Yes, I’m one of those. One of those people who makes new year resolutions. Most years I don’t actually succeed with all of my goals. For example, last year I resolved to run 300 miles on the treadmill. I started out so good. And then April came and somehow my desire to run ended. I jumped on a few times in the months to follow, but I didn’t meet my ridiculously low goal of 300 miles. Maybe next year.
This year I’ve decided to make resolutions about my attitude. I’m trying to remember that I cannot change things that are not in my control; such as other people. I can only change myself and the way I react to other people.
(1) I resolve to stop protecting Lee from his mother. I had such good intentions with this in the beginning. When Lee and I first dated I knew that his father had abandoned him at conception and then his mother abandoned him at birth. I don’t know all the details. It’s not even necessary to know all of the details. We can’t live in the past. We can only live for the future.
So when Lee and I first got married I really tried to push him to have a better relationship with his mother. Lee was raised by his grandmother and [although there were many times they had no idea where his mother was] his mother has always kind of been “around.” I tried to convince him to send his mother birthday cards and Christmas cards and even call her every once and a while. But Lee didn’t want to. He just wasn’t ready for that type of relationship yet.
And as the years progressed I realized why. Lee tends to open himself up a little bit and then gets hurt in the end. Personally, I think his mother is very selfish. And if I was in Lee’s place I wouldn’t ever want anything to do with her again. I just wouldn’t want to feel that hurt over and over again. Sometimes it’s just best to let people go.
But I’m not Lee. And Lee is a grown man. He can make his own decision. And I need to let him.
I am a woman and a mother so my nature instinct is to protect. But I need to learn to stop protecting Lee and just be here for him in whatever decision he makes with regards to his mother. And
when if she hurts him again I just need to be here to comfort him.
That’s something I really struggle with. I want to convince him to leave her behind. But I can’t. I just have to be supportive.
I also need to stop being so judgmental when it comes to his mom. Maybe [hopefully] she is a very caring person. Maybe she just doesn’t know how to express it. I need to learn to be more forgiving. Even though she has stated she doesn’t want Lee’s forgiveness, I need to be forgiving not for her, but for me. This is what I resolve to work on in 2006.
(2) I need to learn to be more patient and understanding especially when it come to Nicci. We have always had to live amicably since all three of us are raising Justis. But in the past it’s been more Nicci’s job then ours. Justis lived with her. Far away. And the majority of the days it didn’t really effect us much because we didn’t see Justis enough.
Of course, I don’t mean that to sound like we only thought of Justis on the eight weeks a year we got to see him. We thought of Justis always. And we checked in on him often. But he was six hours away so we just weren’t as involved in his life as we were with the four kids who live with us full-time.
But now Justis lives with us and the roles are reversed. It’s our responsiblity to make sure that Nicci is able to stay involved in Justis’ life. It’s our job to make sure Justis has as much access to his mom and his sister as is possible. It is now our full-time job to make sure he succeeds; not just in school, but in life.
And to do that I need to take a chill pill. I admit it. I’m jealous.
I will always be second best when it comes to Justis. And I’m actually ok with that. I know I’m not his mom. I resolved to that fact a long time ago. He has a mom. He doesn’t need, nor is he seeking, a second one. I am his stepmom. Similiar, but never exactly the same. And that’s fine.
But not only is Nicci Justis’ mom, but she’s also the first “real” love of Lee’s life. In fact Lee was still very much in love with her when he and I began dating. And when Lee and I split up when I was pregnant with Keaton, Lee and Nicci got back together [albeit briefly].
I know Lee doesn’t have those feelings for Nicci anymore. And I know Lee loves me with all his heart. I also know unequivocally that Lee is very much devoted to me. I don’t doubt Lee’s adoration of me for a second.
However, he has a child with somebody he once loved dearly. So it’s not like a normal relationship that ends and you never see the person again. We have to live with her in our lives.
She’s not a monster or anything. She is usually quite amicable and we usually agree or can come to a compromise. But, like any other failed love affair turned friendly relationship, there are some disagreements. And, with most arguments, each sides believes they are in the right.
This is where I’m speaking of being more patient and understanding. I need to look at these disagreements through both sets of eyes. I need to shed my insecurities and think of only what is best for Justis. I need to stop being the slightest bit jealous when he talks to his mother and she tells him something other then what I may have said. I need to be more understanding that we are a nation of very unique individuals with our own ideas and values.
Again, I need to be supportive and just do the best I can. That’s all I can really expect from myself. I’m a stepmom and it’s a very hard job, but I can do it. I have faith in my ability. And I know I can make decision based on what I believe is best for Justis and still be respectful to Nicci. This is what I resolve to do in 2006.
(3) I need to either shit or get off the pot when it comes to my job. I can’t make empty threats. I need to follow through.
On one hand I really like my job. I love the people I work with. I really enjoy what I do. And I’m good at it. I even like my boss. No, seriously. She is a very nice person. She just isn’t the kind of manager that I work well with. So I need to either make the decision to change my attitude about the way she manages or look for a new job.
Unfortunately I’ve gotten to the point where I feel like her management style has beaten me down. I no longer feel motivated to work hard and do a good job. I have asked for a promotion mulitple times. I have laid out the reasons I am deserving of a raise. We discussed it. She gave me some ways to improve. And I did it.
Now I’m asking again [two months ago]. Again, she agreed. But this time she didn’t have anything else for me to improve on. And I still have no promotion.
So what’s my next step?
I can either (1) stop being a whiny crybaby about my boss. I’m to the point where I dread even seeing her number on my caller id. I get angry when I hear her say something that’s probably innocent, but I take the wrong way. I can’t stand it when she tries to help me when I don’t ask for it. Basically, I’m just mad. So if I’m going to stay where I’m at I need to change that mindset and accept my position with forgiving eyes.
Or I can (2) look for a new job. Our merger will be complete after the beginning of the new year. Hopefully new positions will be available and I can start looking.
I haven’t really decided what I’m going to do about this part of my resolution yet. At this point I don’t have a new job so I am going to have to change my attitude. It’s probably the best place to start anyway. So I’m going to be more accepting, not submissive, but accepting of my boss and her point of view. This is what I resolve to do in 2006.
What are your new year’s resolutions?