This time between Christmas and New Year’s is a strange no-man’s land of time. The kids are out of school, so routines are disrupted. Many families are still visiting family or in travel mode. In the news cycle, short of a national disaster, nothing is happening. The theme of this in-between week is year in review.
In January I picked “Balance” as my word for 2019. In some ways it was totally ironic and in others it was spot on. This was a year of huge changes for our family. Keeping my balance proved to be challenging in ways I had never imaged when I chose this word. Having the behaviors of our oldest change so dramatically and then the diagnosis of Autism, ADHD and dyslexia gave answers, but also changed our schedule. Before our week looked something like gymnastics and swim lessons after school. Now I ferry her to Occupational Therapy, Counseling and Social Skills groups. We lost our oldest dog, got a new puppy and were in and out of ER for me and kids. My husband was also diagnosed with Autism this year. We are navigating what that looks like as he accepts himself for who he is rather than feeling broken.
These changes literally swept me off my feet and in May I fell down the stairs resulting in a sprained ankle that still plagues me. And no, the irony was no lost of me that I felt off balance. Tendon repair surgery awaits me in the new year.
What have I learned about a year focused on balance? I’ve learned that balance only happens when I keep moving. Even on the hardest days, you put one step in front of the other and keep moving, because giving up is not an option. When you ride a bike, the only way to keep your balance is to keep moving forward, once the motion stops, the bike is no longer balanced. Self-care is a critical part of that balance because if I go down my family suffers. If I spend more focus on work than family, the family issues crop up. The image I chose at the beginning of the year to show balance was of a man juggling plates – boy was that spot on. I’ve added a few more plates this year!
As this year winds down, I’m starting to think of what my word or phrase might be for 2020. What will you pick?