I don’t like resolutions. They scare me. Will I feel worse if I don’t live up to my own expectations? Will I not even attempt to resolve to do something out of fear of not being able to fulfill it? Who needs more pressure?! I need a gentler start to the new year. I’d rather start with good intentions and with hope. I know, I know, supposedly the “road to hell is paved with good intentions.” But is paving a road with good intentions really such a bad thing? I think it’s better than the alternative. So this coming year I intend to try and change the attitude that has been coloring everything in my life for many years. I hope to find the key to looking to the future with eager anticipation rather than paralyzing fear.
The future is a scary place for me – a mother of an adult child whose very existence depends on mine. The older I get the scarier it gets. The older I get, the more realistic I must be and the less hopeful I have become. Not just for my family, but for the many families that have no idea what the future will hold for their loved one. This is a time of economic woes and non-existent investment in the expansion of the system that supports individuals with developmental disabilities, even though their number increases yearly. It is draining and depressing each time I consider the future of innocent individuals whom, through no fault of their own, are totally dependent on others. I find that the subject is on my mind every day. As I begin a new year I am taking stock of the effect that the constant worry is having on me. I’m unrelentingly stressed, tired, and burned out. It has to stop. The “issue” will never go away, but my daily focus on it is affecting my physical and mental health, while doing nothing to change or solve the situation.
Five years ago, I was panicking about what would happen when Lauren left school. But, things have fallen into place and for right now...we’re OK. I have to find the faith that I can only do so much, plan so much, expect so much from myself and it will be enough. I guess that is the hardest point – just what is enough? I have tried to answer that question in the last few days of this decade. I am in tears while I write this, still not having found the answer. I just know one thing; I can’t keep putting myself through this day after day. It has to stop.
So, my intentions for the New Year are to find perspective, to have faith, and to stop living so far in the future that I lose today. I want to celebrate the good days, not fear that there may not be others. I want to recognize the blessings in my life and not be blinded by the uncertainties of tomorrow. I want to find the faith that will allow me to believe that somehow, someway, good people will care for Lauren when I no longer can. Right now I don’t have a clue how to even start doing all that. But, I have good intentions.
May the New Year bring you good health, peace of mind, and joy of heart.
Happy New Year,