The Dawn of a Decade

by Carolyn on January 11, 2010

forkinroadI find myself dreading and avoiding that age old, over asked question this January.

“What’s your New Year’s resolution?”

I usually have one. In years past, I’ve answered with one of the typical and over used options like working out, losing weight, eating right and being organized. But this year I can’t even keep up the pretense and I think it has to do specifically with the word…..resolution. Because it indicates having some resolve. And the only feeling that keeps floating to my forefront is one of indecision.

I am torn.

In the dawn of this new decade, I can’t help but reflect on the course my life has taken these last ten years. In January of the year 2000, I was a new graduate embarking on a new profession and completely smitten with the man I’d be engaged to that coming fall. A marriage, house, career and two children later, I find that I hardly recognize the girl smiling back at me in the photos taken on the eve of the Millenium. She’s so fresh. So young. So eager and naive. I don’t find myself jealous of her, but I do hope that if she could see me with her eyes, that she would be proud. Content with where her life was headed.

I also can’t help but think about the ebb and flow of my family relationships. Ten years ago, all of my siblings were still pretty much kids. Now they’re all adults…which is mind blowing for me. Watching them all embark on their own lives has been fascinating. And a privilege. Strangely enough, my relationships with my parents have come almost full circle.

Ten years ago, my relationship with my mother was strong. Almost as strong as it is now. We had our share of downs in the years that followed, but things have been good for a long while now. I find myself almost never looking over my shoulder, searching for signs of a downturn. Things feel different. More honest. It’s as if she’s made a decision, a resolution of sorts, not to repeat her own mother’s mistakes. Wherever it comes from, I find myself thankful for the solidarity of her affection. It’s comforting while still a bit scary for this child of divorce to completely trust a parental relationship.

On the other side, the relationship with my father finds itself almost in the same place it was ten years ago as well. I would call it tenuous to be polite, but the reality is that we were not really involved with each other’s lives then either. And although we’ve had a number of years between then and now where things were comfortable and happy, strangely we find ourselves back at this point. It’s unfortunate and it makes me sad.

Which brings me back to the source of my ‘unresolve’ this January. I feel like I’m at a crossroads with some things in my life. Like there is a decision to be made….or not. I’m at a fork in the road with two paths to choose from and I really don’t know which one to take. It’s a strange feeling for me. I tend to be rather pragmatic, and am usually pretty decisive. My disconnectedness allows me to see even difficult situations fairly clearly and I tend to be comfortable with both my decisions and my actions. But with this, there’s just so much at stake. And my action or inaction affects more than just me.

Before Christmas I was talking to a friend about family ‘stuff’. Although she’s not a child of divorce, she has her own fair share of ‘stuff’ to mitigate. And she, being a religious woman shared with me a question she had been struggling to answer. She asked ‘How do you honour your mother and father (as it says in the Bible) as an adult when doing so is somehow incongruent with honouring your own family or yourself’. I think it’s such a poignant question and I’ve been grappling with it, struggling with it myself ever since. Not in the religious sense, but in a moral one. We are supposed to honour our parents, as children out of obedience and as adults out of the wisdom and understanding that their presence in our lives is limited.

But how do you honour someone when you find your values juxtapositioned? How do you respond when the relationship being proffered makes you feel bad about yourself, and even worse about them? And the most difficult question of all: How do you conduct yourself knowing you are modelling not only how an adult parent/child relationship ought to be, but also how relationships are supposed to be to your children. I know I want to model health as opposed to dysfunction. I know I deserve healthy interaction too. But if healthy isn’t possible right now, what’s the next best alternative? Taking what you can get or….not?

Not. That’s the hard thing to consider. Not is something I swore I would never do again. Not will be construed as looking a gift horse in the mouth. Not would certainly not be considered honouring. But I don’t know. Perhaps honouring can also be showing that you love yourself enough to recognize your own self worth. Maybe honouring can be showing that you are strong enough to only accept what you deserve. Could honouring in that way be a reflection of the love they instilled so long ago?

I am on a threshold. I have a decision to make. A conversation to have.

What is my New Year’s resolution? I guess the best answer is that I don’t know yet. I’m not resolved. Yet.

I wonder what I’ll be thinking ten years from now.  I wonder even more what the me in ten years will see in the face of me today.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carolyn January 11, 2010 at 11:33 pm

If you just read this post, I have to extend a great big ‘thank you’. Thanks for sticking with me despite my two month long respite. My son’s birthday is at the end of November and that combined with the holidays…well lets just say that my ‘life’ required my full attention. In the name of balance, I had to let go of this space for a bit.

