I began the year full of anger I'd been holding onto. This isn’t something I admit easily. I’ve gone most of my life not knowing anger. I would hear people talk about anger, hatred, and think – holy shit, they need to let that stuff go. Life’s too short for that crap. I’d never been able to connect with angry songs. When bad things would happen in my life, I’d always blame myself or make excuses for others. I honestly never really even sat and thought about forgiveness. It was just something I did without thought. At some point, I began to see myself as a puppet. Like I would visually see myself reacting to pulls of the string (in the way I thought people wanted me to). If I didn’t visualize this, I saw myself balled up in a corner with hands over face, protecting myself. I felt this way for quite some time. I slowly began to cut the strings on the puppet and worked on changing how I saw myself. I was making progress and one day, a lot of things just came crashing down. It wasn’t one thing. It was so many. I was so mad at myself for a lot of reasons. I was also pissed at accepting mis-treatment, dishonesty, gaslighting, on and on. I hated having anger. It is not a good look on me. I tried to release it. I didn’t want it. I tried to force forgiveness but learned it can’t be forced. If it’s not earned, it just takes time. I’m thankful for the work I did on myself and for time. I retreated from nearly everyone: trusting nobody. I believed I couldn’t truly be loved and working through this has been a work in progress. I’ve worked a lot more on me this last year, than I ever had. I’ve always lived me life through empathy, putting others in front of myself. Through a myriad of things (illness, surgery, disappointment, etc), I’ve realized we really just have ourselves. Nobody else can truly understand what it means to walk in our shoes. Nobody feels our joy, our pain, just us. I need to take care of me. I need to put myself first. The year may have started with anger – and bled into a lot of the year – but I’m grateful to have a lot of that gone. I will never give others the power to destroy me again. I realize my worth. I truly do. I’m deserving of being treated well. I no longer identify with the puppet – who had a voice that wouldn’t be heard. I feel sad when I see her. Thankfully in 2019 I never saw myself as the girl who needed to cover up in the corner, but it took a lot of the year to continue to heal from the things that led me there.
No matter what is going on, life continues to go on around us. I continued to work and ended up going to England and Ireland to visit suppliers. I had never been out of North America. Even though it was travel for work, I was able to experience so much. I loved it and can’t wait to see more. Around the same time, the bff and I met up in Arizona to visit and see spring training games. We have traveled a lot together, and it is always wonderful – but this was truly one of my favorite trips. The year brought more travel, when Brian and I went to Alaska for my mom’s wedding reception. It was a fairly last minute trip, but I am so glad we were able to go. My mom married her high school boyfriend (they had dated 50 years ago), and to see them find love with each other, was magical. I love seeing her so happy.
In the early months of 2019, I was still recovering from the cervical fusion. I really felt like I would never get there, but my neck finally started to turn better and had some good months before starting to have issues with dropping things and hands shaking. I was terrified that I needed more surgery, but thank God, I was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome which is largely treated with physical therapy. I did p/t for the past 4 months or so, and in the last 6 weeks – started to see the biggest improvements. It was so defeating, month after month, to be evaluated and hear I needed more p/t. As of the end of the year, I’m 75% of where my p/t would like to see me. Even though I’m not all the way there, I’ve come a really long way. Because it’s the new year (and new deductible), I’ve decided to take a break from it. I will continue to do home exercises. Before I get out of bed every morning and before sleep, I do 4x20 different neck exercises. This will just be something I always have to do. I’m also working on strength. There has been some improvement, which was really exciting. I went from not using any weight on specific exercises to 2 pounds, to using 5 pounds on one of them. It doesn’t sound like much, but in my world – it is huge. I’m really encouraged by where my neck is at this point in time.
Ryne graduated high school this year. My mom was able to come out for graduation, which was so nice. Having my son graduate, hit me hard. It’s hard to wrap my head around my baby boy being 18. We are lucky to still have him home, as he’s attending a local community college. He make us really proud. Caleb just turned 16…like…how? It’s true, when they say – don’t blink. He’s been thriving with school and swim. Just yesterday, his coach made a point to stop me and talk about how well he did at the meet. Brian continues to love what he does for a living. I’m happy that he gets to spend his days doing something he enjoys. He’s also been working out for the past several months and I’m proud of him. I’m proud to be his wife. He’s a good man and father.
