I have some really big hopes for you, 2012, so big that I'm afraid if I say them out loud that I might jinx the whole process, that admitting to all the things I see for myself and my family will frighten you into hibernation, throwing us right into 2013. But we need you, 2012, and I know you can do it. We can do it.
Last year was hard on all of us, in that sort of way that teaches you important lessons that make you stronger, but that given the chance, you'd probably pass by in favour of other, more enjoyable, experiences. Now, at the end of that year, and on the cusp of a new one, I have the chance to the consider those lessons and do that thing that all humans are supposed to do: learn from them and then move on. But before I consider all these tough learning moments, let us first distinguish these moments from regret. When you have a challenging year, as we did, there are often many regrets, a lot of wishes that we had done things differently. So, yes, I regret that we left the relative stability of life in Delaware (where both of us were able to work) before both of us were employed in Canada. I regret not having a stronger savings account on which to rely during what ended up being a very stressful last eight months. I regret the choices I made in haste while trying to build a new life here (i.e. moving into our own place too soon). The thing about these regrets, however, is that I can't do anything to change them. Th decisions having been made, even if they ended up being bad decisions, are in the past. I'm ready to start looking at the future (that means you, 2012), but if I didn't learn anything from 2011, what's the point? So here are a few things that I've learned:
- Stand up for yourself and choose the path you want, not the path you think you ought to follow.
- That being said, and not to diminish the importance of pursuing your passion, spend time planning for your family first. Passions are hard to follow if you can't pay your rent or feed your family.
- In honour of planning, everyone needs a savings account. We did not have a savings account. I cannot express to you just how important this lesson was for our family.
- Sometimes people won't like the choices you make. That's ok.
- Making decisions is hard, but you best put on your big girl panties and get on with it.
- I am a very lucky woman. I never, ever forget that. The list of all the things that I'm grateful for would extend for miles, but I'll offer you a few: my husband, Matt, The Children, Alyce and Shira, my family that welcomed us back, my health and the health of my family, the opportunities to spend time with friends who were greatly missed, the chance to recharge with people who know and love me, the wonderful people I've met through this blog, all the people who have helped me with my job search, the encouraging words given to me by so many people. Just to name a few things.
- Also, that thing about making decisions? I need a lot of work on that one.
On that note, I'll be back later, 2012, with some big ideas for you and me. I don't want to overwhelm you all at once.
with great respect,
with love and kindness,
(I really need a lot from you),