with the choices you make, and the ripples won’t hurt.
2013 saw the start of my counselling training, and maybe that’s why I’ve noticed the positive influences so acutely. It’s early days, the very beginning. But I feel calmer generally, and in control of what is mine to control. The rest, the things I have no influence over, do not cause the same anxiety or concern that the used to. And maybe that’s the biggest key to my changes this year. Things and people will happen in my life. They’re not my responsibility to change. I can only change how I respond to people and things! The more it happens, the more it becomes a positive habit. The more I accept what I can do, and the less I stress about what other people do.
So maybe the key to happiness is finding the “True” you. Shakespeare said it best.
Whatever your plans for NYE, and your dreams for 2014, I wish you self worth, self love, and truth.