I measure my year a bit different than most. As I look back, it was filled with tons of reasons and just a sparse sprinkling of excuses. My perspective was one of gratitude. I focused on finding the lessons in my life more than anything else – quite a change from where I began.
Some of the most painful moments reminded me that nothing is guaranteed, and these moments opened doors to new experiences. One example is that the best boss I ever had left my company. I cried for three days, not believing I could work there without him, but it was time for him to move on and for me to learn from someone else.
When my company finally (after 8+ years) recognized my professional achievements, I shut down emotionally, unable to hear their accolades. As crazy as this sounds, deep down I didn’t feel deserving, despite being the #1 performer globally. What I finally came to realize was that it was okay to acknowledge my success, just not take it for granted. Since I didn’t have a technical background, I began my current job with zero knowledge of the software I use and have worked hard to gain the understanding I now have. As painful as it began, that is how freeing it feels now.
One of the most powerful “uh ha” moments of the year was one that caused me quite a bit of pain for a long time. Facebook is both a gift and a reminder of where you weren’t invited. I so wanted to fit in with a certain group of ladies and somehow never did. We had a great time when we were together, but I never felt a part of the group in between our periodic encounters. When I realized that I am in a different place than them and the idea of being part of a specific group is not who I am, it was as if a weight had been lifted. I enjoy being my butterfly self and hanging out with all types of people both in and out of recovery.
There were losses of relationships that provided all they could offer, and those losses allow me to now walk with others. Many encounters were for moments, some for longer, and others are still evolving… yet all were in front of me when I was willing to participate. One of the greatest gifts was the willingness to walk away from two guys rather than changing the fundamentals that I hold near and dear. This hasn’t always been the case. Not having a man in my life isn’t an excuse to lower my standards; rather, it is a reason to stand tall and proud of who I am with the willingness to walk alone rather than settle.
When I realized years ago that I couldn’t get off drugs alone, the struggle was over, because I was open to the help that was available. The same has been true this year with my weight. Weight Watchers (or WW, as it is now called) provided a road map for one of my health goals. When I stopped doing the basics of the program, I had consequences – significant ones. I realized a choice needed to be made. I could either beat myself up for letting things get so out of control or instead be grateful that I didn’t want to live that way anymore and take action. I chose the latter and returned to WW.
I moved into a 55-and-over community in March. Some may see this as preparing for the end. I choose to view it as a playground for the time when I will be able to live my passions on a daily basis. Though I wasn’t necessarily looking to move this quickly, the universe had different ideas. As I allowed myself to be guided, it was clear this was where I was going to create my dreams.
The loss of my brother only hit me recently. The pain not only of his death but of the life he chose reminded me that it is all about the choices we make. We may not start out with the tools we need, but they are available if we look for them.
I plan to spend New Year’s Eve organizing my spice rack and cleaning out a drawer. There are parties that I can attend, but I’m just not in the mood. I could feel sad that another year has passed without being in a romantic relationship. Instead, I choose to be grateful, knowing I feel great physically, spiritually, and emotionally exactly as I am.
There are no resolutions to be made. Each day I choose to be the best I can be. Being open to wherever and whatever I am guided to is enough for me. I wish you a 2019 of reasons and not excuses!