2011 started out high and finished very, very low.
I stayed in that low for most of 2012. I mean, I tried to maintain as much normalcy as I could in terms of work and activities, but I was really just going through the motions. As much as I tried, however, my heart was broken and heavy. My motto was "fake it until you make it."
So I faked it as best I could. I went to skating events, stifling the urge to cry at every sad song someone used for their performance. I went out with friends, using my time alone in the car to ponder Deep Dark Thoughts. I went to work, keeping my office door shut as much as I could so I wouldn't have to deal with people. I played with my daughter, always thinking in the back of my mind that my dad should have been able to enjoy more time with her. I look back at the early part of the year and it all seems like a foggy blur.
It wasn't until fall that the fog started to lift. On a trip to Seattle, sitting by myself on a bench looking out over the waterfront, doing nothing except taking in the beauty of the trees and the water, I felt a sense of peace I hadn't felt in quite some time. I don't know why or how that happened, but I don't need to question it. I'm just grateful that I finally started to feel more like myself. The fake me was barely keeping things together and would dissolve into tears or anger if anything didn't go the way it should have. The real me is much more even-keeled and I prefer it that way.
There are still things that weigh heavily on my mind. My mom's condition continues to deteriorate. My relationship with my brother feels forced and strained. My relationship with my sister-in-law is non-existent. But several weeks ago I realized and accepted that as much as all these things suck, it is okay for me to stop trying to fix things. I'm not going to find a cure for my mom. I guess in theory I could work towards repairing the relationship with my sibling and his spouse, but I don't think the onus should be on me to make that happen. It may sound selfish, but I think my energy would be better expended on things that I know make me happy: my family, my friends, my hobbies, etc. See? It does sound selfish - so much use of "me" and "my." Yet I don't think there's anything wrong with that in this context. I'm not seeking happiness through hurting anyone else. When it comes down to it, I'm a better wife, mom, and friend when I'm happy.
At the end of 2011, I was fearful, anxious, and uncertain of what 2012 would bring. Now at the end of 2012, I welcome 2013 and am hopeful that there will be better days ahead.