And just like that, the year changed overnight. 2016 is just a memory and 2017 is here. A book full of blank pages for you to fill. One of the biggest questions of any new year, what are your resolutions? Personally, I don’t do resolutions. The whole “new year, new me” thing is just blah to me. No, I’m still gonna be me in 2017. If, at any time during the year, I feel like I need to adjust, I’ll do so then. No time like the present, right? I do try and set out an outline of small goals for the year though. For 2017 I would like to grow my photography business. I also plan on opening up a new Etsy shop for geeky vinyl decals. But, I’ve been planning that for months now. I plan on trying to lose more weight (as I sit here eating pizza and drinking Cherry Coke), but again, I’ve been losing weight for a year now. See, no hard plans, just an outline.

As for what’s to come, who knows. I am a firm believer that life is what you make it. Yes, sometimes shitty things happen. There will always be things beyond your control that happen. A death of a loved one, the loss of a job, losing your home, and so on. Uncontrollable life events can definitely make for a shitty year, but they also give you an opportunity to turn things around. I worked in retail for 16 years before I started working in the medical field. In 2013 I unexpectedly lost my job. I was with A2 at the time, so life was already pretty hard. My son wasn’t even a year old yet. Every job I applied for wanted to start me off at 20 hours a week and $8-9 an hour. Considering A2 is a lazy bum who wouldn’t be bothered with finding a job to help out, that just wouldn’t work. I was the breadwinner and I needed full time work. I considered getting 2 or 3 jobs to make enough hours. In the end, I decided going back to school was actually the best option. It was hard. We lived off of unemployment for a few months, which was barely enough to pay the bills. I’m lucky that I have 2 amazing parents that help when they can. Usually when 1 can’t the other can.

About 2 months into school I was able to find work in home health. I managed to work 35 hours a week while going to school 24 hours a week. On top of being thoroughly exhausted between work and school, I also had to do all the housework and take A2 everywhere he decided he needed go. I also got exclusive baby duty when I was home. If I wanted to take a nap for even a few minutes I was guilt tripped by A2. He would tell me I wasn’t spending enough time with my son. When I decided we could afford to cut my hours down a bit at work, A2 complained that we didn’t have enough money. He only complained because it meant he wouldn’t be able to buy comic books and movies that he wanted. He didn’t care at all if the actual bills were paid. I could have skipped the electric bill and given him spending money and he would have been fine with that. Well, until the lights got shut off, then it would have been all my fault and he’d tell me I should be more responsible. It was a hard year for sure.

2005 was another tough year. I miscarried and left A1 all in one year. For the longest time I called 2005 my shittiest year ever. As I grew older and started to reflect I realized that, while the year was tough, it was necessary. I can’t imagine still being stuck with A1.

I started calling 2005 one of my best years. Yes, some horrible things happened. I lost a baby, and that STILL hurts to this day. But, 2005 was also the year I found my strength. I stood up for myself and said enough is enough. I tried kicking A1 out, but it didn’t work. Both of our names were on the deed to the house. He owned it too so he legally had every right to live there. He knew that and he used it to his advantage. I realized that and I left. He tried to stop me, told me he was going to kill himself that he had no more reasons to live if I left, tried to scare me by saying he would file for full custody and prove that I was an unfit mother, he even tried to guilt me by saying everything that happened wasn’t his fault and that his sister practically molested him when they were kids so it’s all her fault. That one almost worked, almost.

2013 was the same. I can easily call it one of my worst years. But, I refuse. Instead, I call it the year of new beginnings. I never would have the job I have now if I didn’t lose the job I had then. I love my  job now.

Part of living after surviving is picking yourself up. It’s realizing that you can’t change the past and pulling up your big girl panties and dealing with life. Take the bad situations and turn them into good ones. Any year can be a crap year, it’s how you fix it that matters.





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