Nearly two years ago I came to the realization that I was miserable. Professionally, I was going through tremendous turmoil and self-doubt. I was nearing the end of my fourth year of teaching, and I had gained more than 50 pounds in the time since beginning my first year. I was depressed, angry, and completely unhappy with my professional life, and it was coloring everything else in my life, too.
Due to some unplanned events in my teaching life, and in light of the current state of the education system in my state and in the country at large, I came to a crossroads moment at the end of one school day, where I simply sat down at my desk, looked at the colleague who had joined me in my office, and said, “I’m done.” As soon as I said it, I almost palpably felt the weight of my professional unhappiness slide off of my shoulders and crash on the floor behind me. Sometimes I wonder if my colleague felt the tremor. There were moments of doubt and a lot of tears over the next few weeks, but after submitting my resignation that week, I knew I was doing the right thing. I’m still somewhat angry about it, though. All I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a music teacher. Perhaps I’ll write a blog entry and talk about why I left; that’s not really what this entry is about.
It was during the “are you sure?” reflection period that I took before actually submitting my resignation that I came up with what it was that I wanted. I hadn’t really fleshed it out, because I was completely overwhelmed and hyper-emotional in the way that we all get when we’re making enormous life decisions, especially ones that are scary. When I asked myself what I wanted, what I would do, how I would earn money, etc., I wasn’t able to answer most of those questions…but the one I could answer was, “What do I want?” My answer was, “To be happy.”
Toward the end of that year as I was going through my first term of massage school, I realized that I didn’t need to make a New Year’s Resolution for 2014. I had made the only resolution I needed to make back in April: be happy. So, one night as I was listening to yet more news about how Congress was having trouble playing nicely with the President, the phrase “continuing resolution” became a part of my vocabulary, and somehow it seemed fitting. I wouldn’t make a New Year’s Resolution; I’d make a Continuing Resolution in the Congress of my Self.
So, here we are at the start of yet another fresh year. During 2014 I finished my initial massage schooling and obtained my license to practice, and began my third career at the age of 37. I’ve seen my sister off to her own new adventure, and gained new understanding of my parents, both as my parents and as aging adults. I’ve made incredible new friends, and lost a few as well as we’ve grown apart. And just at the end of the year I began my 1000 Miles journey to better health in light of my diagnosis with type 2 diabetes.
I see no reason why 2015 can’t be my best year ever. My goal is to be happy. It’s tempered by the realization that not every waking moment is always going to be easy or feel good. There are things outside of my control. But you had better believe that anything I can control will be done through the filter of my happiness, and the happiness and well-being of the people I care about. THEREFORE:
I, Twenty, in accordance with the goals of well-being for myself and my loved ones, as a joint resolution of my Mind, Body, and Spirit, and appropriating all the resources of the same, hereby enact and sign into my personal law this 9th day of January, 2015, retroactive to January 1, a Continuing Resolution to Be Happy.