I’ve finally celebrated Christmas. It was delayed this year because The Boys didn’t come back until the 27th. This is the same every-other-year custody arrangement than has been in place for five years but this year was unexpectedly and exceptionally hard. I felt like I was holding my breath, lashed up in a rigid corset. On Friday afternoon, as I drove off from the office into a 10-day vacation, it came flooding out. I felt like whatever had been standing on my sternum had stepped off and I took my first real breath in weeks. I had been playing the tough girl, the brave stoic. Probably, I fooled no one. The Boys insisted on pretending Friday was Christmas Eve so we could wake on Saturday morning and do our usual Christmas. And it felt like Christmas. I am truly blessed with sons that have learned empathy and kindness. They are like most teenagers by default but they have learned to be sensitive to other people’s feelings without hustling to please others. Does that make sense?
I woke this morning to a sweet note from the Older, “Wake me up early Mom.” He leaves me these notes when he realizes he has been a caveman all night playing video games and he misses me. I half-heartedly attempted to wake him being satisfied with his desire to wake early to breakfast with me. His intention means almost as much as the actual act.
So, in the quiet of the morning, while it rained, I worked on my goals for the new year. I don’t make resolutions. I don’t make things I want to give up, nothing as trivial as “lose weight”. I make long, detailed, categorized lists of goals and objectives for the upcoming year. These are small and large goals. It includes everything from clean ceiling fans (done) to plant an orange tree to ‘Go to London’. These are goals in multiple areas: spiritual, professional, household, gardening, physical, creative and personal. I spend much time in discernment making the list before the New Year and I resist adding anything significant to the list after the new year arrives. It is not a To Do List, which seem perpetual and unending. These are goal I hope to accomplish and complete. These are lists of things like ‘pay off car loan’ or ‘pay off last med school loan’ or ‘update passports’ or ‘back up all 2013 digital photos and iTunes music’.
I think 2014 will be a phenomenal year. My Oldest graduates high school and heads to college. My Youngest graduates catholic school and starts high school. Things in my medical practice are again in a state of flux but also other parts of it seem to be solidifying. I learned long ago that this little town is in constant flux, constant transition. One cannot expect too much to remain the same.