22 Dec 20

By Dominic Byrne

Single Parent Getting After It

COVID aside, my year was muddled. I just couldn’t find a spark and with no spark, no momentum.

I’ve often used sporting analogies when commentating about struggles on this blog, especially during Lou’s fight for life. There’s a tremendous amount of review and analysis that goes into a professional sport so I think it’s fitting.

2020 feels like a year that the opposition just wiped on you the rugby pitch by 80 points. Conceding a point every minute of the game, leaving you vanquished.

Even when you’re defeated by 80 points, you still need to identify something good in the game. Something that you can build on, something to improve by.

So it’s important for me to look for wins, positives that give me hope, a catalyst for improvement and an appreciation for what I have.

  • The biggest win for me is that the kids are happy and healthy
  • I’ve spent so much time with Noah and Evie, which is invaluable
  • I have to remind myself that being a single dad is twice the work, twice the responsibility, twice the tears but its also twice the hugs, twice the love and twice the pride
  • I’m so intune with the kids emotions. I am a much better dad
  • My business hasn’t regressed during COVID which is a massive positive It’s in a static position with the opportunity for growth
  • My physical health is pretty good. While I burn the candle at both ends a little hard, I feel I’m reasonably fit for my age
  • I see my parents more than previous years as they like to visit often to support me
  • It’s comforting to know how much people care about my situation, being a full-time parent with two young kids
  • I’ve met people and done things I normally wouldn’t have
  • I have the opportunity for professional, personal and emotional development

I talked about being stuck in rut way back in May. It’s discouraging to know I never navigated my way out of it. I dragged my feet through the whole year. Everything has been an effort.

I think I deferred large parts of my grief.

I don’t think it’s possible to understand grief until you’re in it. Even when I talked about the five stages of grief I was still learning about it first hand. Perhaps we never stop learning about bereavement as it is an endless road with little signage for direction.

Acknowledging that you are struggling is the first step towards healing and I just have to cop this year on the chin. It was hard, I’ve been sad and feeling beaten. My current situation is what it is and I need to make the best of it. Vibrant flowers grow back after the harshest winters.

I think I’ve been waiting for some kind of light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps to feel better and work my way to a point of happiness, I have to identify ways to light up that tunnel while I’m in it.

I’ll find a way but for now; 2020. Fuck You!

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