Other times, I was chopping and cooking and crafting, intermixed with games, sitcoms and snacks. We really only left to drop off the offspring at assorted locations, do short errands and visit friends.
After a busy holiday season that left me feeling like I’m not as spry as I once was, I’m ever so thankful for a little lull and a chance to reflect. That and a cocktail enjoyed in silence.
So, with my bed covered in colored markers and my 2016 workbook and planner I’ve purchased the workbook for several years, and have loved both the process of working with it and the results I’ve seen from doing so. This year, a planner has been added, which appealed to both my inner list making taskmaster and my rainbow unicorn loving sides.
Before diving too far into planning a new year, I completely agree with the idea of spending some time contemplating what transpired to get you where you are right now.
Looking back to last year, I’m realizing that I rang in 2015 with a bit of a stressed out feeling of foreboding. I was with people I like, in a place I enjoy, but there were situations brewing in my universe that left both my gut and my jaw feeling a bit on the clenched side.
It’s not really surprising that it seems my gut might have been on to something.
As the year progressed, several kinds of proverbial shizzle hit the sprayer.
While most of the things that went wacky in 2015 weren’t really within my realm of control, and I don’t really know how I could have prepared myself for them, I’d still like to figure out a way to incorporate listening to that little voice~
Or in this case those grinding teeth and mildly churning stomach.
I hope this doesn’t read as complainer-ish because 2015 was certainly not a bad year~ it was actually rather awesome in so many ways. And some of the really hard stuff actually directly led to or made room for other much better things than I had known to plan for.
One of many amazing things that transpired is that I bought a house of my very own~ which felt very much like some serious pulling up of my Big Girl Pants!
Buying a home wasn’t a dream, or even a plan on my radar. I was actually quite content where I was, but life happened, and I had to move. It was hard to navigate, but here I am, in a place that fits my family better and is an investment (another tug up on my Big Girl Pants.)
I find it hilarious that the county I reside in lists on the official title that it my home is owned by an “unmarried woman” although a little part of me also feels like “Frick Yeah~ I did this!”
This was among several other Big Girl maneuvers of 2015, all of which involved a whole lotta learning and growing, following my heart and figuring out how to tend myself. I’m just beginning to dabble in the art of self care, and it’s not as though I ever really depended on anyone else to take care of me~ It’s just that it recently has become clear how important it is that I actually do it, lest I a major freak de sheik occur.
Everything from finances to health, and relationships to planning my future underwent significant growth and change, and it required a good deal of time and effort on my part.
It’s a good thing that all those years of homeschooling my offspring left me quite familiar and comfortable with the concept of learning all the time. A few topics were money, business, household maintenance and building and other Big Girl Trouser wearing subjects.
One HUGE thing, which actually preceded my new home, was the finalizing of the settlement from some really unpleasant matters. They had been dragging on for years and sucking life out of me, as well as draining precious money from my family budget.
It required choosing my own peace and going against expensive “expert” advice, but I tell ya what, walking away was one of the most freeing decisions I had ever made.
I also legally changed my name back to the one I was born with, but haven’t used since I was old enough to write. My name was changed in my young childhood, without much in the way of choice or explanation, probably due to my age.
Then I was married at 21, and I took his last name because I liked the sound of it. It’s what I went by for over 20 years, and I even kept it for a bit after the divorce because my kids had it and I felt like the name identified my family. But now, they are big enough to not care what my last name is.
It felt symbolic to prune that dead wood and try on the name I was given when I came into the world, but barely used. And I like symbolism. I would also like if people could pronounce my new name, but whatever.
2015 had travels near and far~ the biggest being a trip to Nicaragua with a group of teens, including my own. We worked really hard, physically and emotionally for 10 days to build a school in a remote village. That was immediately followed by family time in Costa Rica, lounging and playing.
I tried new things with art, teaching and writing, adopted a dog, and grew more food than I ever had in my life. My Girl Child, who is also my oldest, turned 18, so I have technically grown a human into adulthood, and rather successfully I would say, because she's smart, funny, kind, hard working and all around awesome.
Although I gained a lot of things last year, one thing I was a little worried I had lost was my laugh. As I looked back on the sporadic blog posts I posted, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a lot of serious contemplative subjects, and a distinct shortage of sarcastic humor that I so enjoy. I don’t know when the heck I became so serious, but I’d really like to get back to laughing at life more in 2016.
I’m feeling good about the outlook for this year, as it has started out well. I did a lot of processing and expressing in the wrapping up of 2015 (it was not exactly a Festivus “Airing of Grievances” but perhaps it could have been to my family and partner’s dismay, although it was pretty darn therapeutic for me).
This New Years Eve had laughter, friends of many ages, good food and games, with some explosives at midnight.
It’s only a few days into the New Year, and I’ve had the chance to visit people I have missed, to ride my bike, walk my dogs, talk and connect with each of my kids and my partner, and even hold a cute baby.
I’ve been writing like crazy, made art, read, de-cluttered a bit, had a Girls Night with comedy, cocktails and carbs last night and spent some time in the sauna this morning.
As I was releasing toxins, both literally through sweating and metaphorically through writing frustrations in a journal, two young blondes in coordinated work out apparel came in. They were perky in both body and personality and as they chatted about their Boot Camp class yesterday and today’s hour of cardio and core. For some reason, I found the whole scene hilarious and could barely keep the smile off of my face.
There was a time when I might have disliked them based purely on their incredible levels of fitness and bounciness. But today, I was just amused at the fact that even on Jan 2nd, I had no illusions of being that active or perky. My gym life pretty much consists of a little yoga and an occasional sauna. I gave silent thanks that they didn’t ask me about it, and focused to keep my smile from bursting into a giggle imagining myself in a boot camp.
Maybe I haven’t lost my laughter after all.
Wishing you all the best in 2016, and looking forward to a year of adventure and fun, wherever it takes me.