Saturday, January 1, 2011

Waving good-bye...or hello?

So here we are, facing a whole new year. Everyone seems to be pretty split, like 80/20 bad year/good year. I think the Husband and I fall somewhere in the 20%. We had a lot thrown our way, and both of us have agreed, that while some times were emotionally taxing, we dealt with everything with grace and we did well, as we always do. No doubt, hard times have made the two of us become closer, and we're proud of that. So here's what our 2010 looked like:

First, I lost my job. And while it was tough to be one of the statistics, I decided I was going to embrace it and move forward with the plan that I decided a long time ago: to be running my own successful business by the time I was 35.

I joined a gym for the first time ever. I decided that there's no time like the present to get healthy. And it's working!

I became more active in the Daughter's school by helping design the yearbook and volunteering at BEPO (our version of the PTA) events. The husband and I believe that if we show a genuine interest in the things our kids like, they will take them seriously, too. The Daughter is excited that I get to be a part of these things--something I know will change all too soon, when she's ready to forget she has parents. I get overwhelmed with it, but in reality, I do love doing it. There's such a gratifying feeling when it's all done.

We were able to take our first "vacation" by taking a few days and going down to Easton, PA to the Crayola Factory. What a fantastic trip!

I met some new friends by signing the kidlets up for swimming lessons, and those friends have now become some of our closest friends lately.

We visited Lackey Dam Road. Multiple times. My mother-in-law was laid off this past year, too. So over the summer, we were out with the kidlets quite often, and whenever we seemed to get lost, we were on Lackey Dam Road. So it became the joke of the summer, "Hey kids, Lackey Dam Road!" It was the source of many, many, many laughs.

I became a cheerleading coach and the Cheerleading Commissioner for the Daughter's new league. If you know me, you know cheerleading is something I NEVER did. (I know, the irony!) But since the Daughter is a cheerleader, I decided that if I had to spend so much time at the fields, I was going to find a way to help out. And I did. I volunteered to work with an organization where I knew no one, and it has turned out to honestly be one of the best decisions I have made. I've come away with lots of new friends and an amazing group of people. Coaching is an amazing feeling, especially at the age where they really look up to you. I'm so proud of those girls, and even though I am learning just as they are, I hope they know that they all had just as large or larger of an impact on me as I did for them.

Quite possibly one of the hardest things I had to deal with this year was the decision to put my longtime companion, Teddy, down. I still miss him every day. Teddy had severe bone and muscle deterioration, and our vet thinks he likely developed a bone cancer. But he was 12 and medicine wasn't helping. So without making him suffer, I made the decision to send him to heaven with Klinger, Charles, and Bob. I miss him dearly, but I know in my heart that it was right, that he was in pain.

And then that night, I got to ride in an ambulance for the first time ever. One of my girls was in a stunt, and she "toed down" (when you point your toes down instead of keeping your feet flat), and her spots didn't catch her. I swear we heard her nose crack on the floor. Surprisingly, she didn't break it. Poor thing, I really don't know her well, and she had no one else to ride with her. So I held her hand and tried to comfort her, the best way I knew how. Which was still awkward, and even more so when her mother got there, but that's another story for another day. I needed a stiff drink.

We reworked our mortgage and did some work to our house. Our house was brand new when we bought it four years ago (!). But it's also a half-duplex. The other half looks just like ours. They even painted similar colors. So we've always known that we need to upkeep and do more to get more value out of our house. We put in new wood floors (which I love) and a new back door. We've got more plans for 2011 (tearing down our existing deck to deal with a water problem and rebuild it), but we're happy that we still own a great home.

I was able to rebuild my photography portfolio and start from fresh. (BTW, check me out!) I want to get behind the lens more. It still scares me, I'm way more confident in my design work, but there's something exhilarating about being pushed out of my comfort zone. I'd still like to expand my client base for design, but I'd like to have more balance. More time away from the computer. 

Most of all, we spent the holidays with friends and family. We didn't get to travel to Virginia Beach this year, as that just wasn't in the budget. But we did spend Turkey Day with our new found friends, a family with whom we've had many game nights and amazing campfire discussions. They've become very close to us, and it's a great feeling.

So looking forward, here's our 2011 plan:

The Husband and I are still committed to being healthier. I know, most people say this. But I've seen my body change over the past year. Now, if I could get rid of all this damn chocolate, we'll be on our way. (But we all know I can't be wasteful) The Husband has decided that he wants to be serious about getting healthier, as we're both not getting any younger. So we'll eat better, I'll continue with the gym 3-4 times a week, and we'll go from there.

I'm focusing more on my work here. I need to still build some client base, and that may mean working outside of the home. But we'll see. I've had some great conversations over the past few weeks, and let's just keep our fingers crossed. Also? A very good friend of mine just asked the love of his life to marry him, so I'll be shooting their wedding. Which will hopefully take place this year, but I haven't asked. I figure they're answering enough of those questions, I'll just let them enjoy being engaged. I'm also hoping to build enough of a schedule to keep busy when the Son goes to school in the fall (*tear*). But I want to still have boatloads of fun with the kidlets and find a way to get more work done.

My ultimate goal/resolution? To feel better about myself. I spent the last 2-3 months of 2010 not comfortable. It was an emotionally taxing period. It felt like we tackled everything but the working for myself thing. Which is hard for me, I'm a very career-minded person, but a lot of my freelance tapered off. So it did awful things to my self-esteem. Pair that with falling off the gym horse and the Daughter saying things like "You need to suck it in, mom..." and you have a recipe for disaster. Now, I know she's only seven, and the jeans were a size too small, but paired with the time and place, I needed a pick me up. Note to self: the answer is NOT four Peppermint Mocha martinis.

Of course, I'm still going to bake more and cook more. 2010 was an awesome year for cooking and baking for me, and I'm convinced 2011 will be even better. I've learned some new skills, and paired with an amazing (cheap) produce shop and a garden, this is going to be one Bitchin' Kitchen. 

So here we go. We wave goodbye to 2010, take all the lessons we learned and tuck them away for future use. We say hello to 2011, 'cause we're gonna kick ass this year!

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

I agree although I'd even rate it near a horrible year. (Clink) Here's to a better year, the best yet! (and if you're ever on 95 headed past, holler; we're just 2 miles off 95) I've always wanted to go to the Crayola factory, strangely to be overwhelmed by the smell of creativity just waiting to happen.