mamagotcha: (me!)
[personal profile] mamagotcha
A lot of my time and energy lately have been going to figuring out how to manage and ease my health issues, but that's only part of my life right now. Here's first of a series of posts about other aspects, and ideas about how I'd like to change/develop them over the next year.

Georgia O'Keeffe quote

Relationships: In my experience, it takes about 5-7 years to really get established in a new community, and so these last few years have seen the payoff of all the groundwork I've laid since we moved to Chicago. This neighborhood (Rogers Park) has been a MUCH better fit for us than the previous one (Norwood Park). I now feel like I have a few close local friends I can lean on when things get hairy... I don't necessarily see them daily, but we've established that comfortable and easy friendship that takes a bit of time investment to get to. Most of these are fellow homeschooling moms, but I've also met some terrific folks via the local SCA, my community garden, local puzzle people via Puzzled Pint, local foodies via the LTH Forum, and even a few lovely ladies I've met in the therapy pool.

Bob (what Bill and I call our relationship) hit 17 years on September 17, 2016 (my first marriage ended about two weeks short of 17 years, so as Bill said: HIGH SCORE!). We had kind of a rough patch early this year, which I attribute to stress from my dad's death and the cruise, and Bill was really slammed during the fall quarter, but these last few months have really been wonderful. It's been a little cramped with four of us in this apartment, but we all are working to stay off of each others' nerves. We both are looking forward to being an old married couple together and practice whenever we can. I'd like to continue our current trajectory that direction during 2017 (along with a not-so-secret desire for matching "Yay, Bob!" tattoos).

I have had two relationships this year with elderly people that wound up pushing me into a place where I was feeling taken advantage of (I didn't just walk away from either, though... I made sure they had other helpers, family, public services, etc. on hand, and I didn't burn any bridges, but I had to budget my limited spoons). I seem to have a recurring issue with this kind of thing: trying to help people, then being sucked into a series of draining emotional situations or dramas, and having to extricate myself. Perhaps I was more susceptible to it this year with the older folks, due to my feelings about what happened with my dad (we found out after he'd died that my aunt had manipulated him in ways that must have been excruciating, and I feel a lot of guilt and remorse for allowing it to happen). Something to think about, at any rate.

I feel that I have a good relationship with each of my kids. I'd like to connect with them more often, but I really don't want to push myself into their lives either. If anyone has any great insights on how to nurture a good rapport with adult children, I'd love to hear it (that includes input from both the parent and kid sides of the equation!).

I did break off a number of relationships with people over the election. I'm not proud of this, but I feel a physical disgust and horror with anyone who actually cast a vote for Drumpf. I don't know if those relationships are repairable, or even if I WANT to try to repair them, but it's something I'm going to have to deal with eventually.

Overall, I want to work on pulling back from my online activity, and invest more in my face-to-face connections. I want to develop a practice of kindness towards those around me, and to deepen and nourish the connections I've already made. Bad pain days make me a flake sometimes, which makes things difficult, but in general I feel well-grounded and happy with my relationships.
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