Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year, A New Chance

This morning, I stopped by Facebook to find this post by Adele:

So far all I have heard about 2010 is that it sucked. Please help me come up with good things that happened in 2010. I'll start with a few: 1) I made some new friends; 2) I began a new hobby which is also a tax deduction; 3) Ian graduated the 5th grade, and had two excellent schools competing for his attendance for 6th grade; 4) I may be getting old, but I've still got some of my health (no more skating for awhile)
Yesterday at 12:10pm · ·



    • Adele Silverman ‎5) Despite the economy, Steve and I still have our jobs; 6) our family became larger with the addition of a brother in-law and new nephews and a niece we adore; 7) I have been married to the most adorable nerd for 17 years!!!
      Yesterday at 12:12pm ·

    • Virginia Valles Binion ‎1) my daughter graduated high school, got her licence (BIG help!), and got a job!
      2) got my card business moving
      3) sold more cards than ever!
      4) got involved in OWH and have met some very nice people!

      Yesterday at 1:07pm via Facebook Mobile · · 1 personLoading...

    • Virginia Valles Binion oh, and 5) celebrated 10 years with my husband!!
      Yesterday at 1:08pm via Facebook Mobile · · 1 personLoading...

    • Ann Merkins I turned the big 5-0 , celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary, our son bought a "new to him" house, our oldest daughter gave us a beautiful new grandson (making it 4 grandchildren now), and our youngest daughter returned safely home from a tour of duty in Iraq. I would say 2010 was a pretty awesome year!!
      Yesterday at 1:15pm · · 2 peopleLoading...

    • Claudia Kramer Regan I finished my Yoga Teacher Training and now am teaching regular classes. The kid made it into Notre Dame on full scholarship. I celebrated my 34th wedding anniversary (y'see? It can work) and we didn't have any hurricane warnings in 2010. That all makes it a great year for me. I'm glad it was a good year for you! :)
      Yesterday at 2:34pm · · 2 peopleLoading...

    • Melissa Maksimenko Adele, don't forget that you are excersing on your eliptical. I would assume that your health is better since you have been doing the eliptical, you have a job, you have health insurance, you have two wonderful men in your life that still love you. Hopefully that will put a smile on your face! Happy New Year!
      Yesterday at 3:10pm · · 1 personLoading...

    • Adele Silverman Melissa, I didn't forget that for a minute. I have a history of heart disease in my family. My dad had his first open heart surgery at the age of 47. I just went to the doctor last week and found out that I had the best cholesterol level I can remember ever, and I'm not on cholesterol medication. Yay for that, too! I wish I knew what I was doing right or different so that I can keep it up.
      Yesterday at 3:33pm ·

    • Melissa Maksimenko Keep doing what your doing. It's working.
      Yesterday at 3:35pm ·

    • Adele Silverman Melissa, I still want to hear what went RIGHT with your year!
      Yesterday at 3:37pm ·

    • Melissa Maksimenko Well lets see...... Our older son went back to college at a four year college, my husband and I still have jobs, I enjoy running with friends and don't have to go on any medication due to running, and last but not least was able to go to Maine to see my parents and siblings.
      Yesterday at 3:44pm · · 1 personLoading...

    • Robin Persun
      Nice thread.

      Let's see. I have a wonderful fiance and dog - a roof over my head, a great new job which I believe is only going to get better.

      I'm still in the ER where I love it, but have moved into education and middle management. New th...ings to learn and new challenges to tackle.

      I hope I can continue to keep all the great friends that I've met on the job - and that the new job won't negatively impact that.

      Job security as a nurse, health insurance, a tiny bit of money in the bank.

      My family and loved ones still have good health.

      I am thankful for so much. Just wish the family was closer - a lot closer.

      I'm hoping if we learn one thing this year it is that we as a bunch could be more thankful and patience and loving and peaceful. Realization that it's ok to agree to disagree could be a good start.
      See More

      22 hours ago · · 1 personLoading...

