I’ve always found the writing of New Year’s resolutions so hopeful, exciting. The fact that my birthday is within the first week of the new year adds to the excitement, the determination I feel as I begin a new journey, right from the beginning of (this time) 2016 and my 61st year. So, on this last day of 2015, not only am I thinking of resolutions, I am also thinking of all the events that have occurred as I have entered a new decade: my 60’s.
There were some wonderful things that happened in 2015. I got engaged. My husband was awarded a Fulbright scholarship. I had a beautiful, sweet wedding. I attended my husband’s daughter’s wedding in the South. My son started grad school. My daughter worked her ass off with a 4.0 for every quarter except one. She got a 3.9 that one time. She also made a serious commitment with a totally fantastic guy. I’ve had a chance to get to know him better while they have been here in India-he is even better than I thought. I found a wonderful family to keep my dog for nine months. My boss at work created a position for me when I was very, very sick and she allowed me to put in some hours while working on a wedding, packing everything up and also planning a nine month long trip. I got to go on a Tuke family campout that previously had excluded spouses. A family member was faced with the greatest challenge of his life and he made it to the other side. That is actually the best thing that happened in 2015.
There was a little bad mixed in as well. There was the undiagnosed idiopathic pericarditis back in 2014 which lasted for months and months, resulting, in early 2015, my withdrawal from grad school with only seven months until graduation. That was such a killer for me. To get to that point, I’d been working full time, had begun dating my now husband, and was in grad school as well; a very tough way to try to live. All that work, stress and such, nothing to really show for it, just gone. I had no choice other than to withdraw; at that point, I’d missed too much class. Afterwards, I began to lose my self-esteem. Other things, some small, some large, turned into an avalanche of negativity, fear and more. It was a terrible time for me. Just as I began to get my footing again, the engagement, the Fulbright, the big plans for my husband in India at a time when I felt I had nothing. Fastforward to the fall with the possible ending of a marriage that was only 3-4 months old. More tearing down of an already very lost soul.
So now I am on the last day of the year, having had some great times and some bad. It is pretty easy now to see where the holes are (and were), where things should have been different, where I should have worked my ass off for more support, friendship, and so much more. I guess I am thinking based on the past six months, things can only go up from here. I am very hopeful for 2016.
My kids and Tony here with me now. They have been such a lifeline for me. And some cyberspace friends as well. My husband too. My plans have switched from what my husband had suggested, what we discussed before I flew off for Delhi. I won’t be going back to the US any time soon. Instead, I will travel the colorful, wonderful, sometimes scary and difficult country of India, as originally planned, will continue to work on my major project here. I’ll work harder to find friends, to find things to do, separate from my husband. A challenge, that’s for sure, but I’m up for it after a huge, hefty dose of love and encouragement from my kids and my husband. Just being in the presence of other English-speaking people has revitalized me in a way I could not have imagined. Guess we really do need human contact, much more than I realized. I’ve already sent out one message today and received an invite for lunch next week. YAAAAAAY!!!!!
The internet is both friend and foe, and mostly the latter. There have been so many more words, so many more photos I’ve wanted to post. Sometimes the darn thing looked like they were posted and they were not. I was looking back through the past few days and wanted to put up just a few for now. The Taj, the intricacy was astounding. Goats in clothes made my kids (Tony to be included in ‘my kids’) and I laugh with glee. More of those beautiful children with the kohl surrounding their eyes. The other burning ghat which I had never seen. Those so very cool water buffalo (we actually had that in a New Dehli restaurant). The bank of the tributary which flows into the Ganga. So much more. I’m planning on going through others later, revisiting some places I’ve just seen. Details to come in a latter blog.
Things I’ve learned in December-I think there’s too much to write, but I will list a few.
Patience is still needed in very heavy doses. The internet a constant reminder of that.
You cannot count on anyone but yourself but I can count on my kids the most. There are others who can be pretty darn helpful.
Not much is set in stone. Things change.
Living in a third world country is difficult and your tolerance level seems to change depending on how tired you are.
People break confidences; you must learn to live with that.
There are very good people in this world, but there are some that are very bad. It is good if you can figure out who is who.
Selfishness abounds while some people are just the best in the world.
Seeing chained monkeys, sick animals, filth, snotty-nosed children begging for money, is very wearing on the soul.
You cannot let fear rule your life.
You have to decide what you are willing to put up with in life and go from there. A squatters bathroom is worth it if you see some very amazing things. So is rubbing against cows to get to the bathroom in a fantastic pizza place.
Things can change very rapidly; a back up plan is always a good idea.
My daughter took the photo of the dog and her pups. We were in Delhi, had gone down a scary little alley to exchange some money as all the banks were closed. I loved the photo, had to post it, but wanted to credit her for the work. I’ve no idea who took the one of me and her. Obviously, I look a little worn out. I’m using it as a starting point from where I am today, will look back on it in a month, then see the strength and change that’s occurred looking back at me in a mirror wherever I might be.