Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy New Year?

I try to end each year on a positive note.  While I'm decking the halls and fa-la-la-la-ing, I try to slow down enough to take a glance back at the year.  Often I reflect on the year while writing a holiday letter.  Oh wait, I haven't written one of those in years.  Now I have Facebook.  And this blog.  Who needs to write a Christmas letter?  But I digress.

As I've mentioned before, The Ex and I have been apart for five years now.  He moved on right away, and had a live-in girlfriend within 8 months of moving out of our family home.  I was not so unrooted.  I did what I had always done before; I wallowed; I felt sorry for myself; I cried; I belly-ached to anyone who would listen.  Meanwhile, The Ex seemed completely unaffected.  I, on the other hand, needed some time.  In the past year or so, I felt like I had let go of all of that baggage and was moving forward with my life.  Two years ago I joined a church.  I took a couple of spiritual growth classes.  I met new people.  I stopped engaging The Ex in arguments and heated discussions.  I focused on the good things in my life.  Though I have had setbacks - old habits are hard to break after all - I felt like I really made some good progress towards peace and contentment.

As I've also mentioned before, though The Ex and I have done a pretty good job of getting along when it comes to co-parenting our children, something changed last spring.  I won't re-hash the story (check out "Is it Just Me or Is An Apology In Order?"), but suffice it to say I shut down.  I went from having love for this man who gave me these beautiful children even though I don't like him, to REALLY disliking him.  A lot.  Despite my hard work at letting things go, the feeling of dislike really stuck with me.

So, in an effort to end my year on a positive note, I went to church on New Year's Eve and participated in the Burning Bowl ceremony. I wrote down everything I felt about The Ex and the situation, and I told him off like I would if that were an appropriate thing for me to do, and then I dropped it in the burning bowl, watched it go from paper to ash, and then scooped the ashes away and into a disposal bin.  I "washed my hands" of the whole thing right before midnight. 

Now the fun part begins.  Did I actually release all that crap?  Have I moved forward?  Did I let it go?  Is it a happy new year?  Time will tell, and then I'll tell you.

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