    • Laura Rebecca Silverman
      ‎1.) Got married, got children, 2.) Accepted into experimental program to treat disease, 3.) Had thyroid issue diagnosed... lead to an end to the fainting spells, 4.) Got my business started up again and poised to really move on it in 2011..., 5.) Sunny is still with me despite all odds, 6.) Addition of many pets and a large ex Porn house - lol!, 7.) Asked to teach my first professional beading classes, 8.) Won a couple of awards for my beading in international contest the first time out, 9.) Several write ups for my work, 10.) Learned a lot about friendsSee More

      8 hours ago · · 1 personLoading...

    • Audrey Cooperman Thacker ‎1) My husband, kids and I remain healthy; 2) my parents remain (reasonably) healthy--no hospital scares in 2010!; 3) I continue to do work that makes a little bit of difference in a field that lets me use my education; 4) I started writing more; 5) Samuel had his Bar Mitzvah; 6) We all worked on complaining less and being more grateful
      8 hours ago · · 1 personLoading...

    • Audrey Cooperman Thacker I'm going to steal your status and post it, Adele! This is great.
      5 hours ago ·

I had been planning to write about the transition from 2010 to 2011 anyway, but her post put me in a completely different frame of mind.  Rather than feeling morose because 2010 was a very mixed bag and even the major highlights hold memories so painful that they're hard to think about, I ended up feeling very optimistic about both the past and especially the future.  That is, if I work the future and work it right.

Ok, so I lost some friends and some friends are in a holding pattern until they see if I'm able to pull it together well enough this year for my presence to be tolerated. That's not so terrible.  I know more about them now, and they know more about me too.  They learned that I am not the "all powerful one" who always holds it together no matter what the crisis, and those who are sticking around are finding out that I do bounce back, even after hitting what I would call my lowest low of all time.  Of the friends that I lost, I feel terrible.  I will miss them an awful lot, but on the other hand, if they're unable to stick by me when I'm truly in a crisis, do I really want to call them friends anyway?  Maybe they were just great acquaintances that I like an awful lot.  I learned a lot about the friends that I kept, too.

I got a rude awakening  about what family life consists of.  I've made some major changes within the family's structure since I came to join them, and I've learned to bend with some of the other issues.  I have a much better understanding of what my friends who have children are going through, and I also know the agony/joy of special needs kids.  Although I thought I was empathetic before, now that I really know from first hand experience, I have an entirely different attitude and level of respect for those who deal with unique kids and unusual families.

I faced a major health crisis at the beginning of the year which bounced me into the hospital twice.  It was horrible, it was painful.  But out of the crisis came the chance to join an experimental program focusing on IBD and while I'm not sure whether or not it's helping me, I know without question that at least I'm in a holding pattern.  In years past, I already knew at this point that I was starting to crash again.  I'm not crashing at the moment.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  But maybe it's the program.  Time will tell.

My actual wedding and wedding reception (separate events) included incidents that are terribly painful to remember and almost bring me to tears still, but the bottom line is that I am a married woman now, something that nobody ever would have predicted, and I love the man who I am with.  Not everyone is so lucky.  I wake up every day knowing that I am where I am supposed to be after all of these years.  It could be worse.

Living in the "House of Porn" has been challenging for all the problems that it presents.  There are so many things wrong with it, it's scary.  Every time we get a repair issue looked at, it's like peeling back an onion and finding more and more things wrong, and the landlord has not been exactly forthright or terrific about fixing things.  Half the Heating/Air system still does not function properly and after 5 months, there's still no hot water in the master bathroom.  The roof leaks.  Etc.  BUT, it's a PORN HOUSE!  How cool is that and how many people get to make that claim?  It's drop-dead gorgeous, it's lay-out is perfect for us, my dogs are both thriving here... even Sunny who when Cosmos died, everyone predicted would be gone in months, all the kids have their own bedrooms, and if serendipity kicks in, it's possible that this will be our permanent location.  Eric & I both agree that if we end up buying the house, we will immediately repair all of the terrible things that are plaguing us, and then turn our attention to the design details that are amazingly stupid but can be corrected.  I've rebuilt a home before (1994 Northridge Earthquake, thank you very much) and it was a really cool experience.  And if we decide to move, we both love this area for the homes and also it's quirkiness.  We will stay in the same area.

