I always write an Old Year/New Year post, and it’s typically long, jumbled, and possibly somewhat boring, but it’s also my way of processing the old year, and welcoming what’s to come. So, if you’re sitting at home, avoiding laundry and housework, and need a reprieve from the daily chaos, read on. What follows is a wrap-up of random thoughts. Here we go…
- Sunday, as I was waiting for my hair color to work its magic, I transferred birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates from my 2013 calendars to my 2014 calendars (one of which I bought for half price because I waited until the last minute). As I was carefully writing in the upcoming events, I thought about how wonderful it is that each January, we get the opportunity to reflect on the past year, and start all over with a new year. I don’t really make resolutions, but I do have a few goals. I will share those at some random point in this blog.
- 2013 was filled with both blessings and frustrations for us. Health-wise, it was a tough year. Last spring, I had the flu, and stomach bug, and then six weeks worth of eye infections. The entire year I dealt with knee problems that resulted in surgery in August. It isn’t completely healed, but I am hopeful that it will continue to get stronger, the pain will continue to lessen, and eventually I will return to my running routine in 2014. Gary had to have hernia surgery, and Addison had (and continues to have) foot problems. Because of changes to our health insurance (that are infuriating), my rates have doubled, AND we went from a $500 deductible to a $3000 deductible in 2014, so I pray for good health because we can’t afford to be sick. We will limit trips to the doctor to dire emergencies, and suffer through all other illnesses. We are educated, middle-class working people who can no longer afford to go to the doctor. There’s something wrong with that.
- Blessings…We added two members to our family in 2013! Gary’s son Bryce was married to Krista in October. It was an amazing weekend in Lake Tahoe. Krista is a beautiful, intelligent, kind, and adventurous young woman, and we are thrilled to welcome her. We also welcomed a new grandson in December. Rhett Cail was born December 15, and we met him the following weekend. He is a beautiful little boy just like his brother Layne and his cousin Gabe.
A Perfect Lake Tahoe Wedding
- 2013 was a year of travel for Gary and me. We went to Virginia Beach, Chicago, Atlanta, Kansas, and Lake Tahoe, and we added some short trips to Indy, Northern Indiana, Louisville, and Nashville. We are fortunate that our family has chosen great vacations spots in which to live. We won’t be traveling as much in 2014, but are grateful for the experiences we had. In our eleven years together, Gary and I have had some awesome trips. Most included the girls, some were just the two of us. I am so grateful that we enjoy being together and have had some great opportunities. I look forward to many more!
- We also added to our family by hosting an exchange student from Germany. Benita was already in Tell City and a student at our high school. She had been placed with a couple who had no kids at home, and was new to our town. Because they knew no one, they wouldn’t let Benita do anything with anyone. The poor girl was miserable. She came to stay with us in November, and has truly been a blessing. We have learned a lot about Germany, have enjoyed lots of chocolate, and have loved getting to know this amazing girl who, at only 16, chose to move away from her family for a year to experience America. She will be with us until the end of May, and I already dread telling her good-bye. On the bright side, with any luck we will one day visit her in Germany.
- Along with my knee issues came weight gain. As of this morning, I am within one pound of my pre-exercise-running-Tabata-healthier-eating weight from 2009. I knew I would gain weight when I had surgery and could not exercise for six weeks. After four plus years of exercising four to seven days a week, it was inevitable. But I also thought that once I jumped back into my workout routines, the pounds would melt away. They didn’t. Not. One. Pound. Finally, when December hit, I decided to not worry about it until after the holidays. Given my love of baking – and eating what I bake – I knew it was pointless to try to shed weight during the best eating month of the year. And so I gained another few pounds. Right now, I am so disgusted with myself. I worked so hard to get in shape and get to my ideal weight, and now I have to start all over. My clothes don’t fit, I feel gross, and working out is hard. Because I am so short, an extra eight pounds makes a huge difference. I have two new dresses I can’t even wear until I lose the weight because they accentuate my belly flab. Since they are winter dresses, I am going to have to make progress quickly. Gary and I went grocery shopping Sunday and bought only healthy food. I threw away the chocolate caramel cake that we left, gave away cookies, and refrained from baking more (even though I am dying to use my new Kitchenaid Mixer). I have to get a grip. I also hope to add more running to my routine because it seems to help me keep my weight down better than any other form of exercise. I have been teaching five classes a week at the gym for the past two months, so I really haven’t had time to run as much as I like. Enough on that – I will keep you posted.
- Another goal for 2014 is to be more in the present. I spend too much time on Facebook, and need to spend that time reading a book or chatting with my family. I completely enjoy Facebook because many of my friends and family members live away, and it is a great way to keep up. I love seeing their pictures, sharing my pictures, and being motivated by the fitness groups to which I belong. But I love my family more. I know it won’t be easy, but I will cut back on computer time, or at least spend some of that time keeping up with my blogs rather than mindlessly scrolling through Facebook.
- I want to get some bills paid off. I am still working on my hospital bills from August, so that is my first goal. I also have some added credit card debt from Christmas, so that’ll be next. I am going to keep my checkbook balanced and stick with my budget. We finally took a leap and got rid of our home phone, and I have looked for other ways to cut monthly bills. I think I have scaled back all I can (without causing an uprise in our family).
- I want to nurture friendships and gently let go of relationships that cause stress. I value my friends, and would do anything for them. I pride myself on being a good listener, keeping confidences, and being honest. I expect the same in return. I am blessed with some amazing friends, and hope I never disappoint them. I have also learned that even at our age, there are still those who choose friends based on their social statuses, what benefits they will gain from those friendships, and how it looks to others. I care about none of that. I choose my friends based on their character, their sense of humor, and how they treat people. And my life is so much better because of it!
- Life is a gigantic lesson, and I believe we need to keep on listening and learning until we take our last breaths. While we need to know where we stand, we also need to listen because sometimes our opinions can change. We need to be accepting of others, and gentle with our words. We need to let go of relationships that are no longer healthy, and hang on tightly to those that matter. We need to love everyone, but that doesn’t mean we have to like everyone. But we need to make our own judgments and not judge others based upon what we hear – what ‘they’ say.
We have to – and this is big – work to positively influence our youth. We need to encourage them to work hard, to follow their dreams, and to know that character is just as important as intelligence. We need to model being good citizens, talk to them about our world, and show them how to treat others. Our children are reflections of us. Teach them well.
I wish for all of you a happy, healthy 2014. I hope to continue with my writing, and it would help me greatly if you would share this with your friends if you enjoy reading my random thoughts. I would also like to add some followers. Thanks for reading. Happy New Year from our family to yours!