Searching for Joy

January 23, 2020

It’s almost the end of the first month of the New Year.  Time always seems to move so quickly.

When I was kid and I was going through a lot in my young life I used to think that the year 2020 was so far away and that there would be no way I would still be alive then.   Guess I was wrong.  I was a kid, what did I know?

Now, as an older adult and parent to grown children, I wish I could be a kid again. I never saw myself as a potential mother to kids.  What I didn’t expect was that by me becoming a parent it helped me find joy in my life.

This joy is what I turn to on my gray days when my mood is down and I just can’t seem to get out of bed or out of the negativity swirling around in my thoughts sometimes.  I will text or call just to hear their voice and be a part of their day in a small way.

It’s this mother/child connection that brings out the best parts of my own self during these brief chats.  I’m an extremely proud and overprotective mom. I know that won’t change no matter how old they get, they know this too.  I give them their space though because, well, they are very capable young men and women.  Letting go is the hardest part though but it gets easier as time moves on or so I’ve been told. I look forward to what they will accomplish in their lives.

Now that the family dynamic is changing it is time for me to find what brings me joy and for me to grow once again.  It’s a daunting thought, being on my own after almost 26 years of raising kids.  When I say that or read that on the screen it causes me to pause.  I’ve spent over a quarter of century raising other human beings to send out into the world.  That’s such an overwhelming responsibility.  I can only hope that they accomplish and follow their dreams to the fullest.  It goes by quickly is all I can say.

Joy – “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness” That’s a really straight forward definition but the hardest thing to imagine for me anyway.  I grew up in not the best of circumstances and it affected me greatly as a young person and adult.  Yet, despite the feelings of inadequacy I had during my younger days, I was actually pretty happy and straightforward.

I know that doesn’t seem to fit but it actually pushed me to be the best that I could be.   I had something to prove to others and made sure my voice was heard.  Then when I found out that I was going to become a mother, I changed.  I realized it was not just about me anymore.  I struggled with defining myself and where did I fit in things.  When I got married and had more children, I felt lost.  I actually, despite outward appearances of having it all together, struggled constantly with my self-confidence, self-esteem, and my inner voice.  

Now fast forward 6 years later past all the trauma, failure, emotional crisis, the meltdowns, and giving up, I’m still here. I didn’t think I would be and I survived. I became stronger and sure of myself.  I know who I want in my life, how I want to be treated, and no longer ingratiating myself to others to be accepted. 

Yeah, I still get that twinge of sadness and pangs of regret when someone doesn’t like me but it goes away rather quickly now when before it would drag on for months or even years. I would blame myself for it which was really stupid. Not everyone is going to like me.  I realized that I don’t need everyone to like me but respect is required.

You may not like me but as I person I still deserve a smidgen of respect especially if I have earned it.  I don’t like false people with an agenda.  That I will walk away from. I’m still looking for the positive side to every situation.

Now at this point in my life it’s about what brings me happiness.  As the next year moves on that is my focus, finding joy again.  Right now it’s about creating the means to support myself and focusing on the goal of retiring.  I don’t want to be 70 years old and having to work because there is nothing else. That’s definitely not where I want to be.

After, I’ve starting putting money aside and paying down debt, I will focus on living simply but comfortably.   I’ve never been one to want a lot of things except when it comes to my cake decorating passion or crafting hobbies but that’s about it. 

I like things to be aesthetically pleasing.  I used to think that my style was eclectic because I would have a lot of different furniture styles but now as I’m becoming more on my own; it’s about simplicity, natural and neutral blended with bits of color.  Everything needs to have some sort of function and work together.  I no longer need furnishings for a non-existent four bedroom home that has to house 6 people.  Paring down is the first step in this process.

Trying to convince my kids that this is a good thing has been kind of difficult.  I guess changing things seems sudden to them but in reality they are not the one who has to maintain it so the choice isn’t theirs.  They have their own places now and will only see me on school breaks and holidays.  They understand but I also know how they feel.  I remember those first months of living on my own after I left home. It was overwhelming and I wasn’t sure what I was doing. Becoming a responsible adult is a scary process.

So as the months continue on and we experience more changes, I will continue to write about how things are moving along. I will keep giving brief glimpses into our lives.  The whole purpose of this blog to begin with was to share and have safe space to write my thoughts.  It will continue to be that way.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Have an awesome week ahead!

Peace, love, happiness and good vibes, always!

Suzanne

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