I’m not sure how, but somehow my susbscriber list didn’t just hold steady, but grew. It makes me wish I really could have come back with a bang of a post, but I felt compelled to write from my heart more than from my head tonight. I have a few posts swimming through my head right now though, so for anyone looking simply for divorced based info, that will be coming soon.

This was my 100th post! Wow. I can’t believe it. This tenative step into cyberspace has certainly changed my life. Thank you again. To all my blogging friends – I’ll be making my rounds again too. I can’t wait to read what you’ve all been up to!

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2 Maki January 12, 2010 at 1:57 am

Hello… I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’ve talked about it, too – my resolution and aging.. We can’t help, but think that there are so many things that we’re dealing with especially in the beginning of the new year… I had barely posted last year because I was in a weird stage of blogging funk. I hope this year presents better luck…

Love your blog – congrats on your 100th post!

http://www.barefootchicdesign.blogspot.com

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3 Carolyn January 12, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Thanks Maki! And welcome! It’s easy to let blogging take a ‘front and center’ place in life and I just needed to step back for a while. Good luck to you in your blogging too! I’ll be stopping by in the next day or two. I’ll also be responding to your email as soon as I can. Thanks for connecting with me!

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4 WhiteSockGirl January 12, 2010 at 8:27 am

Welcome back! Missed your posts. Congrats on your 100th post.

Heart wrenching stuff. I hope that you would be able to find the answers, and that the rest of the year would be amazing.

Once again, WELCOME BACK!!
.-= WhiteSockGirl´s last blog ..A Story for Every Picture: Cold Chains =-.

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5 Carolyn January 12, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Thank you White Sock Girl! I can’t wait to get over to your blog too so see what you’ve been up to. Thanks for the well wishes and Happy New Year to you!

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6 Sarah and the Gentlemen January 12, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Thanks for sharing your heart. It is interesting to look back at our younger selves and assess the changes.
.-= Sarah and the Gentlemen´s last blog ..Woohoo! A Rant and a Pouty Session =-.

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7 Carolyn January 12, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Thank you, Sarah. Looking back sure does reflect how…organic we really are.

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8 Holly January 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm

You are back… i have missed you… glad that things are back in place for you… mine have fallen apart but i am putting it back together, slowly…

your website isn’t really a bloggy awardy kind of website but i left you some love over at my mess if you would like to check it out… don’t feel obligated and i won’t be offended… just wanted to share your fabulousness with others… :-)

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9 Carolyn January 12, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Oh Holly! I’m so honored! I’ll be over to check it out as soon as I can. Can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to over there. I missed reading your posts too.

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10 Peggy January 12, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Welcome back! You have been missed but when life presents itself to us, it’s usually best to honor exactly where we are in the moment. Happy belated Birthday to your son!

Being unresolved is ok – you are still questioning and listening for answers. I’m not sure if you read Wilma’s blog, but you might want to check out the latest discussion, http://wilmasblog.com, on “what is so in relationships.” It just might give you something to take in and think about regarding the impass with you father.

Happy New Year!
Peggy
.-= Peggy´s last blog ..Where Did She Go? =-.

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11 Carolyn January 12, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Thanks Peggy! I can’t wait to get over to ‘serendipity smiles’ and see what you’ve been up to as well. Happy New Year to you! I’ll definitely get over to Wilma’s blog…I’ve never read it before but it sounds like exactly the type of information I’m looking for.

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12 Pam January 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I find it so much easier to not make those resolution, that way I don’t have to feel bad if I break them…..but yet I can be proud if something works out through the yr..and I can feel good about it.
Sometimes the answers we seek just don’t just happen, don’t dwell on it, something will happen. Hang in there.

Coming to you from SITS

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13 Carolyn January 12, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Thanks for the kind words and reassurance, Pam. An answer will present itself….I can be patient.

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14 Marissa January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm

In a way it seems like everyone was just freaking out about Y2K and then on the other hand soooo much has changed since then. Time is a funny thing.

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15 Carolyn January 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Indeed it is…

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16 jules January 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm

I missed you soooo much!
i think modelling relationships is a great idea, however, in reality we can not control how the other party responds to us, so we can only model respect & family values. I have a great relationship with my parents, but awful relationship with my children’s father. I tried to make it work, but I felt I was teaching my children to stay married to a man who does not show love & lies every chance he gets. This is not what I want for my children’s future marriages. Now I am teaching them divorce is ok?? It wasn’t what I planned, but life is full of surprises. Life is not perfect.