In May, I’ll have been with this current company for 2 years. I still do miss the people I used to work with. I heard from one of the guys on Christmas, and it made me so happy. I still care about all those people. I do not have the same connection where I’m at now, but I also won’t allow the closeness that came with the previous job. One of my old coworkers does work with me now, and he and I will always be close. I also have one other close relationship from work, but other than that, I just put my head down and do my job. In this past year, I’d given a lot of thought about living up to my true potential. I’ve never wanted to be in management and started to second guess that decision, wondering if it was the low self-esteem that I’d had for most of my life holding me back. When the opportunity for advancement came up here, without hesitation, I was like fuck no…..declining to interview. At least I know, without hesitation, that I’ve made the right decisions over the years in just doing what I do. I’m well respected and that feels great. Even with all of that, I know in my heart of hearts, I need to make a living doing something I love. I don’t love what I do. I also have bills – and these last months have been brutal with very large, unexpected expenses. Once things settle down, though, I owe it to myself to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. If I’ve learned anything in these last couple of years – it’s that life is too short to spend my precious time faking my way through the day.
Speaking of life being precious, on 9/14/19 I started Weight Watchers. I made the choice to start taking care of myself after the sudden death of my cousin. Troy’s death was not weight related, but it made me think about all of the love in this world and our family and friends who love us. I had been hurting over a lot things for too long. I let it steal my joy. It was stealing my life through my mental and physical health. I gained….okay….like going to say it here….75 pounds since starting to become ill 2 years earlier. I felt shame for this for a long time, but I know all of the things I went through in those two years. I wish I dealt with it all through healthier measures, but I didn’t. I’m lucky that I did not gain all of the weight I had lost, back. I joined WW, as it was the least expensive way for me to weigh in, in front of someone every week. The program works, as do most programs that make you aware and accountable of what you eat and drink. I’ve followed it in a healthy way, although I certainly haven’t been perfect. December was tough with the hormones (Dr has taken me off the pill, so it’s like the Wild, Wild, West up in my body and head sometimes). I was on steroids after getting a root canal, blah, blah, blah. I’ve had a weight gain of .4 and .8 along the way, but overall I am down 31 ½ pounds. I’m proud of my efforts. I feel so much better than I did just those few short months ago. I have a long way to go, but I can’t think of it that way. I take it one week at a time. The scale has really slowed down this past 7 weeks, but I thank God that the scale has a lesser hold on me than it used to. I know my efforts and take accountability where needed. For a long time, I let the scale define me. It no longer does. Now, it’s just an annoying bitch I have to face every week. Ha. Look, that’s progress in my world.
2019 was full of a lot of good and bad, but I am so grateful for it. I’m grateful for the love and support. I’m grateful for finding the love within myself that had been missing. I was off work from 12/23-1/1. It was such a nice way to end the year. Everyone in my household was off school/work, so we were able to spend a lot of quality time together. I spend time with good friends. There was a lot of healthy reflection. I’m so grateful for 2019.
2020 (outside of the NYD hangover 😉 has started out good. I’ve been eating well, and I’m looking forward to continuing to increase my physical activity. I’m excited for Brian, who is going to visit his brother and his family, this coming weekend. My baby sister gets married in Costa Rica at the end of next month. I’m so looking forward to seeing her marry her true love and seeing my family and some good friends. My cousin is getting married over Memorial Day, outside of Portland, OR. I’m really hoping to get there to see her special day and more family. In July, we will have my 30 year class reunion (like seriously….how in the fuck are we that old?). Brian and I are going to Alaska for that, and it is always a wonderful time to go home and see friends and family. I’m excited to see the boys continue to grow and shape their lives this year. Brian and I are doing well and will be celebrating out 25th wedding anniversary in June (28 years together). I look forward to this year and discovering myself even more – and continuing to grow more comfortable in my own skin. Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for reading.