Aaahhh December 31st…..the day I usually love to do nothing but sit in quiet with a good cup of coffee and just reflect on all the great things of the past year, all of the lessons learned and intentions for the year to come. However, this last day of the year also happens to be the last day of the decade and what a decade it has been!
I’m just going to say it. 2019 sucked. I HATED it….like A LOT. It was uncomfortable and I’d say that at least 361 days out of the last 365, I felt uneasy and constantly unsure of myself and what the hell I should actually be doing with my life. It was one of those years where I felt that everything that I touched imploded. Am I being over dramatic? Maybe a tad, but I’m trying to get my point across here. It was rough for me personally. Call it a mid-life crisis, call it a severe case of Imposter Syndrome, either way…I hated it and I’m not sad at all to see it go.
Now this decade has been one for the books! It’s crazy to think about all that can happen in just a year, but to reflect on the change in 10 years, that’s insane! I started the 2010’s fresh out of the Corporate Finance world and jumped into a full-time Real Estate career. I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl in 2011 and the joy she has brought me has been indescribable. My son was also diagnosed with Autism in 2011. A newborn and an Autism diagnosis just months apart from each other is not for the faint of heart.
To process that diagnosis and find some balance in my life, I started running. Running became my therapy, made me strong again both physically and mentally, and boosted my confidence to go after those goals and dreams I always had.
So I opened that Women’s-Only Boxing gym that I always dreamed of in 2013 and it was every bit of awesome that I pictured. It seems like a lifetime ago and the person that opened and ran that place was a different woman that I hardly recognize especially now on this last day of 2019. I miss a lot of that woman and have longed for her drive and her grit once again. Sure, she didn’t go completely missing and is still somewhere in here buried under all of the lies and mess I’ve told myself since closing that gym’s doors.
But as awesome and fulfilling as that dream was and how I miss that woman that just got after it without much fear, I will never, ever regret putting my family first and recognizing where I was most needed. I need to be Mom. I need to give my children 100% of me and I need to be an advocate for my son so he can live his life to his fullest potential.
But this brings me to the tough spot where I have been for all of 2019. How do I be the Mom that my children need and still go after those BIG dreams I have for myself?
For the majority of this decade I have been trying to be Mom and still try to have some sort of a career and work towards those goals I’ve set for myself but it has been an uphill battle every step of the way.
Now I know many moms struggle with this, but a mother with a child with special needs has the pleasure of having this all with a special twist. I remember when my children were younger, I thought, “When they’re more independent, I can focus more on my career”, “When I don’t have to worry about childcare anymore that will be one less added stress on our wallets and my career” but at almost 12 years old when most other boys his age have a phone because they are out with friends on their own, can stay home alone for short amounts of time, or can ride their bikes anywhere, that’s not my life. And I’ve been in a funk lately because I don’t know that it ever will be. Now I don’t write this for pity at all, but this is good for me to put out there because it is my reality and the reality of so many other moms like myself. It’s why I feel like I start something for myself but then my reality sets in and I have to be mom again because my role as mom has not changed much since he was first diagnosed. He still needs me to cross the street. He still needs me to prompt him through many life skills. Yes, he can order up all of his favorites on Amazon and have them delivered to our home. He can also tell you Movie release dates, running times, production companies, cast, etc. but safety comprehension and skills that are needed in life are just not there. That’s Autism for you.
It can be exhausting and I feel guilty for saying that. Trying to give my daughter what she needs and enjoy time alone with her as well as still trying to make some time for an actual conversation or dinner with my husband on top of everything else feels overwhelming. I feel like I could handle it all better before. I don’t know if I’m just extra exhausted in 2019 but this year everything was magnified.
To an extent, things were easier when our son was younger. I felt like I had more in common with friends even when I felt alone in what was going on in our world. Our children that were all the same age were all too young to do anything on their own so I didn’t feel so alone when struggling to get out for a night out with the girls. But now, when you’re the only one that has to still stress about childcare as much and you still can’t go anywhere quickly or with ease, it starts to get to you. It’s life, I get it. It’s my life and everyone has their thing they have to work their way through and this is mine. I’m figuring this out. I’m trying to figure out how to be me, accomplish all I want to do in my life with MY reality.
And I know I’ll figure it out because I AM that same woman that opened that gym, chose her family 100% of the time, ran those 2 Boston Marathons, started a foundation inspired by her son, and made the decision to move her family because it’s what needed to be done. Yes, in 2019 I forgot many times that I am same that woman but it’s about time I start remembering and acting like her once again because she’s a fighter.
2019, Peace Out. 2020, I’m Ready.