Weather vane

Far out. Christmas has just finished and now New Years is upon us.  The New Year is a traditional time for reflection on the past – and a focus on thinking about what you need to do to be a ‘better’ person. Sigh. Sigh again.

It’s the 27th of December and so far I have been asked five times about what my New Year’s resolutions will be (obviously people in my life think that I need to make some positive changes… hmmm).  And while I am ok about this now, I recall clearly how I felt when I was asked this question while in the middle of my divorce.

I can remember staring at the person(s) in question and thinking “How can you think I am capable of doing anything other than look after my children and survive today? All I want to do is to make it through to tomorrow alive and well”!

Thinking about what to do to be a better person – the New Year tradition – is almost impossible when you are in divorce survival mode.   Even small changes can be difficult to make when you are going through hell – or when so many things in your life are moving so quickly (or slowly) you don’t know where you are at.

A year long commitment to anything is a ridiculous proposition when you can’t think past the next hour.

So there was no way I was promising to do something or commit to something. Even if it was only a New Years promise to myself.  Not while my world was in divorce turmoil.

But I did consider a resolution committing to a resolution that was not based on WHAT I would do but WHO I wanted to be.  A resolution based on a mantra or a positive thought – something to assist with mindfulness or to get me through a hard moment during my separation.

So while I did make a New Years resolution each year during my divorce and since (if there is such thing!) they were not a concrete “I will not flare up in anger when my ex does x, y or z” or “I will make sure I will exercise three times a year, oops sorry, three times a week”.

No the New Years resolutions that I embraced were themes or mantras – many about how I wanted to handle my divorce journey and beyond…  A single word or phrase to sum up who I wanted to be for the year – an aspiration or inspiration. Words to stick on the fridge.  A reminder of what was important to me – something that would put things into perspective during the difficult times – when there was conflict or I feeling scared, or guilty or even shame.

Some of the mantras I came up with included:

  • 2007 – I am Teflon (let it slide off me!)
  • 2008 – Grace under fire
  • 2009 – Will be mine (and the kids)
  • 2010 – Find the Joy
  • 2011 – Zen
  • 2014 – The Sum of All My Parts
  • And 2015 – well so far I am thinking “The Year of Taking Charge”… Maybe.

What could yours be?

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