Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Yearly recap

Good one, Christmas 2009. You almost had us fooled into thinking this would be the year that we could enjoy our family, friends, food and gifts with no disaster or drama. The drive to Yakima went smoothly. We were in great spirits when we arrived and miraculously, so was my mother. We had a great evening with Yennifer, who made me the most beautiful picture frame. Eccentric Grandma T was downright pleasant and the Christmas Eve bash at my uncle’s was fun and full of delicious food. On Christmas Day, everyone seemed to genuinely love their gifts and we enjoyed brunch with crazy Grandma B. And let’s not forget the amazing dinner cooked by my mom’s brother and sister-in-law. We left Yakima fat, but happy. It was all smiles. We really thought we were home free.

When we walked into our house and it was just as cold inside as it was outside, we were both genuinely shocked. The Christmas curse had followed us home and, as usual, gotten us when we’d least expected it! Long story short, between the service call to get the furnace fixed and the pizza we had to order since our food wasn’t edible, we spent every dime of the Christmas money we had just received within an hour of arriving home. We enjoyed daydreaming about what we’d do with that money. That was a low blow.
Still, the most important lesson I’ve learned this year is that no matter how bad things seem, you’ve got to look on the bright side. I had a package waiting on my doorstep from my California girl… a package she had mentioned sending me and that I was worried would be stolen. I opened it up to find the softest, prettiest, warmest blanket ever that she made me herself. As my eyes filled with tears, I realized that it was the best timing ever to receive such a thing and how lucky I am to have her in my life. I also realized that it could’ve been a lot worse. Our house could’ve burned down or been robbed. We could’ve had to replace the entire heating system. At least it had been fixable. At least, technically, we had the money.

Though the last two months haven’t been so great, overall, 2009 has been the best year of my entire life. I look back on all that happened to me and I honestly cannot believe how lucky I am. Now we’re at the end. 2010 is staring us right in the face and I admit I’m somewhat sad to see 2009 go.

Last New Year’s Eve, as I sat in our basement at our annual party, I told my friends that 2009 was going to be MY year. It was the year I’d quit my ridiculous commission-based sales job I wasn’t passionate about and plunge into freelance writing full-time. It was the year I was going to make it happen. I didn’t know what “it” was, but it was happening. So just why was this year so great?

In January, I began practicing daily meditation by doing something called Winter Feast for the Soul. I’ll do a write-up on that soon as I hope the spiritually inclined on PNN will join me in 2010. Meditating gave me a better ability to focus on my goals as well as excellent relaxation techniques. I admit I’ve fallen out of that practice, and believe me, I’m working to fix it. Meditation is awesome. Doing Winter Feast for the Soul allowed me to feel more connected to a higher power than I ever had and filled my heart with hope and joy.

What else have I done in this beautiful, wonderful year of 2009?

I turned 27 and, I thought, handled it rather well. The delicious authentic Italian food and organic wine at Angelo’s helped.

I went to Las Vegas twice in two months, once with Yennifer and our crazy group of drunken friends, once with my friend M. They were two very different and very awesome trips. I absolutely love Las Vegas and it seems to love me, too.

I spent some quality time with G in Portland. G makes me happy beyond measure.

I went to two writers’ conferences, both teaching me a lot about my craft and opening a lot of doors.

I threw my best friend a wonderful bachelorette party and bridal shower. Then I had the pleasure of marrying her and her husband. The night before her wedding, I stayed at the Edgewater Hotel and watched the most beautiful sunset with the most delicious glass of wine in my hand and reflected on how far we’ve both come and how far we have yet to go.

I went hiking a lot with Mr. W and my poor out-of-shape dog this summer in the beautiful mountains that surround Coeur d’Alene. We’re usually gone for much of the summer, so it was nice to really enjoy our city.

I threw an epic Fourth of July party complete with a cake that said, “America… Fuck yeah!”

I saw my childhood favorite, Bryan Adams, in an intimate acoustic performance where I was so close, we could (and did) look each other in the eyes. I still think he’s one of the most talented musicians of our time and can sing a love song like no other. Thanks so much, Canada, for birthing him.

I had Sydney over for a weekend and not only did we have a great time, we learned that she was pregnant!

I returned to New York City, something I’ve wanted to do for seven years. It was even better than I imagined. I fell deeply in love with Manhattan and all its craziness and delicious food.

I met Rob Thomas!!!! Actually, I met him in 2003, so I re- met Rob Thomas. Everyone has that band or songwriter that seems to crawl right into their brain and sing their life, and for me, that’s Rob. It was an awesome concert and I had a beautiful date.

I spent a relaxing weekend in Leavenworth with the love of my life that was the perfect blend of relaxing and crazy.

I went to LA and met the soap stars who have been a part of my life since I was 11 years old (and met my California girl)! It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I will never forget it. I did not think I could ever love a city like I loved Vegas or New York, but LA stole my heart and I can’t wait to return when I have more time to explore beautiful Southern California.

I’ve learned more about myself and come to feel comfortable in my own skin. I’ve forgiven myself for some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past and hope that time will heal the rest. I’ve also slowly begun to learn who my real friends actually are. You know the saying that the Eskimos have 47 words for snow and we should have as many for love? I think we should have that many words for friends. I’m learning who I can count on and who I can’t. For those in the second category, I’m learning to love them as they are and accept that, while I will never be able to count on them for anything, they still have things to offer me (like their company and a listening ear) and I shouldn’t cut them out of my life.

I made less money than I ever have in my adult life, but I’ve learned invaluable lessons and have grown wealthy in many ways (and of course am hoping for a lot more cash now that I know more about writing).

Do you see now why, even though time is just an illusion and all that, I’m a little sad I’m about to lose 2009? It may have been the worst year ever for celebrities, but it was pretty awesome to me. With 2010 upon us, I can see that I’ve got to get back on track. I have pounds to lose, goals to strive for. I’ve got to figure out how to make an actual living writing before I am writing out of a cardboard box. I’ve got to organize my entire house, one drawer and closet at a time. Can I do it all? Probably. Will I do my absolute best to make it so? You can count on it.

Thank you for sharing in my journey. Bless us all with health and happiness in 2010 and always.

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