December 18 – Try (#reverb10)

December 18 – Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)

I’ve got this practically brand-new pair of roller blades sitting in my front closet. They’re actually about 11 years old, though. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve worn them.

Every single one of those times was terrifying and made me wish I was in better shape.

Well, it’s time. I’m working on getting in better shape so in 2011, I want to dust off the roller blades and give it a shot for real. I’m hoping I can get to like it better than running. And if I do well enough, maybe I’ll try ice skating next year. ;)

December 17 – Lesson Learned (#reverb10)

December 17 – Lesson Learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

Back in July, I felt a sincere desire to make some changes, but I lacked any motivation at that time to take the necessary steps to move forward. I questioned my readiness to  do what needed to be done.

As others came out of the woodwork with similar issues, we formed this amazing group that have bonded on this journey we’re taking together. Through the beginning, I maintained almost constant doubts about myself even as week after week things went well. I was doing it, even as I felt unmotivated, uninspired and inadequate. I not even sure where all of these feelings came from; they were just there. 

When everything went ass over tea kettle, my doubts came rushing back and now they’re holding me hostage - even six weeks later! This week I’ve been trying to conquer this mental block. I want to say again, “ready or not, here I go!” And then I want to see success again.

I know I can. I already proved it to myself once, but I keep forgetting that lesson.

I need to do burn it on my brain somehow so that I don’t forget.

Today is a new day, a new week, so ready or not, here I go!!

December 16 – Friendship (#reverb10)

December 16 – Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

Really?

AS IF I haven’t explored friendship enough this year? :)

I’ve always had a pretty healthy view of friendship, even if my friendships haven’t always been healthy. I believe that there are degrees of relationships. From casual acquaintances, whom I wouldn’t necessarily classify as friends so much as people I know, to people I get to know well, but not in-depth - co-workers can often fall into this category. Then there are the people who you get to know in a deep, long-lasting way. The ones who know you and love you anyway - warts and all.

The inner circle of friends is the smallest, most exclusive group and it’s hard (for me) to allow people into that circle.

This year I got burned. I let someone get closer than I should have and they turned on me. While I was hurt and angry at first, I quickly realized that the depth of our relationship wasn’t all that deep. When I figured that out, the hurt and anger transformed into just feeling sorry for the other person. What might have become a long-lasting friendship was cut off over a misunderstanding that could have been easily explained - if they had listened.

What did I learn?

That I can’t force anyone to listen. I can’t force anyone to be rational.

True friendship is precious. I think that’s why it’s reserved for so few. It takes time to nurture and build and if one party isn’t interested, then it’s fruitless to try to force things along.

I’ve known these things for many years, but they were reinforced to me this year when I finally took a step toward letting go with less angst than ever before. The situation wasn’t any less stressful, but I could confidently say that I tried to resolve things amicably to no avail.

Now that it’s all over, I can remember the good things without rancor and I don’t feel any anger over the way we parted. It is ultimately for the best.

Sometimes life just goes that way and you have to accept it for what it is.

December 15 - 5 Minutes (#reverb10)

December 15 - 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

I feel like this prompt is a tall order, but here goes.

Setting my timer.

Go.

(If you thought this was going to be a post written in five minutes, sorry to disappoint. I made my list and now I’m going to expound on what I’ve listed.) ;)

  1. Matt’s amazingness. It’s no big secret that I think my husband is tops. But I don’t write about it often enough around here. However, when I do, I try to make a major statement. Few people get to know this man I love well, but I got to be one of the (incredibly lucky) chosen few. Actually, I got the unmistakable pleasure of spending my entire life with him. He makes me laugh, supports me, loves me no matter what. And it’s a daily thing that I want to remember and not take for granted.
  2. Brandon’s progress. One year ago, as we prepared to enter 2010, Brandon’s vocabulary really started to take off. He’s a late bloomer when it comes to his verbal skills, but like everything, once he starts wanting to use the skills, he’s unstoppable and smart as a whip. Yesterday, he told me “Get up, right now!” (My friend, his daycare provider, will likely note some influence in that statement from some children she knows and loves.) :) It made me smile to hear him express himself so fully and completely, if a little tentatively. We don’t have night wakings or bottles to deal with anymore. We get fewer and fewer requests to be carried. My baby boy has left his babyhood behind, but the best is yet to come. 2011 is going to be another very interesting year with my sweet little boy.
  3. New friends/community. When I was in my late teens/early twenties, I spent a lot of time in online chat rooms. It was a blast meeting people from all over the world. I had a friend in Russia who practiced his English skills by chatting with me. A friend in Australia who once sent me a chapter from a book he was writing - I was blown away with how good it was. I hope he’s a published author by now. I mostly talked to people in good ol’ North America - many of them Canadians and one of which I stayed in touch with as recently as a couple of years ago. (I should really write her again soon.) Most of my online relationships dwindled as life offline took over and I spent less time in the chat rooms. But this year I jumped into a local community on twitter that has been more rewarding than any previous relationship I’ve started online (with exception to my husband, of course). Now, I’m part of something that is making my life healthier and I’ve made some great friends because of it. The Losing It gang is a significant part of that, but it doesn’t end there. The Ottawa blogging community is a group that does good work for the community at large and supports each other through thick and thin.
  4. Newfound abilities. This year was a learning experience for me about myself. I learned that I can handle so much more than I ever thought I could. I was forced to deal with conflict in several different ways throughout the year and discovered that I could do it with maturity, dignity and calm strength. I’ve always shied away from conflict in just about every form (often even with family). Whether it was work-related or personal relationships. Learning that I could handle it well was enlightening and empowering.
  5. New perspective on friendship. Friendship is a precious type of relationship and it’s come up a lot in my writing this year. Whether it’s with a spouse, a family member or a non-relative. When a friendship is good, it benefits all parties. When it’s bad, it’s better to let go. When two people just don’t click, no matter how much you may want it to or how hard you try, sometimes it just makes more sense to let it fizzle out naturally. Making those decisions is hard, but life is too short to take up time on something that’s going nowhere.
  6. Finally nurturing a hobby I love more than reading. (Hint: Writing.) I started blogging nearly two years ago and didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do, whether I would stick with it (that wasn’t the plan) or if I’d even enjoy it. It didn’t take long before I realized that I really liked the process. I don’t care about being popular or making money off; it’s something I do purely for me.

2010 has been a great year and I don’t want to forget the things that meant the most to me. So, I’m glad this is just a writing prompt and not an inevitability. 

December 14 - Appreciate (#reverb10)

December 14 – Appreciate. What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)

This prompt came up 9 days after I celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary. On December 5th, 2000, in the den of a complete stranger with two friends present, I married my best friend. To this day, he is still my best friend.

I appreciate my husband.

I appreciate our marriage. 

We’ve had our share of hard times and we’ve had a lion’s share of good times. Through it all, we’ve stuck together. Faithfully sharing our lives and loving each other no matter what came across our path.

We laugh and cry together. We encourage and support each other. We take care of each other through illness or emotional times.

One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received is when a good friend told me (more than once) this year that Matt and I seem like a unified front. A team.

It’s not an act. It’s real through and through.

If I had been asked to describe the ideal marriage, I don’t think it would have been as good as what I got. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s perfect for me. 

I hope I never take for granted what I’ve found with Matt.