I failed to keep a lot of commitments in 2010; I did not give as much as I took.  Well, there's no time like the present to deal with the issues, fulfill my promises, and pay back and/or pay forward the debt of gratitude that I owe.  I started that process about 2 weeks ago and that's a commitment I made to myself that will be kept.  I even have a list of things that need to be done, and I'm plugging away at it.  As I do what I promised and what I need to do, it remains to be seen how the friends that I let down receive me.  Again, no matter what happens in the end, I will be better for it.  I will have the peace of mind of knowing that I did what I promised, albeit belatedly, and also I will know who are friends who are capable of forgiveness vs. those who are not.  That's powerful information to have.

Between illness and marriage transitional issues, I did almost nothing to pursue my art.  That's been a terrible disappointment and I feel that I failed myself.  Again, some of the commitments in the prior paragraph have to do with exactly that, and I've moved back into the creative zone.  Eric has found us an office that, as soon as it's fixed up, will become my studio away from home.  I am updating my blog in appearance and function, and will soon start the same process in my web site.  I'm better than I've ever been at what I do, and I have a direction in 2011 that equates to a business plan.  I know where I'm going.  I don't know all the details yet on how I'm getting there, but my whole life has been lived with a vague idea and a wish and things haven't turned out so bad.  I have faith that I will succeed.

In addition, despite doing next to no work, I did get some serious public acclaim for my work last year, and that is going to stand me well in the coming months.

The end of the year brought a nasty surprise in the form of Bursitis and Avascular Necrosis.  Both are extremely painful and can be life changing.  The former is confirmed; when the latter is, the outlook will not be  good.  But a lot of positive results came out of the situation too.  First and foremost, while having the issue(s) diagnosed, I had a blood test that officially threw me into the Slow Thyroid classification and I was started on medication.  It was supposed to be 6 weeks before I noticed it doing anything, but I knew - in a good way - that it was having a profound impact on my state of being within 3 days.  It turned out to be a terrific surprise.  Unbeknown to me and never considered by my doctors was that all the fainting I was doing was a result of going in and out of Thyroid Crisis, and as soon as I started the meds, I stopped fainting!  This after years and years to chasing the reason I was doing so.  Additionally, my hair suddenly started to grow back.  It cycled in and then out again, but at my latest doctor's appointment, my thyroid medication was doubled and it seems to be coming in with a vengeance now.  Nobody saw this coming.  And who knows?  It's possible that I'm still not on a high enough dose and more good things are coming.

I've reunited with Rocky, my long-term Physical Therapist, and he not only knows how to help me, but Eric has an issue that's plagued him for years that Rocky may be able to help.  With the turn of the year and the change in Eric's medical insurance coverage, I'm very hopeful that he will be in treatment soon and that there will be a positive result for him.

I had not what I'd exactly call a major blow-out with a long time friend who I love dearly and who's job it is to help people (God only knows he's helped me in amazing ways) but more an emotional tiff and I'm not sure if the relationship is over or not.  Like with my other friends above, I hope and pray that things will work out in time.  It remains to be seen.  His focus has always been different than normal people and while I am not exactly normal either, I've become more satisfied with where I'm at.  Whether that's something that can be bridged between us or not remains to be seen.  BUT things happen for a reason.  Maybe we'll be better than ever, or maybe this is a message that I've received all that I was supposed to from this source and it's time to move on.  Goodness knows that I've changed so much over the past many years that it's completely possible that the world that he lives in isn't appropriate for me anymore.  I hope not, but there's also the possibility of a compromise or a happy medium.  Whatever happens, I've become secure enough in myself that I know that I may be very disappointed in coming months, but I will survive.  That's also good information to have.

