With the new year I’ve decided to move this blog in a different direction.
2018 post-love was about surviving and existing. Just getting out of bed and finding my way through each day. I made mistakes, I hurt people, I failed at so much.
But I made it.
I could keep dwelling on grief forever. I could stay in my hole, wallowing in the sickeningly bitter feeling of loss. Or I can look forward.
This doesn’t mean I’m forgetting Christine. I learned from that. I won’t ignore her ever again. I will still have horrible, terrible days filled with pain, loneliness and grief. I will cry, I will wail. I will have days of numbness.
I’m sure I’ll still write about those days as they come.
But I’m choosing to live.
I’m living for my kids, my friends, my family.
I’m living for me.
So what does that really mean?
Not entirely sure. I’m still not planning on rushing out to find a partner. I’m not trying to fill that hole with a replacement. I’m not ready. I’m also not going to go out and solve all of my problems. I’ll keep going to counseling, I’ll keep reflecting on who I am and who I should be.
But I have made a list of goals, resolutions for the new year.
I resolve to:
⁃ Forgive myself
⁃ Be more present in my children’s lives
⁃ Run a marathon
⁃ Climb a mountain
⁃ Cook at least 4 healthy dinners for my family each week
⁃ Go out of my way to be kind to at least one person every day
⁃ Visit a country for the first time
⁃ Commit an act of service every week and involve the kids when possible
⁃ Keep Christine present in my life by living each day striving to be the man she would want me to be
⁃ Raise/donate $10000 for suicide prevention
⁃ Meet new people and learn from them
⁃ Start a podcast
⁃ Love fiercely
⁃ Become a companion for a suicide widow(er)
⁃ Ask for help when I need it
⁃ Be mindful of how my words and actions can be perceived by others, regardless of my intent
And if I don’t finish everything on this list it’s OK because my final resolution for 2019 is the only non-negotiable.
In 2019 I will learn to give myself grace.
That last one is so important. I’ve had so many people tell me that ‘You need to give yourself grace’. It’s a trend, a theme. I tend to take the world on my shoulders and blame myself for every misstep. I don’t want to live like that anymore.
I don’t want to live under a blanket of stress and guilt.
I was married so young that I never took the opportunity to learn to know myself, relying on Christine to make me whole. Now I’m without her. I’ll never be whole again, but I can decide who I am without her and using guilt to drive my direction is not healthy. I’m going to learn to forgive myself, be gentle when I fail, choose to learn from mistakes to make myself a better man.
In my first post I wrote ‘welcome to the shit show’. At the time it was true. I was (am) a mess.
But 2019 is about life. My kids, mine, ours. How I impact others.
So welcome to my life. I’m glad you’re here.
6 thoughts on “Living”
These are some really inspirational resolutions, Ben. I hope that one day at a time you can practice these principles in all your affairs. Not easy, that’s for sure, but can be done with the help of a higher power. Feel free to communicate privately any time you’d like. Happy New Year, and here’s to a peaceful and serene year. 🙅🏻
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Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you, too, Ben. Have you finished any books yet this year? Believe it or not, I’ve finished five already. Of course four of them were begun in 2018, so I don’t know if I ought to count them. Thanks again,
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I’ve nearly finished one and ready to start on the next
Ben, I suffered an unwanted divorce 40 years ago. Went through a year of living like a zombie. Anger, self-doubting, etc. Recovery began when I experienced grace. Divorce is not same as death, I know, but the emotions and recovery processes are similar. Grace covers over the past darkness and opens new doors. Praying for you always. And thank you again for sharing the truth of your journey. That takes bravery.
You’re worth it.