Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Year In Review

I've shyed away from the public eye the last few years. Most significantly felt was the absence of writing in my life. I would be shocked if anyone still reads these, but I write them for myself to look back on over the years. It is also theraputic for me to write out my thoughts and feelings. I have felt its value over and over, and I want to foster it more in the future.


1. I learned to preserve my arm and ask for more help this year. Shoulder surgery for a torn bicep and rotator cuff set me back further than I ever expected. I've allowed myself to receive help twice a week from a friend who helps me with laundry, dishes, and other household activities. I'm grateful for the help because it allows me to spend the energy doing things I love rather than repetative activites that cause more harm to my current dignosis. And to write this out for everyone to know makes me feel very vulnerable, but it's where I am in life. Which leads me to the next highlight.

2. I made a point to make my words meet my actions. I found myself becoming a "taker" rather than a "giver." I became expectant of people instead of meeting them where they were. Getting sick in 2016 helped me re-evaluate a lot about my life, and I decided to take control back over my life and choose the person I wanted to be! I am very much a work in progress, don't get me wrong. But I want to have conversations that make me a better person as I strive to do the best I can at life. 

3. Being unemployed has reminded me the imporatnce of a budget. I'm grateful that I went thruogh Financial Peace University about 10 years ago and know how to get (and stay!) out of debt. I paid of my car this year (always a great feeling!) and became debt free for the second time in my life. I can't seem to get ahead financially. I'm not yet back to the place that I have everything I need and some of what I want. But, I have everything I need. I'll get back there.

4.  I've reached a strange stage in life. I'm a single, educated, gifted woman who is approaching 40 years old. While I'm appreciative of the lessons the past 40 years have led me through, I am most excited about changing the trajectory of my life for the next 40 years! I look forward to growing older and bestowing wisdom on the younger generation. 

5. I had to have some hard conversations this year with my immediate family. It's been a year of growth, but it's unfortunate that it always seems to happen when there's a medical emergency. After my Dad had two strokes, six weeks apart this past summer, it was important to us get his health dialed in further. Unfortunately, he is having a very difficult time finding self-control to quit smoking, and his eating and physical activity needs attention. My Mom does a lot of care-taking for him that is exhausting and unfair. But there's only so much I can do. So there's that.

6.  I learned that my shoulder surgery triggered a multi-month long PTSD episode. I've never had one before (that I was aware of), and this was no walk in the park. My surgery/recovery mimicked very closely the days and months after my spinal surgery rehab back in 2000. It was intense, not entertaining in the slightest, and kept everyone around me on edge not knowing what to expect from me. The loss of control and the games my mind played were the hardest. Detoxing off of narcotics is a very close second. It's unreal how much the body is capable of doing!

7.  I've become gluten and lactose-free. I've found the importance of listening to my body and feeding it what it needs, not what I want. Gluten and lactose create a significant increase of pain, so I'm definitely okay trading in bread and cheese for less physical pain!

8. I allowed myself to experience life and live in the moment. I spent time in the high country on the back of pick up in the middle of nowhere, towering pines around us, looking at the stars and talking about life with close friends. I tried my hand at growing a garden and found it gave me great satisfaction. I rescued a polydactyl kitten in February. My first boy! He also acquired his own InstaGram page. I tried new activities, met some new friends, reconnected with some other friends, and focused on connecting with everyone I met. 

9.  I invested in the lives of my neighbors more this year. Several families have had tragedies, and now that I've been feeling better, it's been so rewarding to give back with my time and listening ear. After needing so much help the past two years from the world, it feels good to pay it forward to others in need.

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