Looking Ahead, Looking Behind

Christmas is over. The rubble has been shoved back under the tree until someone (though I’m not entirely sure who that someone is) takes the initiative to put the less fortunate and less loved gifts in their proper places. The tree is still decorated and standing, and honestly, there’s no real time line on that being taken care of either. The new year is just around the corner.

At the end of every year, I think we look back and look ahead. We weigh the accomplishments of the past year with the possibility that exists in the coming year. Personally, I wouldn’t rate 2013 as a year in which I have accomplished a lot. My big accomplishment of the current year is in having survived it. That really sucks to admit. I definitely had big plans for the year: I was going to get healthy, lose some weight, write like I never had before, blog regularly, spend more and better time with my kids, explore my spiritual inclinations. Guess what? I  hardly accomplished any of that. At the end of the year I am feeling like a failure and like I have spent the entire year falling ever further behind in my work obligations, my personal interests, my personal and familial relationships and in my own personal and spiritual awareness.

I think that part of my issue is with the amount of time I have spent doing for others–one particular “other”, actually–which has left me overly stressed and without the energy or desire to do anything else. Couple that with the demands of my job and the business that comes with raising three boys and I feel completely empty. I do have a suspicion that part of my problem is that I haven’t made any time for me. How crazy is it that the one thing I seem to crave most (some sort of creative expression) is the first thing that goes when life becomes overwhelming? Why is it so much easier to pick up the tv remote than my computer when I have those few precious minutes at the end of the day? Maybe part of the problem is that, while I feel like I am drowning in these words that so desperately want to escape me, it may not be safe to give life to those words. There is a continuous battle between what I want to say–the thoughts I need to purge–and the realization of how damaging those words can be to others. And so, I soldier on. Walking the delicate balance that it takes to keep as much peace in my life as possible. Quietly absorbing the frustrations of others. All the while hoping the hope that “next year things will be better”.

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