Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Year of the Life Makeover

A wise young child (my nephew at age six) once told me that eleven was his favorite number. He said he liked the way it looked on paper, he liked the write it and he liked the simplicity of two ones together. His statement made more sense to me than anything I’d heard that day. Since then, I’ve liked the number eleven too. I’m not much of a numbers person. I hate Math and I don’t have “lucky” numbers. At least, I didn’t. I’m kind of hoping eleven is it. I really need this to be a good year.

I can’t say I wasn’t blessed in 2010 or that it was the worst year of my life (though it had its moments where I thought that). Any year that includes my husband and I realizing a decade-old dream and taking a cross country road trip together can’t be all bad. There was also the birth of my best friend’s baby, a couple of absolutely incredible trips to Vegas, getting a chance to perform the wedding ceremony of two good friends, an excellent writers’ conference, and plenty of good times with those I love with lots of laughter and cherished moments.

But there was a lot of bullshit, too. A lot of people I love got hurt deeply, whether it was a divorce or break up or losing a family member or friend. People I care about lost their jobs and suffered financial setbacks. I found myself questioning almost every decision I’d ever made and feeling lost. I once considered myself a positive person but 2010 really tested that for me. Actually, this rant is brilliant and pretty much sums up 2010 perfectly. Yes, it had its good moments, and I swear I am so thankful for those. But overall? Well… 2010 can go to hell.

2010 delivered its final punches to the gut on Friday. I got several pieces of bad news in a row… some that affects me directly, some just hurting those I love, but they all sucked equally. Halfway between Coeur d’Alene and Seattle, Mr. W and I realized we’d forgotten our tickets to today’s Seahawks game….the main reason we were heading to Seattle in the first place! Neither of us had ever done anything like that before. We couldn’t believe it. We turned around briefly, but we realized if we went all the way back, it would be after 10 PM before we even made it to Seattle. We had dinner reservations, plans to go to a party, and nonrefundable hotel reservations due to the holiday. We decided to just go and watch the game from a bar. Within minutes, he was laughing, but I burst into tears and was inconsolable until a text from my best friend Yennifer put it into perspective: “My new motto is, if nobody died, it’s probably OK!”

Though we left on time, somehow the trip ended up taking forever and we arrived at our hotel with very little time to get ready for dinner and the party. It was then that I realized I’d forgotten my sparkly dress at home. New Year’s Eve is like Halloween to me… I love to sparkle. Some kind of basketball team from Australia was there and all 5,000 of them happened to be checking in at the same time. The one elevator at this Quality Inn (“Quality” appears to mean something else to this owner)  is so slow, it was faster to haul our heavy bags up to the third floor. By the time we got to the room, I was almost in tears again and I was prepared to call the entire trip a disaster and ring in 2011 in my pajamas in the dive of a hotel room eating Ben & Jerry’s and crying.

But I remembered the words of my best friend and I called the restaurant, moved our reservation, got ready in record time, put together a decent outfit working with what I had, and before I knew it, we were sitting at the gorgeous CafĂ© Amore eating amazing Italian food and splitting a bottle of wine listening to the couple next to us have their third date and shooting each other amused smiles because a decade ago, we were that new couple trying to impress each other. Hours later, I welcomed the new year next to the man that I love at the apartment of some awesome friends with a perfect view of the impressive Space Needle fireworks. If that’s a disaster, I’ll take it.

I know today is just a date on a calendar and people tend to make a big deal out of this “new year” stuff. But given all the changes I’m making in my life this year, changes that start now, I’m all wrapped up in the hype. 2011 is the year of the Life Makeover for me, the year I take back the control I feel like I’ve lost and get my happy back. 2010 taught me that life really is too short to stick with something that’s not working and hoping it will just magically get better. Taking action is necessary, even when it feels overwhelming. It might just be a new day on the calendar, but it’s the day I started taking my life back. And so far, all 35 hours of my new life have been entirely free from disaster. So far, so good.   


Anonymous said...

I love the "new" life motto! I'm so glad your New Year's turned out awesome-- sounded like a blast! As always love your writing and its reflection :)

Anonymous said...

Despite the challenges so many people faced, I'm glad 2010 was a good year for you overall. Love the idea of a "life makeover." Keep being positive. :)

William said...

new years even and halloween are the two days of the year where you can sparkle as much as you want, dress in as little as you want, and nobody can judge you. well they can, and will, because thats the world we live in but nobody cares.

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