Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Years!

It is a New Year and so many people take the opportunity to make reflections on the last year, what has happened, what is to come and things they want to change. I have made resolutions before and admittedly I'm terrible at keeping them - but yet I keep making them and this year will be no different in that I will be making them and I anticipate that it will be no different in the fact that I will have difficulty living up to them.  But I think that may just be the point of resolutions and the new year.  It is an opportunity to reflect.

My reflection started earlier than New Years this year. It started in October when I found out I was going to need to have a minor surgery and then I got more reflective once the surgery date was scheduled. I had a similar style of minor surgery (laparoscopic) in 2011 and my life changed immensely after that. Now I feel that in order to understand where I might be now in life you need to understand me then. I was not happy in many ways in 2011 and I knew it but I didn't do much about it. After my surgery, I had an unintended consequence of my eyes swelling which affect my ability to see, read, be alone. After the surgery I had a major emotional break down and was devastated knowing what my life had been and what it might not be if my eye sight didn't get better. 

My eye sight slowing got better but I made a decision to say screw it and be happy - to look after me. I did so very selfishly with little regard to the consequences and fall out.  The end result of changing my life, my partner, my career could have been achieved in a much better fashion. That being said I made a promise to myself that I would take advantage of my life and live my life and I mean really live the crap out of it. 

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” - Hunter S. ThompsonThe Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967
I found that quote and I wanted to live by it and for a while I did. In 2013 I took chances and it lead my to amazing things - I found my now husband - we took a month and travelled around Europe. I risked losing my job to take the month off but knew it was worth it. I got to see family who was very important to me I hadn't had the opportunity to see in many years (decades). I found a what feels like second family (Annie, Frank, Louise, Jowie) had amazing experiences. In 2014 we moved out into my first apartment, I married my husband in two amazing ceremonies one thrown together in about 24 hours; I started a different job taking a major risk; I started to really follow my passion for cooking. In 2015 I took a chance getting a different job and buying a house (which is a place of our nightmares and dreams). I loved that job and in 2016 it lead to my current job which is in a way a dream job.

In 2017 we traveled to see family again - this time my daughter and I left my husband in 1 country and went to visit family in 2 other countries on our own. I will say it was very scary and my brave monkey just 11 1/2 helped me a lot - she's an amazing kid really I'm blessed but I almost past on the opportunity because i was so scared. 

However, staring down the eyes of surgery again I looked at my life and had a really hard time answering the question "Have you lived your life? and I mean really lived your life?"

And the answer is I have and I haven't. In many ways I am like a piece of drift wood in the river being taken wherever the current takes me at times having a glimpse of living my life. I took time off after my surgery and I mean really took time off - I was off for 3 weeks and I barely did anything - answered a few emails and phone calls, cooked some traditional Tortiere, napped, watched Netflix and really just relaxed. It gave my unprecedented perspective on my work and life balance. 

This leads me to my resolutions:

1. Continue to work on the 366/52 Challenge - I no longer feel that I need to complete it during the year. Honestly, given the challenges that are coming this year I know I'm not going to achieve that. which leads to next goal. 

2. Cook at home and eat out less - trying to eat out once every two weeks. It is so easy to stop for something on the way home especially after it has been a long day at work and things are busy. But I need to be frank some days I'm too tired to really cook so I give myself more permission to use short cuts - remade pasta and sauces when doing anything more seems too complicated. It has been the downside of the cooking goal - I sometimes feel like it always has to be fancy or difficult but it really doesn't have to be. 

3. Work out more. I know - I really need to work on this one and I need to be accountable and I need a group of people to support me. I would like to get into a consistent routine of at least 3 times a week but I think if I found a way to do a minimum of 30 minutes a day it would be great. 

4. Watch what I eat. It is ok to be lazy and take short cuts when I'm too tired - eating consistently is the most important thing for me. That being said - I need to consider easy and healthy options that I know I actually like. 

5. Work on my Marriage. I love my husband to bits and it is easy to let a relationship slid especially when life gets crazy and it is about to get crazier considering he is starting school tomorrow (OMG! excited). So we need to make sure we take time and focus on our relationship - this means brining back the 1 date a week rule. 

6. Live my life. I need to ask myself at the end of the day have I done everything that I could to make sure if it was my last I would look back and be happy. This is going to be the most difficult and I think back to "How I Met Your Mother" where Barney tries to make every night legendary - if every night is legendary then isn't legendary the ordinary. I think for me it means that some days will be out of this world legendary and other days it means doing what makes me happy (like cooking or working out.) 

That's it - pretty typical right. 

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