The above video of Michigan State’s “Little Giants” victory over Notre Dame on September 18, 2010 pretty much sums up how I feel about this past year. Unbelievably happy, excited and in shock about my accomplishments. When I reflect on how I arrived at this point, I feel the need to say thank you to a simple, but unconventional source: my ex-boyfriend. He posted a few facebook status updates around thanksgiving 2009, most of them regarding how easy it is to bitch about the bad parts of life, but if you looked hard enough, you could find the positive light in any situation. He challenged his FB friends to keep status updates positive. So, without much fanfare, I did. I was already posting things I was grateful for in November 2009 as status updates (hello, totally blogging and I didn’t even know it!) so I figured, what the hell? This was also a time in my life when I had just put on an extra 15 lbs since I stopped nursing and could’ve easily bitched about my weight, the stress of the holidays, my kids not sleeping or getting sick… but I didn’t. I found positive things to post as status updates… without losing who I am — and let’s face it, I am no Sally Sunshine!! It wasn’t as challenging as I thought. Status updates like “I just saw an Ambulance in a cemetery… I didn’t realize they delivered.” along with the occasional weird, inappropriate comment or picture my kid, or her classmate drew. I found my twisted humor niche without being negative. A small fix that really did start a snowball effect of change within me since.
My attitude didn’t just change on facebook, but it improved when I interacted with friends & family. I listened. I tried to highlight the positive side of their story (if it was negative to begin with — and some of my friends & relatives really were put through the ringer this year) or to ask what I could do to help, and I followed through. I sought out old friends. Friends who made me happy, who listened and supported me. Instead of just talking about getting together with some of these friends, we actually got together. While I rediscovered some amazing connections, I also learned that some connections aren’t worth the drama that surrounds them. I let go of the bullshit and focused on positive relationships. I am ending this year on a very upbeat note because of it! It’s amazing how being positive attracts positive people. How did I miss that lesson until now? It’s vital for happiness!!!!
I didn’t stop there. I wanted to change my body as well as my attitude, so I altered a few things about my eating & work-out habits. I stopped drinking pop. I stopped eating red meat. I worked out every night on my elliptical for 45 min. Unfortunately, the stubborn weight didn’t budge… I still needed to change on an even deeper level before I could celebrate a loss of that magnitude.
My oldest had her first audition this year, and between that and attending a few incredible concerts like Ben Folds, Green Day, STP, Natalie Merchant, Cracker & CVB this year — I was inspired to find my musical roots again. I found a way to do that, by joining the church choir. Yay. Not a huge victory, but it does feel good to sing again. Outside of a few weddings, the hubs & I hadn’t played or sang in years. And bonus — because our once/month choir occurs on a Saturday, our sitter stays with our kids so after church, we have a date night — and drink dark liquor & beer and swear and all that nasty-good stuff to wash away the holy water. HA!! But seriously, you can’t beat a definite once-a-month date night. Seriously, friends. Find a sitter and make it happen. Our relationship is better than ever. Almost makes ya wanna throw up a little, huh? Yeah. Sorry about that.
I changed my hair — fairly drastically! I went from having long, dark-blonde mousy hair, to chopping & dying my hair rockstar-red in March. Well, not Rhianna-bright-red, but a red that suits me. I STILL LOVE it!!! Truly is amazing what a little change can do to your spirits. Why do people fear it so much?! It really is true: whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Boy did I find strength throughout the next half of the year.
After surviving a rough bout of sickness with both of my kids at the end of April/beginning of May I took my oldest with me to urgent care the night before Mother’s Day. Thought we both had strep. I was right on one count, my oldest did have strep. Me? I had mono. Yup. 32 years old: MONO?! Happy Fucking Mother’s Day! It sucked, but because of the positive start I had to my year, I got through it. I got help. I said no to things I didn’t necessarily want to say no to, but it was good for me. Oh yeah. I just said mono was good for me. Wanna know why? Well, I appreciated napping again: small victory #1. I let go of everything else… and I allowed the hubs to take over. I stopped caring about the state of my house a loooooong time ago, but let me tell ya, nothing like getting mono to really kick spic-and-span out the door. However, I do appreciate it when it is clean now, and having the energy to actually clean it has helped me do what I can to keep it from becoming a pit. But, if it does, I don’t give a shit! Best of both worlds, if you ask me.
The biggest victory that stemmed from the mono was losing 42 lbs. That’s right friends, I haven’t talked about it much because of the way it happened, but in retrospect, I did earn this weight-loss, even if it started with mono. Now remember, I gained 15lbs at the beginning of the year and that, along with about 30 lbs I have needed to lose for the last decade needed to go. Once I survived 3 months of mono (oh yeah, I’m not exaggerating there. 3 months!) I lost about 20ish lbs by August. But, my huge appetite I had before mono wasn’t there. I don’t know if my stomach shrank or what; I had experienced 3 months without eating a boatload of food. So, I sort of kept that up. I stopped eating the huge meals. I only snack on fruit & nuts, if I snack at all. I use small plates at meals and don’t get 2nds. When I use a big plate, I make sure to leave 1/2 the food on my plate to save for another meal. Woah, stopping when I’m FULL!? What a concept! I’m not cutting out many foods, I’m cutting portions. Makes a huge difference because I’m not depriving myself of food I love! Those small changes have led even more victories. I have more energy, so I’ve been doing more rough-housing with my kids… and the hubs. SUCH an awesome side-effect!! And yes, I realize that’s TMI, but let me tell ya, after 15 years, I feel like shouting from the rooftops, it’s so incredibly good! Thanks to that, I lost another 20ish lbs; my goal is to basically keep it up, and to work-out on a daily basis again. If I could lose another 10 lbs, I’ll be at my wedding-day-weight. That’s my goal. However, I’m VERY happy I’m where I am and I honestly didn’t think I’d ever lose 40lbs. Ever. Until mono hit me at the perfect moment in time. Behold the power of positive thinking…
Finally, earlier this year, I started blogging. Oh, you didn’t know?! Ha! Thanks to a former high-school friend, now fellow mom-blogger... I was inspired to publish my thoughts somewhere other than facebook status updates. It’s been very therapeutic! I do believe I may have this blog to thank for a portion of my personal success I’m feeling as I reflect on this year. Starting this blog in March was definitely one of my personal little victories. Thank you to every one of you who have been reading and giving me such positive feedback. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m looking forward to see what the next year has in store for this domestic bloggess.
So there you have it, over the course of 2010, I simply survived some days… but celebrated many more. I’m a stronger, more confident lady, Momma, wife, friend, etc than I was a year ago. The big theme of 2010 for me was letting go & embracing the moment. I really hope you can find a way to do the same. It’s been one of the best years of my life. I’ve said good riddance to many years in the past. This year I say: Thank you, 2010. You’ve been very good to me. I can’t wait to see what 2011 has in store.