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17 Carolyn January 12, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Thanks for sharing Jules. I am feeling much like you. You can’t control anything except what you do and how you react, so that is what we need to carefully measure. It’s important that we don’t model to our children that when relationships get hard you simply walk away from them, but at the same time we need to show them that when interaction is unhealthy, you don’t continue to engage in it either. I don’t think you are teaching your children that divorce is okay. Clearly you don’t feel that it is or you wouldn’t have tried at all. I think what you are teaching your children is that you are worth more than being mistreated. Hopefully what they will learn and apply in their future, is that they are worth more than that too.

Life is so far from perfect. Even when from all accounts on the outside it appears to be.

Thank you so much for your comment.

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18 Tina Lane January 13, 2010 at 9:45 am

This is a very thought provoking post. Thank you for sharing your story.

I read somewhere that the most difficult part of love (family or otherwise) is recognizing where it does not fit.

Stopping by from SITS.
.-= Tina Lane´s last blog ..A Dancing Margarita Tribute =-.

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19 Angelia January 13, 2010 at 10:31 am

Carolyn,
So good to see you blogging! You’ve been missed. I did not resolve either. I’m trying to get a grip on a recent health problem, and that is taking all my resolve. I am not used to being sick.

I think you are doing great honoring your self-worth, which maybe is something they taught you. If you look at it that way, you are honoring them by being the best person you can be which stems from their parenting. Even if it’s how not to parent.

I just posted my 100th post as well! Congratulations!
.-= Angelia´s last blog ..It’s a Bloggy Bling Parade! =-.

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20 Carolyn January 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm

“I think you are doing great honoring your self-worth, which maybe is something they taught you. If you look at it that way, you are honoring them by being the best person you can be which stems from their parenting. Even if it’s how not to parent.”

Exacly, Angelia! That’s exactly what I was trying to convey. I hope you are feeling better soon!

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21 Angelia January 15, 2010 at 12:10 am

The steroids worked on Saturday. Just had off and on red itchy spots since then. (well bad itching but no hives) My thyroid is out of whack, so the endocrinologist is trying some different things and keeping me on an antihistamine. It’s all good! I’ve never had health problems and I take it all in stride. I feel mostly good. :-) Thank you!
.-= Angelia´s last blog ..Tale of the Wump Lump Bumps =-.

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22 debbie January 13, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Came over from SITS. I’m very glad I did. You are a wonderful writer – straight from the soul – and I would love to read more of your posts.
.-= debbie´s last blog ..Taking Stock =-.

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23 Carolyn January 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Thanks Debbie! I hope to see you back here!

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24 Life with Kaishon January 15, 2010 at 12:27 am

Wow. That is so difficult! I am sorry about that situation that you had to go thru as a child and how you feel even still. Divorce is such a sad thing!

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25 Carolyn January 23, 2010 at 11:41 am

It sure is.

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26 POM January 15, 2010 at 1:13 am

Hi from SITS…I can’t even express in words how much I relate to you! I’m so sorry that you’ve gone through such pain btw. My parents divorced when I was about 20 years old (my only sis was about 16)…the divorce was nasty and both parents kinda went crazy after that…I’ll spare you the details but the ordeal has caused lasting pain and problems. Yes, divorce is a horrible thing. Thanks for sharing such a personal post.
.-= POM´s last blog ..After 562 Blog Posts and Much Success, The Mom Crowd Says Goodbye =-.

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27 Carolyn January 23, 2010 at 11:41 am

Thanks for stopping by and sharing some of your story!

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28 Theta Mom January 15, 2010 at 11:35 am

You always write with such powerful words and conviction, and an honest place deep in your heart. It was so great to see you again Carolyn!!!

Welcome back! I’ve missed ya! ;)
.-= Theta Mom´s last blog ..The Brag Company Review and Giveaway =-.

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29 Carolyn January 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

Thanks, Heather. It’s great to be back.

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30 Breanna January 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Love this! couldn’t have written it better myself :)

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31 Carolyn January 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

Thanks Breanna.

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32 Yaya January 17, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Nice to “see” you again.
It’s odd but this change in decades seems to have so many people thinking deeply about their life path. I wish you well as you continue on your journey of self-growth.
.-= Yaya´s last blog ..Orange You Glad It’s Saturday?! =-.

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33 Carolyn January 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Thanks Yaya!

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