Happy new year! At the moment there are loads of posts about the new year and resolutions and making changes to your life.
I am having none of this.
Not that I am closing out the possibility of improving myself and my lot in life, but right now, I need to gather some strength and wits and resolve and that means focussing on me being me, both the good and bad, making the best of the former and accepting the latter.
I started 2017 in a woeful situation. I was alone, isolated and distant from my family, facing debt and an apparently scarily uncaring state intervention in the care of my kids. None of those issues are fully resolved, but all have improved during the last year. I have often felt blue and low at the sheer immensity of losing my family and some of my friends, shouldering the debt and being catapulted out of the family home following police and court intervention in my life. You do start to question how you carry on and survive. But survive I did and I adapted to the new situation and found that I can carry on and cope with the many awful things that my ex threw at me, mostly through their actions over the children, but also in their actions and attitude to me in person and via their solicitor.
I was initially hurt and angry and mad at myself for letting myself get into such a situation. How could I end up is such a rotten state? I was reeling from the actions of my wife and having to move from my home. I thought this was my fault and I had ruined the family. Oh woe. Oh woe.
A fair bit of self-recrimination later, I got to the point where I realised that yes, I was responsible for having my head in the sand over the state of my marriage. It is difficult but I had to be honest with myself and accept that whilst I had not been the best partner, my wife had also chosen to prioritise her parents and friends over her marriage to me and there was nothing I could do about that. It was not something I could change. In fact it wouldn’t have mattered if I had, because then I would have ended up trying to be something that I am not.
It is hard to admit that being me was not something that worked for my wife, but I also realised that my wife is who she is and sadly that is not the person I want to be with. It takes two to tango, so whilst in the early years we grew together, we then grew apart. No longer doing the tango together.
I came to accept my faults but also realised that I do have some redeeming features too. I got back in contact with friends that I had shut out for too long, and bless them they were kind, supportive and listened. But they were also honest and supportive and that is what real friends are. I felt buoyed up by the fact that my mates rallied round. Plus, work mates were thoughtful and kind and covered to help with my newly found single parent issues, once I made it through the court case to regain access to my children.
All this was possible because I was just being me. I had been brow beaten and shaken to the core. There was no latitude to change myself. What I did do differently was to stop any pretence and concentrate on me, being me: Resourceful. Thoughtful. Determined. Kind. Happy? More than I thought I could be under the circumstances.
So perhaps rather than try and change things too much, focus on amplifying your better qualities and accepting but minimising your faults. Straplines may read ‘New Year New You’ but I prefer New Year, Be True (to yourself!).