Contest: A letter for 2010 to me, written as tho' for someone else I care about.
I know you've had a rough time of it recently. I'm sorry. You've had all kinds of problems.
Your niece is mad at you because of a misunderstanding and won't let you babysit that beautiful 11 month old baby any more.The morning of New Year's Day, of all times. It just seemed to get the whole year off wrong. You've never had someone in your family not talking to you before, so this is new. It really hurts you. Maybe it will blow over. She's got other problems and might be just taking them out on you. The baby needs you. She needs you. You need them. Don't push it. Just be patient. Love her no matter what. She doesn't want your two cents on any thing. You wouldn't want it from anyone. Let her live her own life and be there if she ever comes back to you.
You have some health setbacks. Ok. You've had them before, and you knew it was going to get worse. Hold your head up and start paying more attention to yourself. Keep a better schedule for your medicines. Cut back on the orange juice-too much sugar-and some of those bread products. Walk seven days a week, not 3 or 4. That's what the doctor told you, remember? Someone with your problems needs daily aerobic activity! Don't forget: one day at a time. Don't fret over what might be next, ok?
And I remember your ex-husband. It's been years since the divorce, but his death the week before Christmas took the wind out of you. You shared so much with him--your house, your dog, your bank accounts, your bed, your secrets. And you remained friends. You haven't been that close to a lot of people. And no one has ever been as close to you as he was. His loss has created such a void for you. And you haven't had anyone to share your grief. His family is too self-centered. Your family held too many grievances against him. You've been thinking about him non-stop every day, and no one has helped you bear your grief. Whether shoveling snow, cooking, wrapping presents, or cleaning, you were quietly hurting. The family exchanged gifts, while you thought only of one who would never have another Christmas. You've been alone in your heartbreak. Sure, it's okay to feel sorrow, but you have to remember you weren't responsible. You couldn't have helped him.
Your job this year is to close out this chapter, and move into the next phase of your life. The mental energy you spent on him has to find another channel. Find a way to deal with your sadness. After you've allowed yourself time to grieve, find ways to honor his memory without deifying him. Do something with your talents and energies that would make him proud of you. Despite being a jerk sometimes, ok frequently, he was always proud of you and encouraged you. Don't let yourself get run down physically, medically, or emotionally. What he admired most was your inner strength. You just have to find other places to use that strength now.
You're a terrible procrastinator, so this is the year you have to finish some projects! That family cookbook, the quilt your mother started before she passed away, and family history research that needs organizing are things you can do. Take a class just for the fun of it. And celebrate when a project is finished. Don't wait for someone else's appreciation; it probably won't come. That doesn't mean you don't deserve it; we're all just a little self-centered and blind to others.
So many dreams have drifted away! Don't let more time go by feeling old and useless. You've been subjected to narrow-minded people in the work place; you've allowed them, less educated, less experienced to beat you down and make you feel inferior. You're not 30 any more and your hearing isn't what it used to be, so what? You still have a lot to do, a lot to give. You're not spent, just a little sad, in terrible times. Don't concentrate on how tough 2009 was or how hard 2010 will be. Just look for the small joys, like the redbird in the feeder, or the pansies on the railing, or a poem, or music, or an e-mail from an old friend. The little things make the big things bearable. And, Heartburn, don't be so hard on yourself, OK? As long as you draw breath, you can choose to be happy.