Saturday, December 31, 2011

Postively New Year's

Here we are again; New Year's Eve.  It’s a time for reflection, a time for resolution.  It's a time where we look at where we've been and where we think we are going.  It's a time where the partitions between the past, present and the future are at their thinnest.  Despite all our shortcomings, despite what may have happened in the old year, it always seems that we are all on the cusp of something wondrous.

That's not to say that life is always neat and clean peachy-keen.  It isn't.  If you know anything about my life (and reading this blog, how could you not?), you will know that my world exists on a trade route that visits all stops.  My regular ports of call include Zen, right through to Hot Mess and straight on to Disaster, then back again once more.  This isn't due to a stroke of bad luck, a mental illness or even a magical curse.  It just is.  It's life.  Sometimes the wind is with you, sometimes it is not.  Sometimes it sucks.  Buy a helmet.

It's well known that my year has been all over the place.  I'm not going to go into that right now.  I will say that there have been a lot of points where life has sucked.  Big, giant, donkey balls kinda sucked.  There have been times where I have not known where to look, what to think or what to do next.  Those that know me well, know that this rarely happens.  There's always something I can do.  That comes from nursing; the ability to act quickly (whether right or wrong in the end), to come up with a plan and just GO. There have been times where I have lost my 'go'.  I don't do powerless or hopeless very well. 

My sense of humour, however dark, has seen me through those times.  My family;  my husband and my son and my (not so!) little babies have seen me through.  My friends, my extended family... all beacons in the storm.  I've employed all the old faithful coping mechanisms; Sarcasm and her edgy younger sister, Snark... food (especially chocolate!)... deep breathing and visualization, then finally research and blogging.  They have all helped, for better or for worse, in the end. 

What I found really surprising was how much educating one's self an having a positive outlook helped.  That sounds silly in a way, and superfluous in another.  I have told hundreds (if not thousands) of people in my career to be more positive, but really I'd never gotten the hang of it myself.  Sarcasm or something darker always won out.  Actively deciding one day to accept and overcome obstacles that I perceived to be in my path was one of the best things that I had ever done.  It gave me the ability to focus on learning more about my son's conditions, and ultimately, learn more about my son.  I was given the ability to see through his challenges and see HIM, not his Down syndrome.  See him... my boy, with the shining blue eyes, not the infant who can't sit up or has his mouth open most of the time or can't catch up to his twin sister.  Him.  Wyatt. 

It's not a matter of walking around with the proverbial "rose coloured glasses" or acting like what one family member has always referred to as "Doris Day".  It's not walking blindly in the sun, oblivious of the consequences.  Having a positive outlook is about knowing about life's little pitfalls, about accepting them and moving on.  It's about allowing you the ability to enjoy life; I mean to really enjoy it.  To see William Blake's "heaven in a grain of sand...", to see the potential in something, to be able to see in my mind's eye, my twins chasing each other around in the back yard like I dreamed of while I was pregnant.  Wyatt looks a little different now, he's a little less agile than his sister and older brother, but he's there.  For the longest time I lost that little mental movie reel... happily I have found it again.  Instead of always being ready to fight, instead of always circling the wagons or assuming the stance or planning for disaster or whatever analogy you want to insert here, I'm approaching things a lot differently. My eyes are open, but so are my mind and my heart.

Negativity is like a cancer... it spreads, it metastasizes.  You can see it in the workplace; you can maybe see it in your own family.  The pain is there.  It does not go away.  It lingers and grows and eventually will wear down the strongest.  Every group has a "cheerleader"... after a while in a toxic environment; those pom-poms can seem awfully heavy.  Positivity is harder and it often isn't as fun.  It's hard to see the good in some things, it is difficult to maintain, but it too can spread, often like wildfire.  I was talking to my cousin about a link I had posted and she put forth the idea that in this day and age, people are so starved for good, for positivity, that they will react to the smallest amount.  We live in a world where sarcasm is the norm, where rejection is expected and when it doesn't occur, we end up in a momentary state of shock, unable to process what the hell just happened. That is sad.  In these darker days, people need informed hope.  People need a little ember to warm their hands by, they need a little light in the dark.

I've realized in the last little while that providing information and a story that people can relate to is not enough.  I'm a not-so-new-anymore new special needs parent; what I've learned so far is that in those early days after Wyatt's diagnosis (and then birth), I craved positivity.  I needed to hear that things were going to be ok.  That I would breathe again without hesitation.  That I would have my happy family with my three little ones.  That I was strong enough…  That I could walk the walk, as it were. That grieving was not "expected".  That the real stressors were given the credit they were due and not projected over to the condition.  I can.  I have.  I will.  I did.

My New Year's resolutions have always been a bit of a joke.  This year... well, my list has a few new items.  Yes, losing weight is still on there, as is taking better care of myself, being more organized... New to the list are Motivate and Support and Educate.  I've been trying to do a lot of this since May, but I am going to continue in the New Year and in the years to come.  Love is on the list, has always been on the list, but only as a lurker, the ever present servant in the background.  She's a feature player now, as is her sister Compassion.

You can never be sure what is around the corner, but there is no sense cowering and no sense plotting and planning yourself to death.  Sometimes things just happen.  A little chromosome here, a little hole in the heart there.  Two for the price of one.  Life, all of it.  It's just life... you just have to decide whether you are going to live it, or mourn it.  I choose to live it, for as long and as well as I can. 

Happy New Year to you, my gentle reader.  May this year bring you understanding, may it bring you joy.  May you too find your ember and may it warm your soul.


  1. This is a beautiful, beautiful post!
    Thank you so much for sharing!



Thank you for your comment.

Although discussion is encouraged, disrespectful or hurtful dialogue will be removed.

Spam will be fried up with a side of tomatoes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...