Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year, New Me

Not really. Why would I want a new me? I like me, most of the time and I've had a really pretty great 2018 so I say more of the same in 2019.

{Happy graduate with his two sisters}
Psychologically at this time last year, I had a major life meltdown. Things were not good in my family of 5 and we had a breakdown in communication. I bring this up only as a way to say we worked through it and we made it. That kind of life event does take a toll and I forced myself to find a therapist. I wasn't sure how it could ultimately help but I needed someone to talk to other than family. It took two tries to find the right one and with that came the realization that talking to someone, sharing your inner struggles and concerns, is about wellness; not about being broken. While this life concern was resolved positively (thank the mighty universe) I am still happily visiting my therapist's office every few weeks. I might choose to close that door soon but I know I can go back to it at any point.

{Celebrating Anton's 24th birthday together}
In the midst of that family struggle, I worked hard to get our fostered adult Anton out on his own. While he really disliked living with us with our reasonable family rules and expectations he was afraid of how hard it was going to be in the real world on his own. He lived with us for 16 months trying to begin a different life. He was a community college student for two semesters, he held down a job for almost a year, and he learned (sort of) he was not a great money manager. He also learned once he was fired that finding another job is no easy task and that once you have a job it is so very important to treat it with care and respect. The world is filled with rules and expectations, ideas and norms that many people never grow up understanding. 

It's not that collectively we all need to know the same things but it is important for your own personal survival to understand how to get along. And the better you are at code-switching the better you are going to get along. I mean simple things like how to address an envelope, put on a stamp or pay a bill, how to dress up for a job interview no matter what position you are applying for, how to not bend rules at work to make it easier for you, how to get along and work with others who you might not like, oh the list is endless. Thankfully this young man is now living in our community with his friends trying to make it work. I'm glad that I still see him and can help him out when I can. I'm also very happy that he isn't living in our guest room anymore. It was adding a great deal of undue stress into my family life. All I can do is remember that we did our best to help him create a new life; one where he can see past cyclical poverty and unemployment, even if he doesn't understand those recurring roles in his life. Thank you to these lifelong friends for helping me through this tough journey. And for all my friends who support me.

My goal for the year is to bring yoga back into my life as it was the one thing I let go of in the wake of last year. I chose sleep over yoga but I have to find a way to have both.  Other than that more writing and reading, more time for being tranquil. Peace and love my friends and hello to a new year.