Farewell, 2011

December 30, 2011

I’ve been really negative about this year for the past couple of weeks. There’s been a lot of, “2011 can suck it” and “2012 is going to blow the pants off of this year, it just has to” smack talk around these parts. And that’s because when you’re in the middle of a difficult period, it’s easy to let that cast a pall over your entire life, and when it’s at the end of a year that’s had a few hiccups, it’s easy to let it color your impression of the entire year.

Let me be clear, some rough stuff happened this year.

    I was laid off and out of work for five months from a company that I had worked with for over a decade. Being laid off wasn’t all that traumatic; it wasn’t the first time it had happened (at that company), and I truly understand that business is business, but the lack of support from my personal professional contacts stung. Some of the fall-out from my professional relationships there really clarified the true nature of man for me. (And it was sad and dark, and I still genuinely feel bad for and about people when I dwell on it.)

    Meanwhile, we spent close to $3,000 on urinary tract infections for various cats. (Including one UTI that had to be treated for THREE MONTHS; with two different medications – one of which was a bi-weekly injection at the vet’s office.) Oh, and we “lost” one of the cats for nine days, which aged me about ten years. (And I spent $400 I would spend all over again on a pet detective to help find him.)

    I learned that providing an addressed, stamped envelope will still mean that only 20% of your wedding guests will send you their R.S.V.P., because apparently, if they don’t send it back, you won’t realize they’re not coming? (Tip: send the R.S.V.P. It’s way less awkward than the phone conversation you have to have if you don’t. Also, if someone leaves a message for you re: unsent R.S.V.P. and you never even return the call, you will be cast as “the asshole” forever.)

    My husband lost his mother in the same month that my family lost my father years ago, and we’re still coping with the emotional storm that happens when you lose a close family member.

On the flip side of all of that, so much good came out of this year that I don’t want to let it slip away.

    I lost 80 pounds through hard work and determination. I counted calories, I said “no thank you,” I did an hour of cardio 6 days a week, and I did strength training three days a week. (I did not take pills or hormones, and I didn’t even join a gym.)

    I found and landed a job that I love, that challenges me (for sure), but is more fun than someone should really get paid to have.

    We moved away from the psychotic neighbor below us that gave me panic attacks from banging on his ceiling when our seven pound cat would jump to the floor* and into a house with twice as much space as our apartment in a town where I don’t have to avoid sunlight like one of those sparkly vampires six months out of the year.

    Spencer and I got married – at our favorite place on earth, with people who love us. That day was so much fun that if I had unlimited funds I would host it every weekend for the rest of my life. We got to spend two weeks hanging out together, hiking, and exploring and seeing friends we rarely get to see. It was the highlight of the entire year.

Before: June 2010

After: June 2011

So, when looking back on this year, I have some options. I’m trying hard to remember it as, “The year Spencer and I got married, the year we moved to the mountains, and the year I made some informed decisions about my health and made changes.” Bad things happen every year, and good things happen every year. If your December has been especially difficult, try to roll the calendar back further and think about the good that came out of this year. It’ll help you get through next year and the inevitable hiccups that will roll through then.


*Hey, we had four out of five of the “most stressful things that can happen” actually happen this year. Thank god we’re missing out on divorce (although, more than one close friend has that covered for us, unfortunately).

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cara December 30, 2011 at 8:28 am

Happy, happy New Year to one of the strongest and most determined people I know.

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