My brain is still vibrating from the holidays. But I did manage to make a few resolutions which I expect will actually “take.” I know I can do it because I’ve already had to do it with other kinds of change, and at least resolutions are a choice.
My kids and I came to Michigan (my home state), five years ago, from Maryland (their home state). It was the too familiar story of the divorce you swore you’d somehow dodge but couldn’t; the support system and the job you’d need moving forward but couldn’t find in your current state — and I mean “current state” in every possible sense, as there were times I swore I was losing my mind.
My ex-husband said he’d understand if I took the kids to Michigan, where the cost of living was more affordable and where I had a safety net of family and life-long friends, it would help me get back on my feet.
I searched for jobs in Maryland and Michigan simultaneously in case keeping the kids rooted near their dad proved possible. But Maryland never came through with a job — Michigan did.
We left most things in storage and packed a rental car with only the basics. The transmission on my van died two weeks prior, so when we arrived in Michigan, we were without our own car and homeless.
My cousin and his wife had always said they’d take us in and we stayed with them until we found an apartment. My aunt owned a car she had long-since stopped driving and had long since paid off, so another need was filled when she offered it to me.
Soon, the kids and I were in our own place and had been adopted by a stray cat and a shelter dog. We were a very different family from the one we would have thought we’d ever be, but we were also doing something none of us had thought possible at first — adapting. After the initial adjustment, we began to thrive; even with the universe throwing in the occasional surprise that forced us to readjust — just to keep us on our toes.
That’s where we still are in a lot of ways: thriving, readjusting and thriving some more. But we’ve traded apartment living for our own little house — and we have another cat.
I’ve never been big on resolutions. For the last few years, I’ve been forced into so much change that choosing to take on more change seems masochistic.
I don’t see it that way anymore.
I’ve learned there’s a difference between starting over and new beginnings. The difference is me. If I can make the kinds of changes I’ve made during the past five years, surely I can resolve to lose a few pounds.