Tuesday, January 1, 2019

So this is the New Year

"So this is the new year
And I have no resolutions
For self assigned penance
For problems with easy solutions"

~ The New Year - Death Cab for Cutie

I'm not good with resolutions. The ideas surrounding "self-improvement" and "starting anew" usually leave me with a sense of guilt when things fall flat a few weeks out. Because of this, it's been years since I've really made a firm commitment to any lifestyle changes around this time of year all due to the realization that lasting change usually involves a lot of activation energy and shifts in mindsets, both of which requiring a lot of work.

But 2018 didn't end the way I was hoping. Yes, there's been a lot of good that happened that year, with Grey starting his current position, being rapidly tracked for leadership roles and seeing a lot of growth career-wise. And yes, Maddy and Teddy are doing amazingly well, with us not only seeing improvements following their surgeries but also thriving at school due to their teachers working with us to make sure a firm foundation is being built for their growth in the years to come. And yes, we are happy to be back on the West Coast, having easy access to hiking trails and ocean beaches while surrounded by a culture that Grey and I identify with.

But despite the good, I've been struggling. Ending my last contract after my boss changed her mind about bringing me in permanently and having to hire a lawyer to end the relationship was the wake-up call that its time to leave science education. Retooling is easier said than done, though, especially given that I don't have an industry track-record (a fairly common hurdle for anyone leaving academia that many acknowledge yet few have a solution for). On top of this, a side-product of me working with Teddy and Maddy is the realization that I likely have undiagnosed ADHD and that not addressing has actually done a lot of harm to me to date. All this on the heels of my parents recent freak-out, with me finding myself insanely angry over recognizing that not only did they miss this diagnosis with me (reminding me what a "bad child" I was and how they struggled so much with me), but also that I have to take on the role of "parent" with them, setting clear boundaries and unapologetically making it clear what is and is not acceptable.

So, this is the new year, with so much already on the horizon. Standing on the beach today with Grey, watching Teddy and Maddy play in the surf and sand, Grey and I made some resolutions about prioritizing self-care and sanity via getting lost in the woods or along the coast more and me seeking diagnosis/treatment. None of which will be done without some additional activation energy and establishing some firm boundaries.

And yet, I must confess that I'm also feeling energized to make these resolutions a reality. If for no other reason than knowing that though the self-assigned penance will require a lot of work, it is work that has clear rewards at the end.


  1. Happy healthy new year to you. Beaches are so therapeutic. I would totally make it a goal to go to one if I had one!

  2. I understand your feelings about your parents not parenting you well. Not only did they miss your struggle, but they shamed you for it. I'm sorry you are still dealing with their poor parenting skills.

    And I'm also sad to hear you'll be leaving science education, though I also see how you must. I think science learners need MORE teachers like you, not fewer.

    Welcome to 2019. Hoping it brings you some wonderful surprises, and continued good news for Teddy and Maddy. Getting lost often sounds like a great plan!


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