I don't get to live my life just for myself anymore because no matter what I do, for the next 15 years or so until Miles has graduated from College, the children always have to come first.  But there's a satisfaction, even when there's infinate frustration, in helping them along to see their dreams come true.  Whatever they become, and I know it will be for the good, I will have played a significant role in it.  That's tremendous power and this is probably the most important job I will ever do in my entire life.

And so 2011 has begun.  Richard Simmons, several years ago, convinced me to build a road map to my future by setting resolutions for myself at the beginning of each year.  The first couple of years, that practice was very satisfying.  I did all the things I set out to do, and more.  And then I got sick and I was physically unable to keep them, and I resolved that I was not going to make resolutions ever again until my health stabilized out.  But I'm finding that right now in my new state-of-being, they might be very useful again, and so instead of just doing the first one which I had announced to Eric about a month ago, I have a short but important list.  So here they are, stated publicly for all to know.

Resolutions: 2011

1.)  I, in conjunction with Eric, are going to get that Lexus SUV that's been on hold at the dealership for over 18 months repaired and out of hock, and I will be driving it before the year is over so we can save my Nissan - who's quality is not as good and who's mileage is increasing - for our first child who earns the privilege to drive.

2.)  I will work very hard in Physical Therapy and pursue all medical options to beat - or at least live with - the newest health issues that have been thrown at me and I will be as healthy as possible.  I will figure out what means of exercise I am capable of participating in, and no matter what venue it's in, I will do it.  I can learn to love anything if I set my mind to it.

3.)  I will make sure all the friends who I let down, either by not keeping commitments, or by taking their help and support without reciprocating appropriately, know how much I value them.  I will work hard on the commitments that I let lapse, and will fulfill them, even if they are late.

4.)  I will write the Thank You notes for gifts received for our Wedding by the end of February.  As I understand it, it's appropriate to take six months to get them out (some sources say a year).  I can't live with six months, let alone a year, so I will start the task shortly and methodically write them all, then send them out in one big batch.  I will photograph said mailing and post it in my blog.

5.)  I will work hard at my art and promote myself this year so that I am a known persona within my field (at least locally) and I will generate enough of an income to make a difference to our living circumstance.  I will accept that I do not have the brain power or the health that Eric has and can never generate the same cash flow as he is capable of, but I bring other things to the table that are equally as important to the family and I will learn not to stress over the difference.

6.)  I will read regularly.  Be it books, newspapers, magazines, on line sources, or whatever, I will pursue reading for both the knowledge that I gain and also for the sense of peace and accomplishment that I get out of it.

7.)  I will reconnect with the friends that I have kept, and I will find more friends to fill the empty space left by those who have gone.  I will do so selectively, making sure that the new friends I pick up have common interests, living circumstances, and goals as me so that they're long-term friends and not just situational.

8.)  I will be a teacher.  I will not only teach classes in my chosen career field, but I will teach by example and I will teach the children the right and ethical way to live.

9.)  I will be a perennial student.

10.)  I will strive to be the best person I can be in all forums.  Health.  Weight.  Mother (step).  Animals.  Housekeeping.  Finance.  Art.  Friendship.  Family.  and whatever else comes my way.


So these are my goals and resolutions for this year.  They are not easy; they are not easily measured.  But they are achievable, at least I think so right now.  And I know from life experience that I don't always have to believe in myself or my tasks to make them come true.  I just have to suspend disbelief and amazing things can happen.

4 comments:

Ang said...

i'm truly and deeply sorry for my part..and i hope you know that i love you and miss you..

Claudia said...

2010 wasn't that bad. We still have each other. <3

Laura said...

@ Ang: I love you too. What happened can't be changed and will always be painful, but remember what I said in my letter to you afterward: it could go in many different directions from there. We're making a positive out of the experience. We know who we are better and we will likely be stronger in the long run for what happened.

xoxoxoxo

Laura said...

@ Claudia: Yeah, we do have each other and we know we will always be there for each other through thick and thin. Hopefully thin - lol!

xoxoxoxoxo

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