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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 Here We Come!

I was all set to write a gargantuan and meaningful post reviewing 2009 and reflecting on the past twelve months.

But, if we're going to be honest here, 2009 kinda sucked for us. I blogged very little about the difficulties we faced in 2009, but they certainly existed and I'm going to be bold enough to go out on a limb and say that this year was one of the most challenging I've encountered yet. I neglected the blog a great deal over the past dozen months as I tend to feel sorry for myself and withdraw into my own world when life becomes too overwhelming for me.

I guess the silver lining here . . . the "lesson to be learned" . . . the perspective one might take while viewing the glass as half-full (which I often don't) would be that we are all stronger after a particularly vulnerable year. And that is absolutely true. I have become more resilient, better equipped to handle unexpected problems thrown my way, and - miraculously - more patient. I am learning to see the beauty and love and joy in my life exactly as it is in this moment in time, right now, TODAY. To stop thinking things will be "better" when we have more money, when we live in a bigger house, or my personal favourite, "when the kids are a little older" and to start believing that things are better NOW.

I started looking for a job this fall when money was tight in hopes of securing some type of employment that would give us benefits, as the Crafty Dad's current employer does not offer them. (This is a big deal when you have three children and need to pay for dental appointments, eye care, orthotics for a foot condition, etc.) I worried that employers would not take me seriously or would have a problem with the five year gap in my resume - even though it is jam packed with volunteer work and other accomplishments I have worked on while I have stayed home to raise my three Things over the past five (nearly six) years. After submitting numerous applications, following up, and waiting patiently for weeks, I received absolutely no interviews.

Not one.

I even contacted the school board to see if I could return to work in January. They suggested I apply to any opening spots that surfaced in December. I applied to a couple dozen - again, not even one single interview. I applied for communications and PR jobs (a field I worked in before I went into teaching), also with no leads and no luck. Perhaps I am naive, but I really thought my talent, my personality, my work experience, and my lengthy education background would have secured me a job . . . somewhere.

Instead of letting myself get discouraged or down, I decided that the preferred course of action for me to take was to view this as a sign that what I am doing right now is perhaps exactly what I am meant to be doing right now.

I've spent a number of the past few months worrying that I have been having a mid-life crisis. (This assumes, of course, that I will die shortly after age 70.) And while I don' t truly believe it is a mid-life crisis that I am experiencing, a lot of the research I have done lately leads me to believe I am going through an evolution shared by many mothers of young children . . . especially those who stay at home. I've experienced what I can only explain as a real loss of identity. Who am I? I am mother to three, wife to one, daughter to two, dog owner of one, sister to one . . . and so many things to a plethora of others. But I often feel my individuality seeping away, drifting off into the atmosphere of life, and I really don't know how to get it back.

So. As cliche as it may sound, my most significant and important New Year's Resolution for 2010 will be to find and realize myself as an individual again. As Shannon - the human being. I will always be mother and wife and daughter and sister, but I know there is more lurking within and I am confident I can bring it to the surface.

Here, in no particular order, are the rest of my resolutions for the upcoming year:

I am going to lose ten pounds. Not "I'll be healthier and more fit" in 2010, but a firm and concrete goal. I plan to do this by the end of March.

I have committed to joining the Fishbowl's Shopping Embargo for the next three months. Yes, that's right. Absolutely no shopping for the next three months.

I am going to become a better listener.

I am going to start living more days as if they were my last.

Starting today.


Donna M said...

Sounds to me like you have a good grip on your life and your goals and know where you are going. That's so important. Take care of yourself and your family and have a wonderful 2010!

Loukia said...

Thinking that things are better NOW is a great way to think, Shannon. It's true, often I utter the same things, like, everything will be easy when the kids are older, when we can start saving money, etc. etc. etc. It is important to remember to live in the here and now, in the present, and to be thankful for all that we do have.... which is so much - a roof over our heads, food, and family, health. Really, what else matters at the end of the day? Nothing. Happy New Year to you and your family.... I wish you the best year.

Jenny said...


We must me thinking a like! Lately I have felt like I lost who I was and have been desperately searching for her. I like all your resolutions and 2010 has to be a year that you will shine!

BeachMama said...

Shannon, what a fantastic post. Can I say outloud here in your comments, how blessed I am to have met you this past year. It may have not been your best year ever, but meeting you was one of my highlights.

I have to agree that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing and the whole lack of interview thing is just confirming that.

I look forward to participating in 'living more days as though they were your last'. After spending a few days with the Siblings our family help out, I realize that life is really too short and we are what we make it.

Capital Mom said...

Finding you again sounds to me like the best challenge for 2010. It is so easy to lose yourself while staying at home with the kids. I really hope you will share with us as you make this journey.

One thing I keep telling myself is "life is hard. that doesn't mean it isn't good".

I wish you a very happy 2010.

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Jen said...

I love your New Year's resolutions, especially the first one about finding your individual self again. It is so easy to lose that when you are home with little ones. Good luck with all your resolutions--please keep us posted.

Happy New Year!!

Anonymous said...

I share this feeling, this sort of identity crisis. I think it IS really common, and I think it's great that you're searching for yourself.

Happy New Year, Shannon, and best of luck with your resolutions. They sound like very worthy goals.

andrea from the fishbowl said...

I love your resolutions, and it sounds like you are totally on track. Good luck, and happy 2010!

dougnlarry said...

Good for you! I hope you find yourself again soon and that 2010 is a great year.

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