I keep saying I hate New Year. And I just realised that’s not strictly true. I’m actually looking forward to the new year. To 2019. What I really struggle with is the ending of a year. I get really reflective and everything takes on this huge symbolic meaning that quickly shifts out of my control. I can do loads of amazing things throughout the year but it always feels like there’s unfulfilled potential. Not to mention the huge expectation placed on a single evening. Have fun. Drink loads. Stay up to the early hours. Go out when the weather is grim and taxis are ludicrously expensive…Not so this year, I’ve made my own little plan 😀
Anyway, I’m doing my usual reflecting back and leaning forward, in the doorway of a new year. But I’m putting a positive filter on it. Being kind to myself. To show myself I have learned something this year, if nothing else.
So what has this year been? Full. Long. Stressful. Exciting. What happened? Well, I got divorced. More specifically I organised my divorce across two continents, and got it finalised at the start of the year. Valentine’s Day to be precise. I’m sure there should be some caveat to those things going through the court on that particular day??
And what did I learn? That the end of a chapter, no matter how well navigated by two people who still care about each other, is still an ending. It was surreal. And even though I know it wasn’t a failure, that there was literally nothing I could have done to stop it and how much better off we both are by not being married to each other, it still felt a bit like a failure. It snuck in there pretty briefly, just as I got the letter in black and white.
As if that wasn’t enough stress, I also sold my house. Actually mine and my ex’s home. We hadn’t lived in it for a while so the sentiment only sucker punched me when it was properly empty and the tenants had moved out. However, this was swiftly overshadowed by the sheer volume of stress and head banging (against walls) which ensued as I tried to cordinate the sale (across three continents this time). With both parties being chain free you’d think it would have been a simple, quick sale. Oh no! Four whole months and at least three potential completion dates crashed by before it was finally done. I can’t remember when I was last so bloody relieved! It took another month for me to stop obsessively checking my phone for emails or voicemails from the conveyancer and actually appreciate it was done.
What else have I learnt? To love again. That’s an important one. To be vulnerable. Because in that terrifying, no guarantees, laid bare space – is life. Even if at all goes pear shaped.
I tend to think that if I iust keep working at something, I’ll get the result I want. Accepting that that isn’t always in my control is really difficult! But, putting in everything I have means I do get to a point where it all works out…or it doesn’t. And actually the really difficult bit is not knowing which type of situation it’ll turn out to be until you hit your breaking point. So, whilst I’ve had disappointments, I’ve also had the joy of my hard work paying off and being recognised, meaning I’ve got absolutely amazing opportunities on the horizon for 2019.
I’ve travelled, had three Winters pretty much back to back. Missed the best Summer the UK has seen in decades, started a new job, had a disasterous interview, had a few great interviews, seen fantastic old friends and (much harder) made brilliant new ones.
Whilst my vitamin D levels might hate me, it’s been worth it. I’ve gained clarity on what I want, and why, and (importantly) what I’m going to do to get there.
Sure, there’s plenty to work on for 2019. But that’s what resolutions are for, right?