Monday, December 28, 2015

Farewell 2015

Every year has it's ups and downs, life is bound to bring challenges and we've certainly had our fair share. Looking back to 2011, it seemed like things were as bad as they could get, we were facing the fact that we had to short sale our house, our glove business was not going to fly, we had exhausted our savings and it just all felt so unfair. I'm not going to recap the whole painful scenario, but suffice it to say, some things take longer to resolve emotionally than others.

It's been just over three years since we moved out of the Aeolia house and have lived in two rentals since. That story is another bit of "life's not fair," but whatever. During Christmas 2014, Dave's mom's health took a turn for the worse and that set in motion a whole other set of stressful circumstances that had to be dealt with. What I'm trying to say is 2015 was a very uncomfortable culmination of some old wounds that never quite healed mixed with new, raw emotions and our family was put to the test. Look back through this blog and you will see, our life has been pretty darn good, Dave and I have had an easy go of being married (at least as I can tell from hearing people talk about how hard marriage is - I haven't had that experience). Some of you have noted that I must sugar coat much of what I post here because, "Who can have it that good so much of the time?" We do!

For the two of us, Dave is not as optimistic as I am and he doesn't move on and bounce back from adversity as quickly as I do. It takes him more time to process what has happened, why or why not, and I've found he typically decides how he feels and stays with that decision. He was mad as hell that we had to short sale our house in 2012 and he stayed mad. Maybe I should analyze things more, but I live in the camp of what's done is done, if I can't change it, why sit and ponder it? Sure, I've looked back and wondered if I could have done things differently, or should I have taken this chance or that chance to see a different outcome, but I don't spend much time in those scenarios. I'm more likely to look ahead at what I want to be creating and manifesting for our futures. All the stress that came with Dave having to take care of his mom forced his hand to confront some longstanding feelings that had not been resolved. We had some explosive moments, we said things we didn't mean, Mason learned what it was like to see and hear his parents really fight, and he even shouldered some harsh words that really weren't aimed at him at all.

I'm sharing all of this for a number of reasons, but most noteworthy is that this blog is the story of my life and I always want to look back and know it is my real life that is written here. 2015 was a really hard year for our marriage & family and we have some work to do to get back to who we were, if that's possible. Maybe it's not necessary, maybe we go forward stronger because we weathered the storm. We made amends and continue to work to rebuild trusts that were damaged. Mason saw us fight and more importantly, he saw us make up, say we were sorry and share (as was appropriate) with him why some of our reactions were bigger than it seemed they should have been. I think that is the most valuable thing to come out of trying times, understanding the importance of saying you are sorry, admitting you were wrong or that you over reacted, and sincerely taking responsibility for your part in the pain. We've done that as a family and I hope Mason sees that difficult times come and when they do, how to get through them and resolve them so all parties feel safe speaking their piece, feel like they have been heard, and hopefully understood.

Of course, 2015 was not all bad, we vacationed in Texas as a family, Dave got to take a solo east coast vacation, Mason and I got to go on a New York adventure where you all know he won Chopped Junior, Mason did 23 live cooking demos in 2015, all three of us got to appear in an episode of Carnival Eats (out in May 2016), and before the year was out, we had our offer accepted on a house we will be moving into in January of the new year. See, I can't focus only on the bad, there was too much good to ignore.

I wish you all love, joy, and happiness in the coming year, but when strife arrives, work through it, try to be kind, and take responsibility when making amends. We are all imperfect beings, feeling safe and understood are two of the greatest gifts we can offer each other, don't you think? Welcome 2016!

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