2013 Review

In an effort to close old things in order to better open new things, I was looking over my journals and old papers from last year. It’s amazing what hindsight does for clarity. Last year was soooo frustrating! I was spinning my wheels in the mud for an entire year! And now I’m looking  back at the goals I made last year, and over my nasty court battle with my ex. I am amazed at what I’ve gained.

Last year, I was timid, scared, and hoping. This year, I’m confident, patient (okay, more patient), and determined.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

Last year I was a tiny seedling screaming for justice. This year I’m a massive oak, standing firm while winds try to stir me.

Last year, the slightest breeze sent me swerving. This year, gales of wind don’t make me bend.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Last year, the slightest flaw in my diet, my mentality, or my day-to-day life, and I’d have to pick up the pieces of my tumbling tower of strength. This year, I’m in control of my fate. This year, I’m placing the stones.

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

For the first time in my mortal existence, though I don’t know exactly when it happened, I am my own strength.I guess  I feel like I have a wider base, a higher center of gravity. I have gained so much strength! Last year, I let so many outside forces crush me. I had less control and less serenity.I think if I’ve mastered one skill over the last year, it would be that: SERENITY. And by golly, that’s a worthwhile skill! And one I wasn’t even looking for. It was the exact skill I needed, though.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

I can’t get over how much I needed last year. I needed one exhausting year of pushing against a mountain in order to know my own strength. The mountain never moved, but now I am strong enough to make my own mountains.

When my court battle was over, I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t see any benefit. But when it ended, I asked my lawyer, “what now?” and she said something that I think back on now and know she spoke truth. She told me she was proud of how much I’d come into my own, and how she didn’t think I’d let anything stop me. I looked back on all the old paperwork the other day, and all the stuff from the most recent endeavor this morning. It’s amazing how much I’ve changed. I think of all the turmoil of emotions I experienced then, and if I were to do it all now, I’d be much calmer. I’d be solid. And a judge would be able to see that. Since that court date, I think about all the bull my ex has pulled. Some of it I let slide. I just add it up. Other stuff, I smile to myself and say nice try. I don’t react any more. I learned how to use his “use-y-ness” against him. I learned to give no reaction. Except a smile. I’m grateful to have learned that skill. I’m also grateful to know that I am worth more than any outside force tries to tell me. I have the power to do what is right, what is needed. And I can use my assets to achieve it. I feel free from the clutches of my ex like never before. The last chains of control are off. The statement that it takes just as long to get out of trouble as it did to get into trouble is apparently true. But the chains were deeper than just court cases. They were locking up my mentality and my emotions. And now… I’m free to feel how I want and what I want. It’s been such a blessing with my daughter and with my husband. It’s also helped me have stronger relationships with my friends and even acquaintances. because I’m allowed to have boundaries now.

But I’m stronger than even that! Last year, I spent so much time so sick! I had to work my way out of every second of illness. It was like climbing a rock-faced pit. Sometimes I’d fall down and have to start all over. I just wanted to be at the top. I just wanted to be all better. No more food-allergies. No more weak moments of eating garbage and then paying for it later. I was so frustrated that people, especially friends and family, didn’t understand what processed food was doing to me! I would let down my boundaries just to keep the peace, then feel sick, berate myself for eating garbage just to please everyone, and then do the whole fiasco again. But then a glorious thing happened. I cut ties. I told the loudest nay-sayers in my life that I deserved better treatment. When they responded and proved that their status-quo was more important than my well-being, I both knew where I stood and that I was enough with or without their approval. I didn’t talk to some for quite a while. When I started a relationship up again, it was on my terms. Can I just say, that was amazing! I’ve learned that toxic people are not necessary in my life. I’ve learned that I don’t have to solve problems for people who don’t care about me for me. I have also learned that people can try to tell you how to run your life, but you don’t have to listen.

I’ve watched my husband experience many of the same lessons, if a bit grudgingly, at times. I’ve watched him grow right along with me. We can grow together, now, instead of just growing individually. It’s so interesting to look back on life… In my past marriage, we grew colder and further apart. The more time went on, the weaker our marriage was. But with Ranger, the longer we’re married, the stronger we are. The stronger our feelings are. I’m so blessed to have this experience of marriage and love.

And all this from a year that I really didn’t like very much.

Invictus by William Earnest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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