Thursday, December 31, 2009

ready to leave 2009 eating dust behind me...

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” ― Hal Borland

I wish I could say that I woke up this morning feeling profound and thinking about all the good and bad of 2009. Maybe this would've been the case if it weren't for the icky snow on the ground and the horrible commute to work, which just left me with a frustrated feeling that I'm still trying to let go of. Basically, it made hate 2009 even more. Sure, it wasn't my favorite year, starting off at the end of January with the out-of-nowhere death of my mother, but there were good moments too. And it's like all of that got lost in the grief of my mother's death and my own issues. After all, how can a year be okay in some ways when you lost your mother? How can you be happy about things? It's something I'm still trying to work out in my head.

Obviously, I had my good share of ups and downs, but with the new year, i want to focus on the positive. I want 2010 to be an amazing year, which I know doesn't mean perfect as whose life works like that, and I think the best way to bring that about is to go in thinking about what I have accomplished to move me forward.

Things I accomplished in 2009:

1) Lost 40 pounds. It's been a hard road at times, and I still struggle, but I've managed to incorporate working out into my life and cut out all caffeine and soda from my diet. Last month, after months of no soda at all, I decided that a glass of soda on Thanksgiving wouldn't kill me. i was worried it might be a slippery slope back into my horrible soda addiction, but it turns out, I don't know what I really saw in soda to begin with. I guess I had given myself enough time to realize it wasn't actually good.

2) Seeking out therapy. I've always had my issues, but I was raised in an Irish Catholic family where you don't talk about feelings and repressing things is so great. And despite my doctor always suggesting I see someone, I would put it off. After my mother died, I really decided I needed to talk to someone. Because I was having so many emotions bubble to the surface. I loved my mother but ours wasn't always the best relationship. We were close in some ways and so very far apart in many others. Mostly, we just didn't get each other. And when my dad died when i was eleven, so began our very tumultuous relationship.

I'm still not that great with therapy. I even tell my therapist that because it's so engrained in me not to talk about feelings and trying to unearth reality from my own perceptions...and to do all this without feeling like I'm putting it all on my dead mother when she can't defend herself. It's a learning process. But at least I've started the journey.

3) Meditation. I began practicing meditation in 2009. I usually meditate for about twenty minutes at least four times a week. it took me awhile to realize it was okay not to get it right away. I'm one of those people who feels like if I can't be perfect at something immediately it might not be worth my time, so it was a challenge. But I stuck with it. And it's just a nice little break in my day that's all for me to unwind.

4) Standing up for myself. I'm not 100% there on this, but I think I've always confused being a good family member/friend with being a doormat. And I think all of the above helped me realize that sometimes it's okay to put myself first. sometimes it's not a sign of bad friendship on my part when I need to walk away from someone who is constantly negative and takes me for granted. sometimes it's okay to stand by my own choices and not be talked into what other people want for me.

Anyway, as I look at this, I don't think 2009 was entirely bad. I've learned a lot of lessons about life. And I am one of those people that believes things happen for reasons that we might not understand...I didn't want to lose my mother, but I think it did force me to grow up in some ways that I hadn't and to take stock of how fleeting life can be. I made the decision to be present in my life and 2009 gave me that.

Doesn't let it off the hook for everything though.

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