All I can say is I'm so happy this year is over with. It's been such a roller coaster ride. There were ups, but the downs far overshadowed anything good that happened.
This is one of those times that I envy people who make writing look easy. I don't possess the ability to express myself the way I'd like to. This blog was started, for the most part, to teach myself how to express myself in the written word, and years later, I still struggle. That's why this post is really nothing more than a list of memories from 2011. I wish I had the confidence in myself to write a sprawling year end recap, but I'm sure the end result would be embarrassing. Anyway...
As mentioned in almost every post over the last three months, losing my Mom in September was a huge blow to not only me, but my entire family. Mom was the glue that held the family together. Dad has always been the more removed parent, leaving Mom to be chief caretaker, head of the household and more nurturing parent. I've had such a hard time with losing her, not only for the fact that she's gone, but also where that leaves the rest of my family. I've spent so much time worrying about the fallout from her death in relation to my Dad and sister that I haven't really had a chance to mourn her loss. And it seems that just when things are starting to settle down, my sister comes to me with another issue. She's been put in a tough spot of taking over for Mom. My sister is 37 and still lives at home. For the first time in my life, I'm glad about this. I'm glad she and Dad have each other to rely on, because they need each other. But my sister looks to me to fix everything that's happening and since I'm not there, I can only offer up advice on what to do. And her resistance to some of my advice really angers me. I wonder sometimes why she asks me if she refuses to listen to me? So I find that instead of feeling grief over my Mom, I'm feeling a lot of anger towards my sister. Earlier I was feeling it towards my brother. I know I shouldn't have, but he, too, wasn't listening to anything I was saying. He's up in the tundra of Canada with no easy way down here and feeling isolated and all he wanted to do was help, but he was so off the mark in his attempts that it just resulted in me getting angry at him. I want the anger to go away. I know I'm kind of stuck where I am until that happens.
And I find the anger having huge effects on the rest of my life. My tolerance for people is at an all time low. I've withdrawn myself from a lot of my social circles. I try to tune out people I work with. If I can get away without having to talk to a single person in a day, I feel like I've succeeded. Where I find myself withdrawing into is music. I have leaned harder on my music collection than I ever have in my life. My secret hiding place has been inside my iPod. I feel safe there. I feel protected from outside influences. And I find that the songs I listen to are expressing my inner most feelings.
Ken has been absolutely amazing during the last few months. We have polar opposite opinions on how to care for each other. When I'm sick or I'm hurting, all I want to do is be left alone. And since that's how I feel, I assume that's how others do, too, so I try to give Ken space in the same situation. He, on the other hand, comes from the school of smothering. If I'm sick, he wants to be all up in my face. And me, I want to murder him. :-) He's admitted to me how difficult it's been for him to let me have my space, but he's given it to me. I'm so grateful for it, too. And he knows it.
I don't mean to make this all about Mom and the aftermath, but it's been such a huge part of the year for me. There has been some good. For example, I got to spend more than a few hours at the New York Comic Con this year. Last fall, I got to spend most of Friday, which was barely enough time to see the show. Especially when you consider I got to meet up with some friends, which cut into my geeking out time. This year I got two full days there (and it still wasn't enough), got to see more friends, got to buy all sorts of shit I don't need but really wanted. And it was a great weekend to just forget about my life, which I needed.
I also got to spend another week in Texas in August. This year was unplanned, but so was last year's trip. Ken and I realized we had frequent flyer points that were going to expire if not used, so I got to take a trip to see some of the best friends any one person deserves. This year's trip was quite different as my host was working full time and not at my beck and call 24/7, but I still had an amazing time.
My weight has been something that's been on my mind almost every day this year. But that's nothing new. This is the year that I thought I finally got things to exactly where I wanted them. For a good chunk of the year, I was consistently weighing in in the 180s. This is a huge accomplishment. Remember four years (or is it five?) ago when I was 300 lbs? After my Texas trip and then when Mom got sick a couple of weeks later, I lost my grip on the 180s and rebounded back to the 190s. And I've been there ever since. I know it's just a few pounds more than I was earlier this year (and exactly where I was prior to that), but after knowing I could be 180-something and now being unable to get back there has been really frustrating. Part of the problem is I've rediscovered some of my poor eating habits. My candy intake has risen and no matter how many hours I put in at the gym, I'm having trouble counteracting the chocolate. I wish I didn't tie up so much of my self-esteem in the number on the scale. I was 195 lbs this morning. My goal weight for myself is 190 with a +/- 5 lbs margin. I'm in that margin, yet I beat myself up because I'm at the high end of it. I'm a mess, but at least I'm a self-aware mess! LOL!
This year was the year I took physical fitness to a new level. The entire time I was losing weight, my exercise program was to go out and walk. I walked wherever I could. When winter hit, I'd take my walking indoors by going to the mall and do laps there. But when we moved to our current home, the mall was no longer five minutes away and I wasn't really wanting to drive a half hour to walk, so I made myself get over my gym phobia pretty quickly. I joined the gym in October of 2010 and started exercising there. And because I'm neurotic about tracking things, beginning in January, I started tracking all of my workouts. I set myself a goal of 1,200 miles to travel by treadmill, elliptical, walking and biking and quickly blew that out of the water. I'd post my totals here and now, but there's still one day left in the year and even though I'm undecided if I'm going to the gym tomorrow, my tunnel vision drive is going to make me go to push that year end total as high as possible. So I'll post stats later.
I've got so many amazing friends. This year really proved this to me. I mean, I'm fully aware that my friends are awesome, but they proved just how awesome they were. Equally as awesome, just in a different way, are the ones that threw me to the curb this year. I'm still scratching my head over a couple of them, but at the same time, there were two in particular that I'm overjoyed that they did this. It's something I should have done earlier myself, but I think I can be too forgiving. The only hypocritical, self-involved, unaware ego maniac I want to know is myself, thank you very much.
I'm very much looking forward to 2012. I'm trying to think only positive thoughts for the new year. I've got my first double date (which could be a triple date) lined up for next weekend with my favorite lesbians. I've got Aimee Mann tickets for later in January. I've got a vacation booked for Orlando in March. I've got my wedding date rescheduled for June. I plan on spending even more time at the New York Comic Con in October. I'm just looking forward to putting 2011 to bed and having fun with 2012.
And my New Year's Resolution...?