Resolution

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~Hal Borland

I was a New Year’s Eve baby, born on the night that the world said farewell to the disco age & ushered in the “decade of decadence.” Having a birthday that falls on New Years Eve is quite fun, mainly due to the fact that the entire day is ripe with festivities, excitement, and an overall feeling of renewal & growth. There’s something special about marking a personal milestone as the rest of the world collectively celebrates a new beginning, symbolic as it may be. I’m not one to make yearly resolutions, as I find my days are a series of small goals & milestones, and the ideas for my bigger accomplishments are often hatched not on the cusp of an aging year, but in the wee hours of a sleepless night as I nurse a drowsy baby or usher a sick child back to his bed. Nonetheless I find the word resolution lingering with me in these early weeks of 2012, as if my subconsciousness is trying to nudge me into an action, whatever that may be. Dictionary.com lists several definitions of the word, including: 1) the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose. 2) a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
And looking at this I’m realizing that resolution has been a way of life for me, since the earliest days of my journey in this adventure called motherhood. 16 & pregnant…and oh so naive, as I assumed everyone would have as much faith in my situation as I did. The same month that I first looked upon the dreaded positive sign on the Clear Blue stick, I signed up for summer school at a local high school in an attempt to keep up with my credits. Unfortunately, a horrendous bout of morning sickness (which ultimately left me hospitalized for several days, on IVs and a liquid diet) got in the way of my plans. I completed approximately 2 weeks of the 6 week course, at which point I withdrew from the class and my mother went to the teacher to explain the circumstances. Rather than offering to work with us, or perhaps even lending a word of support, he turned around the next day and informed the class that the reason for my absence was that I was pregnant & would most likely fail to complete high school. (I found this out later from a classmate who was enrolled in the same course. I never confronted the teacher, though I can’t say I haven’t fantasized about going back and slapping him in the face with a degree or two). In the next month, I was snubbed by several guidance counselors who feigned concern when I expressed my desire to go to college, and then ignored my subsequent calls and requests for  information on  alternative education paths. (I ended up completing high school-on time-on independent studies.) I quickly learned that my family would be my main source of support, and that I’d better learn to hold my head high so as to maintain eye-contact with all the people looking down on me…the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose
These encounters continued, including the nurse who tried to talk me out of my decision to go forth with my pregnancy, and the doctor who practically laughed in my face when I presented him with my thoughtfully typed birth plan which included my wish for little intervention & no drugs. “It’s not like you can plan these things” he scoffed. I sat, head bowed and let the tears roll off my very round abdomen…then marched out of his office determined to have the birth I envisioned. And guess what? On January 27, 1997, my son was born…with no medical intervention, and without the use of drugs…a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
I tell you this not to invoke sympathy, or to gain reverence. I tell you this only to point out that our entire lives are a series of resolutions. We have all battled nay-sayers, and faced hurdles that at first appeared insurmountable. We have all cried ourselves to sleep, and then opened our swollen eyes to the light of a new day.  Life is not always fair…it is what it is, but it’s what we do with it that counts. So make your resolutions, and celebrate each goal as you accomplish it. But don’t be so hard on yourself if you fall short, take a little longer than planned, or require helping hands along the way. Sometimes the year ends with a whimper, not a roar…and that’s okay. Re-group, take a deep breath, and gear up for a fierce comeback…

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