Renewing Resolutions

Happy New Year! And welcome to the first week of (fill in year here) where everyone sets ridiculously high expectations for themselves. 2018 turns a fresh page in life, where people are able to reflect on their past year and feel remorse for some of the poor decisions made in 2017. Despite the review of poor outcomes, a trending Millennial view on New Year’s resolutions is to simply not make one. While I stand behind the premise, I think it’s pretty dense to live life entirely void of expectations for yourself. Just take it slow, lower the bar, and plan it out.

2017 was a trying year for me but it was also very rewarding. It’s easy to overlook the successes when they are overshadowed by hardships. Sometimes the best days were a result of the worst months. Deployment was by far one of the largest hurdles I have jumped in my entire life.

Six months of separation from my husband were all resting on one day when we were reunited. I look back at moments from my husbands deployment and think about how difficult life really was for me. Despite all of my trials and tribulations, I always looked to the women who had it harder. It is far too easy to set expectations for life without really knowing what it is going to look like.


In June of 2017, my husband carried my 11 month old son down the pier and kissed us both goodbye before sailing across the Pacific Ocean. Now, I’m accustomed to be being alone, but it is difficult to swallow the idea of being separated for six months. I’ve watched women crumble at the thought of such a long separation, but at this point in our lives, I find it laughable.


One of the best pieces of advice I followed was given to me by a woman working full time, while pregnant, taking care of two daughters, and running her own house during her husbands deployment. She told me to never wait to be happy. Deployment is a hurdle- and I had to jump it. Ready or not, happy or sad- there was no “out” for me. There is no easy way out in life, no simple solutions- and no fucking easy street.

There are always going to be hardships with each passing year. If your expectation is to never have difficulty in your life, then your resolutions will shatter by the end of this week. Strength is how we overcome obstacles in life, not how we avoid them.


Resolve to reorganize. It is easy to allow the modern day conveniences to run your bank account and your life. If you want to get healthy, don’t sign up for a gym membership. Cancel your Netflix subscription and walk around the produce department at the grocery store. Money aside, your resolution should benefit you more than the retail companies marketing the ideas to you.


Change comes from within us. This year, I resolve to let the house get messy. I want the dishes to pile up and the clean clothes to get wrinkled before I fold them. I want to wear the same sleep shorts for three nights in a row because I don’t give a fuck with the neighbors think of me when I take the dog out in the morning. I resolve to invite people over to my messy house for dinner. I resolve to cultivate relationships in unlikely places, wash my hair a little less, and smile before I’ve brushed my teeth in the morning. I resolve to give myself just as much of me as I give to everyone else. I resolve to kiss my husband with food in my mouth and take myself less seriously when I do it. In fact, I resolve to take everyone less seriously. I resolve to spend more time with my son than I do cleaning up after him.

Let life be messy, enjoy it.


On Being Thankful

The holidays are always bittersweet for my family. While everyone seems to be shopping feverishly for deals, filled with excitement for the Christmas season, I notice that I actively try to disappear into the chaos. My inbox fills with questions about where I will be spending Thanksgiving, how my family is going to spend Christmas, and my favorite; “Will you be flying back home so that you aren’t alone?”

As much as I love my family and understand that they are just trying to include me in their love for togetherness, being “thankful” for generosity and kind words is a lot harder for me during this season. As much as it appeals to everyone else for me to book a last minute flight and empty my bank account to make the family happy, THAT is not the life I chose.

In November of 2014, my favorite person in the world took me to the most secluded spot he could think of- Dauner Trails. It was a cold winter in Michigan- but that was irrelevant to us. We were in love. When we got to the end of the trail, pitch black and freezing, he shined his flashlight on a bouquet of Dahlias he had placed out there earlier in the day, and knelt down into the snow. There, in the frigid trails and completely secluded from the rest of our loved ones, he proposed to me.

And I said “yes.”

I said “yes” to more than marriage that night. I said “yes” to leaving my entire family behind so that I could start my own. I said “yes” to the cold reality that is being alone. I said “yes” to the dark days during the holiday season when I will not be sitting around a table with my family. I said “yes” to being alone in a life that we created together.

I’m not a martyr. This is the life I agreed to. My husband will not be sitting with me at my dinner table this year, complimenting my green bean casserole and joking around about how I can’t cook a turkey so I always have to cook ham. My husband will not be helping me put up our Christmas tree after dinner in lieu of tradition. And guess what! I’m still here. I’m still living this life that we created together.

Yes, I am sad. I am disappointed. I am frustrated. But I chose this life and these holidays without the person I sacrificed so much for. Because to me, it wasn’t a sacrifice. It was a trade off. I traded my goodnight kisses for late night emails. I traded my home style holidays for amazon prime packages. And I traded my husband’s presence for someone else’s security.

I am thankful for the love that I feel unconditionally from family and friends. I am thankful for all of my loved ones in San Diego who reached out to me this season. I am thankful that I have a place that I feel welcomed for dinner. I am thankful that my dinner will not be Chinese takeout with my toddler.

My only request is that, instead of guilting me with your pity and your disappointment, be thankful for the memories you get to make with your own families. Because of the sacrifices of mine. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, especially those who serve.