Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Word of the Year

This is the time of year when many of us choose a word to guide our intentions for the new year.  My word for the year is reconnect.

When my friend was here for the holidays, it was so nice to see her and talk with her more than what we can fit in over chat.  We mentioned last year we wanted to Skype more and I think we did it once.  It was neither of our faults, it's just one of those "life gets away from you" kind of things. 

We have some friends that we used to get together with once a month and now we're lucky if we get together once a year.  The dynamics of the couple changed a little and I feel like our groove is a little off.  I would like to get more alone time with her because they road trip a lot on the weekend and I know she hates the winter so I think if we could take a girls day or I could get her out snowshoeing when it isn't "20 minutes outside and you'll die of exposure" weather.  He doesn't like her to talk about work when we're all together and I feel like she needs an outlet or just someone to vent to from time to time so I'd like to be that for her if she needs it.  Obviously, if they want to get together, we'd like to do that more than once a year too.

There is an important reconnection that is being made.  I hadn't seen my dad in 15 years.  I was never a daddy's girl and our personalities clashed because frankly, we were similar in our stubborn attitudes.  He was always very "my way or the highway" and when the time for contributions for major life events came around, I would be sick for weeks before and after knowing I had to talk to him.  I was terrified of talking to him because he wasn't a very good empathizer.  Then you have me who cried on Christmas day in 2016 because I felt bad the Christmas tree was "alone" for the first Christmas ever.  His whole side of the family is very much a "suck it up" kind of family and that doesn't jibe with someone like me who has anxiety issues and needs to pick and choose what I allow to stress me so that my hearing doesn't cut out or that I get so dizzy I can't stand.  I tried on two separate occasions to reach out to him with the terms of a relationship being that it's a two-way street.  Both attempts ended up fizzling out (not on my end) but I refused to put myself out there again to be rejected a third time.  I made peace that he may not be cut out to be a father (he was a teen dad) and forgave him for that for my own well being and moved on.  Others would be upset for me but I truly moved on despite some refusing to believe I could just because they couldn't in the same situation.  (Oy, people just LOVE to project, don't they??)  For whatever reason, I decided to call him last Father's Day.  I left a message for him and he was traveling but within 30 minutes, he was calling me back.  The look on the Mr's face when I said "hi Dad" was priceless.  I didn't tell him I did it because honestly, I didn't want to go through the humiliation or that pitiful look when he didn't call back.  It was an emotional phone call and I'd never heard him like that.  My guard was still up though.  I decided to see how it'd go and knew not to get my hopes up.  My birthday came and went and nothing and I'll admit that stung a little. 

I got a Christmas card from him asking for my phone number because he tried to call on my birthday but he had the wrong number.   This was another red flag for me because his side of the family are notorious for saying they didn't have the number or that they called and it was the wrong number.  I can't count how many times I heard it growing up.  Plus he knows at least 3 people who have my number so to me, I felt like if he really wanted to get a hold of me, he easily could have.  My old instincts kicked in and I shut down and told myself I couldn't choose to go through this again.  I couldn't get my hopes up when I was getting 20-year-old excuses.  On Christmas Day, he called.  (He never told me how he got my number but it showed he put forth the effort.)  Before he got off the phone, he said he'd be in town in the next few days and he wanted to see me.  This is when I was already looking forward to going into my post-holiday social coma that I need to breathe again.  He said we could go to dinner, grab a coffee or whatever or they were staying with my grandparents if we wanted to go there.  (Grandpa makes his disdain for me pretty evident and grandma can be a little dismissive).  I called him last week and asked if we could swing by their house.  I know he was surprised but I wanted to make the ballsy choice.  The one that said I wasn't afraid to go there. 

When we arrived, I didn't realize half the family would be there to visit with him while he was in town.  I saw people I hadn't seen in 30 years and it was nice to catch up with most of them.  My dad and his wife were a few minutes behind us and he cried when he hugged me.  It was really weird to be asked about our travels, my job and have people take a genuine interest in us because we don't get that with my mom's side with Grandma in her current state.  It was nice but also very overwhelming.  It was nice to see him and it was the first time I really ever talked to his wife who seems nice.  There were also some people who remind me why I don't mesh well with that side and some I prefer not to see again.  I was gracious and sweet but yeah, no need to see some of them again.  He called to wish me a happy new year as well which was nice but that call was a little awkward because we'd pretty much exhausted all talking points by then.

As I told the Mr, I am glad that we have bridged that gap and feel like if anything happened to either he or my grandma that I would have no regrets where they are concerned.  (Honestly, I wouldn't have before but I think it just would've felt like "why wasn't I ever good enough?"  He did show me some things that showed he did think of me even if he didn't call or write.  It's nice to have that closure of feeling like I was never on his mind.)  I am not looking to have George and Annie Banks relationship with him because that's just not us and that ship has sailed.  I am perfectly happy getting a couple of emails or calls every now and then.  I know we both approach life completely different and as an adult, I can recognize that.  I also have to recognize the part of myself that can no longer be that scared little girl that was afraid to be herself around him.  I will meet people where they are as long as they are willing to do the same and we'll just have to hope for the best.

Do you have a word for this year?

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  1. I don't always put a lot of thought into these things because I feel like the New Year's resolutions tend to get a bit cliche'. But if I had to pick one word it would be the word Embrace.

    I want to embrace things in my life more than I have in the past. Embrace loved ones. Embrace the blessings I have and, most of all, embrace change. I see the world changing around me all the time but so often I find myself trying to resist it. That doesn't work too well because I find myself complaining more. I need to remind myself that life is a gift and change is part of that too. Wow, talk about cliche' huh?

    1. I feel like calling it a resolution is basically saying "this is the thing I want to fail at this year." Even word of the year is a nice idea as long as you remember it. LOL

  2. Wow that was a touching story, I know it had to be hard yo put yourself out there. Well done! I have so many goals this year. I love reconciliation and embrace. I was thinking revel for me.To revel in the wonderful moments im given each day. I'm usually hanging out in the past or future, I need to be in the now. Have a great day!

    1. It was and time will tell if it'll be the last time I do it where he's concerned. Revel is a great word. If you haven't tried the "One Happy Year" project that I do by writing down what made me happy that day, you should. (Some call it a "gratitude journal.") There are some days I have written down "didn't smack so and so" or "woke up" because the day was particularly bad. But when you see the things that you reveal in each day whether it's a kind word (you've been in there from some sweet things you've said) to a commercial that made you laugh, it can help put things into perspective!

  3. I love that idea, I'm starting today!

  4. I, too, do a gratitude journal every single night and it's been so revealing to go back and see the things I've gone through and what I could pull out of the experiences with a grateful heart. My word for the year is Simplify. I am making it a daily goal to rid myself of something that weigh me down or brings me grief. Whether it be a tangible thing to throw out, or an intangible thought, phrase, or belief that is equally as destructive that needs to be "pitched" from my mind.


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