Here we are, almost officially halfway through the month of January already.
How did that happen?
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that time doesn't pass us by at the same rate all of the time. OK, maybe officially it does. But it certainly doesn't always seem that way.
Over the past few years, January has become a very ..... memorable month for me.
January 7, 2005 - My divorce from Ex1 was final.
January 17, 2006 - Jared was admitted to the hospital with a very severe bug. He was so very sick, and it was so scary, so I planned to stay with him that night and one of my best friends came to stay with us. I was still 3 weeks away from my due date with Alex, but I went into labor that night...
January 19, 2006 - Alex arrived - big, strong, and healthy despite being early.
About 2 weeks after that, Jeff proposed to me - and I said yes. I honestly don't remember the exact date on that one.
January 7, 2011 - The date that my divorce from Jeff could have been final (see the coincidence there?)
January 13, 2011 - My 40th birthday, and the day that my divorce from Jeff was actually final.
January 21, 2012 - The Dude and I made our first road trip together, and he got to meet some of my friends. We decided on that trip that if we could survive the weekend without killing each other, then we could probably get along for a while (I guess we were right).
January 27, 2014 - I bought a house. I bought a freaking house. (Sorry, that one's still a little surreal.)
So yeah, January has historically been a month of ups and downs for me. I'm not generally one to live in the past or to remember a ton of dates - I actually had to look at a calendar to remember some of the dates that I listed. And even though I might remember them, I don't usually make a big deal about them. I used to semi-celebrate January 7 as the date that the first divorce was final, but this year? I didn't even remember it. At the time, I was thrilled when the second divorce was final on my 40th birthday and I planned to celebrate it yearly - but that was short-lived when he passed away less than 3 weeks later.
Over the past few days, I've caught myself dwelling on some of these dates more than I usually do. I don't know why it happened, but maybe because I was sick for the past day or so and didn't really have anything to do other than sleep and think.
More often than not, I've thought of January as a month of losses, mainly because both of my marriages were officially over during this month. For the longest time, I thought of those as failures - and to a point, I still do. But at the same time, admitting that I failed both times has set me up for some new beginnings. Some turned out to be not so good (hence Divorce #2) but some have turned out to be pretty awesome (hello, having a baby and buying a house?) and I wouldn't trade them for the world. And seriously, my birthday - the one day of the year when it is honestly and truly all about me. (Except for yesterday. Yesterday was all about the plague for both me and The Dude. So I'm calling a do-over for my birthday yesterday.)
I know that everyone's situations are different, but I see so many people who seem to be content living in the past. They focus so much on the bad stuff that has happened, and while they're looking behind them they're tripping over what's in front of them - or worse yet, they're pushing it out of their way so that they can continue to look back.
Looking forward doesn't mean that the past didn't happen. It doesn't mean that the past isn't important. It doesn't mean that you should never look back - we can only see how far we've come by seeing where we were - but in order to get anywhere without tripping and falling flat on your face, you've got to look ahead.
Sometimes, I need to remind myself of that too.