As the holiday season and entire year come to a close, I am yet again feeling that exciting shift inside as life moves onward and upward. Over the past 18 months, I have to say I am super proud of myself as my awareness about so many things happening to me and around me occur, and for me to allow them to happen without trying to change the trajectory. My former self was so controlling that I could never be OK without having a say in every single detail of my own life. I was such a control freak that I would literally alter the outcome of everything in my life by steering the ship of my life in the exact way I wanted it to go. Now, I am much happier being a passenger. I've become less antsy about just sitting at home all day in my pajamas or cuddling in bed a few extra minutes. Less and less regimen has really helped my overall happiness and also started to shift many other details of my life too. The old me wanted the most perfectly wrapped presents under the tree, every detail for every Christmas meal planned out, and up to the minute itineraries for New Years Eve and New Years Day on everyone's calendar so we could all coordinate. So much of that has changed. Becoming Harper's Daddy and Sabin's spouse has helped, but even with that, I just had to have a come-to-Jesus with myself that life is way more fun when you let there be surprises! I feel lighter (in spirit, not weight) and so much more free!
This Christmas was magical. As Harper started to understand more and more about Santa and tradition, I am learning that the best thing about Christmas is watching the wonderment in her eyes. We had a packed house and lots of laughing, amazing food, and of course lots and lots of wine! That with the pairing of late night "Heads Up" and "Cards Against Humanity" and an amazing steak and crab dinner that might go down as the best meal I've ever had really made for one of those "movie worthy" Christmas' as our house. Harpers grandparents and Aunt and Uncle came from Sacramento and with our best friends who live across the street, we were able to shock Sabin and Harper with the newest member of our family, a 9 week old Boxer who they promptly named Penny who arrived in a big Santa tote on Christmas morning. I've never ever ever been an animal person. Like not even kinda. But I see the joy that animals add to a home and I've never had a brand new puppy to care for and watch grow up, so Penny was also a gift for me. Already she and I are working out the kinks, and overall I am in love with her in ways I never thought were possible with anything that is four-legged!
I spent the first two weeks of December in Edmonton, Alberta Canada as my company opened our first International location. Yes it was cold. Yes it was a lot of work. But overall I am really proud of being part of such a milestone for my company, and over the whole summer I worked with the entire Edmonton management team and helped train them on all things buybuyBABY. They were awesome and even though I was supposed to be the trainer, they actually taught me a lot of things as well. Some exciting changes at work are also happening, although it's way too early to discuss the details. But I am really looking forward to these changes in the next few weeks.
Perhaps one of the best parts of December is watching my amazing Mommy going through her own big life changes! Everyone knows that I am a HUGE Mama's boy. Part of the way I even survive my three to four hour work commute per day is because my Mom is usually on the other end of the phone (on Bluetooth of course) to talk to me about everything. In addition to being my Mom, she is also my therapist, cheerleader, realist, news source, and even personal comedian. Just like every other parent/child relationship, we go through struggles too, but overall I look around at other grown kids and their parental relationships and am forever indebted to her unwavering support and love for me. That being said, I've also had a birds eye view into her personal life and watched parts of her start to shift into someone that I always knew was not her true and authentic fun loving, funny self. She was caught up in a relationship where she continuously filled up the gas tank, meanwhile her reservoir never seemed to ever get filled up in return. I would listen to her tell me, "I just want you to find someone who loves and adores you" yet I knew she didn't have it in her own life. She gave the best advice but didn't always see how that looked through my eyes as I watched her basically cater to someone who was an irresponsible, immature, grumpy, and overall gloomy presence and who shrunk the magical light inside of her. Everything she wanted for me was basically the opposite of how her own life looked to me. Of course, I couldn't tell her that it made me so sad to see her light fade when I knew how much she had to offer. How do you tell the person who is your closest woman on earth that the person whom she chose as her partner sucks? You don't. I never ever wanted to risk our relationship because of this person either, so I remained close lipped. I avoided visiting or even talking about visiting. It caused tension. When I would visit I would have to witness with my own eyes how bad it actually was, which caused even more animosity.
And then Crystal died. And Mom wasn't there- not because she didn't want to be but because once again she was the sole supporter of an entire household, while her partner struggled to find/keep work and she simply couldn't afford to come for her own step-daughters funeral. It caused one of the worst fights we've ever had. It was ugly. It was a time when all I needed was her and instead we were fighting because we both were hurting and wanted the same thing, but couldn't have each other to lean on.
There were times when I would get calls from the area code where she lived where I was scared to answer. This person she had chosen to be with seemed unpredictable and capable of switching
personalities at the drop of a dime and those calls could be that maybe he had gone off the deep end or one of their fights went too far. They moved several times, once close enough to drive to see my sister and her Dad, yet again her partner couldn't hold down a job and in the year that they lived there, she was too strapped for cash to go more than twice to visit because she had to keep herself and him afloat. When my Grandpa (her Dad) died this fall, I think she finally permanently removed the rose colored glasses. She attended the funeral alone and came back to absolutely zero support. She once again found herself in a new city, a new job, and no one to help fill up her gas tank or return the support.
While I was in Canada I got the message that she got in her car and left without looking back. At first, I thought it was just a temporary thing and she would be back by the time we spoke. Then I got to skype with her a few days later and saw on video with my own eyes my Mom in a light (literally and figuratively) that I had been missing for the last 14 years. Even though she was sad (and maybe because she had been crying) but her eyes looked greener than I could remember and the tone of her voice and the way she spoke seemed to have reverted. She spoke with clarity, and for the first time in forever I was seeing the woman who raised me stand up and be strong for herself. It was magnificent! Not only did I get my true, fun, funny Mom back, but she returned back to Michigan to be close to her siblings and Mom. It's been only a few weeks, but even in that short time I know that she knows that something had been missing from her life for a long time and I also think she can see the same miraculous changes that I do. Her voice, her entire demeanor has changed and morphed right back into that familiarity of me being a child. She already landed a great job that she will start in a few weeks. I am not sharing her story just to air her dirty laundry, but instead to remind myself (and perhaps others too) that one act of bravity can change the entire outcome of your life. I am super proud of her-not because I get my super Mom back in a whole new way-but because she was willing to listen to that inner voice urging her to just take the plunge and don't look back. Of course no one knows how the story ends, but she gets to wrap up the entire previous book and start with her sequel which is a must read for me!
Cheers to an amazing 2015. For now, being content, planning the fall wedding to the true love of my life, and watching my amazing family grow is what I am most excited about for the new year!