I wasn’t sure I was going to write an ‘end of the year’ post but I find myself jet-lagged and awake in the wee hours of January 1, 2015 in a lovely room in North London. We have traveled here for a few days, to the gorgeous home of a wonderfully warm and intelligent woman and her family, who have taken me and my family in for the New Year holiday to get some much needed work done for my book.
I was in London several years ago at this time nearby in Highgate and life was very different. I had no son, I was working hard for something I should have left behind long ago and I knew I didn’t belong there. Today…tonight, I should say, I belong.
This year has helped me find my resilience in a way I had lost since my mother died almost 11 years ago. My son showing me his resilience helped me a lot and realizing I didn’t want my son to be without a mother made me work through some very scary and negative thinking. I realized I needed to find a spiritual solution to any problems I had. Without this sounding airy-fairy, because really it’s quite grounded in a stark reality, this is the solution to all our problems. It can mean anything you want it to – but our solutions don’t lie in other people, places or things. They lie within ourselves and if you believe in something bigger, than that. If we don’t have that, no matter what you achieve is empty. Look at all the unhappy famous millionaires around.
When I chose a spiritual way, that is following the 12 Steps of Al-Anon (or any 12 step program), the world opened up to me and I got rid of people in my life that weren’t helping me proceed in the way I needed to. I culled the spam in my life! (I did the same to my actual spam emails as well!).
A very mixed bag of a year!
I filed and received a discharge of my filing of bankruptcy which became very complex and which I have no more shame about. Without having done this I would not have met the man I am now seeing who is here with me and my son in London. Can’t beat that.
I got a book deal, one that excites me and scares me and is the best thing that has happened to the direction in which I want my career to go for a long time. Writing while reading and consulting other writes in more than a full time job but it’s worth it and very satisfying.
I am here in London meeting with a journalist who is writing part of the story being told in my book. We need to finish first so it can be presented for serialization to newspapers in the early part of this year. It’s a full and important part of one aspect of the book and it’s full of great anecdotes and we’re laughing a lot. That’s a good thing. Laughter – more of that for everyone please!
My son is smart and healthy and clever and interesting and gorgeous and I couldn’t imagine loving anything or anyone more. When I feel I have nothing left to give, he gives to me and I in turn have the strength to give back. Parenthood is tough, more than I ever imagined and it is (cliche ahead!) the best thing I’ve ever done. Pets too, a dog (especially the dog!) and two cats, make a very loving home life.
I believe great things lie ahead. I can now rebuild my financial situation (slowly but surely). I feel less alone and I have more opportunities. I am happier with myself (given the day of course) and am not looking outside for things to quell my depression or boredom as I have done in the past. All I need to do is remember that the solutions to the problems that I encounter don’t lie with anyone else, no matter if they are my son, my boyfriend or my father, my editor or friends or whomever. I feel very peaceful with this notion, and it’s one I made the mistake of forgetting along the way for a while. I credit my good friend Mark for reminding me of this and showing me the right path.
So, Happy 2015 to you all. Whether 5 people read this or 500, I wish you great health and happiness, new solutions to old problems and true self-awareness. We cannot control everything in our lives; in fact we cannot control anything but ourselves, and hope to be the best person we can be. What we can do, and I have experienced this change, is to be resilient and we can try. I raise a glass to all those who really make an effort, for themselves, for others by acting with service, by being kind when it feels hard to – it’s a challenge to do all this sometimes, even when the sun is shining brightly, but if you haven’t done this, to be honest and try, you haven’t done enough.