Lord, where do I start? February is always a hard month for me. I think it’s because I reside in Michigan. It’s cold here. Ironic that I was born in February don’t you think? If I had had some say in the matter I would have chosen to be born in a different month. Say August. Nobody asked me.
Ask any of my friends and they will say this past year has been especially interesting for me, and at times, trying. Ask those closest to me, and they will say this past year I have been especially interesting, and at times, trying. It is true. The experience of being in Haiti before, during, and after the earthquake did a number on me. Made me scared, fragile, vulnerable, insecure, guilt ridden (for surviving-yet again) and yet I became even more independent, strong, resourceful, and centered. And surprisingly, I also became angry. I have always operated from a place of happiness, so I was taken aback and knocked off center when this year I lost my patience over and over and over again.
When I finally ‘checked back in’ this week, if you will, I saw the downward spiral I was in- that is- looking backward with regret, holding onto my frustrations, and beating myself up for not doing more. I looked into the faces of those I love and I picked myself up and turned around. Well, ok, I am doing the work of it, but I’m doing it with help from my crew. It is not an easy thing to do, to look forward, to remain positive. I will get it wrong a lot. It makes me think of how our oldest son, Mikhail, used to put himself in time-out. He knew what he was doing, and he knew he would get in trouble, but he did it anyway, and took the consequences. That is what happens when you are self aware. I feel like I have been sitting in a time-out chair. I’m ready for you all to forgive me. But mostly I am ready to forgive myself. I can get out of the chair now. I am doing what I can. I am making a difference. I am loving those around me to the best of my ability. It is enough. If I can say one thing to help you, I would say be kinder to yourself.
Amazing things have happened this year as well. First and foremost, Mikhail got MARRIED!!! I am a Mother-in-law! I still can’t believe it some days. I don’t feel old enough to be a Mother-in-law. (Indeed, I’m not really old enough 😉 Mik & Sarah got married in November when he was home on leave. It was a small, private ceremony with only immediate family in attendance, and it was absolutely beautiful. One of the most lovely days of my life! We are so proud of him, and Sarah has been a wonderful addition to our family. It was a tough call for me but in the end I decided to leave my camera home during the ceremony and just be present with my family. It was worth it. Mik & Sarah are hoping to have a reception next summer. Which brings me to mention, Mik is on his first deployment with the NAVY, on the USS Bunker Hill, at last report, near Malaysia. What an interesting experience to be a NAVY Mom as well. Prior to this I knew almost no one in the service. it is fascinating, and I am embracing it, even though it requires learning a whole new language. You’ll have to forgive me if I slip into speaking in acronyms. The NAVY is very fond of them for some inexplicable reason.
My pride and joy. All 4 of them. And they’re all growing up and I know everyone told me but I really didn’t believe that would happen!