Friday, June 24, 2016

Mid-Year Review: Is 2016 One of My Best?

This doesn't really need to be said again BUT... 2015 was s*&t.  I guess I just don't want you to forget that fact.  I don't want to forget it.  Yet, if I'm being honest, sometimes I do.  

I started this year with one goal: find more ways to enjoy my life.  This is unoriginal.  Spend five seconds on Pinterest and you'll find enough "Live Laugh Love" images that you'll want to rebel against the notion.  "I REFUSE TO LIVE, LAUGH OR LOVE!" you'll shout.  The more this idea gets thrown in our faces, the less genuine and urgent it feels.

I chose this broad goal because I felt like I spent too much of 2015 doing the opposite of enjoying my life.  I'm a recovering control freak and psycho planner.  And when Ben and I agreed  to "plan for" our baby, I relapsed into my old ways of trying to control the process and the outcome of every single situation.  And everyone knows that when you try to control everything, you enjoy NOTHING.  

So for the first time at the end of last year I actually embraced the concept of letting shit go.  I woke up one day and realized that I'm young. I have money.  I have a kidney that mostly works, and I also have health insurance, just in case it doesn't.  I'm lucky to have these things so there should be no excuse for me to NOT enjoy my life.  I also, don't have children.  This isn't a prerequisite to enjoying life, but hell, childlessness sure does make it easier to enjoy certain things.

I'm still grieving the loss of my girl.  I think about her every day.  I'm wondering if there will ever be a day when I don't.  It doesn't seem likely.  And the sadness from losing her comes and goes, but right now, I'm having more good days than bad ones.  

When I have a bad day, I let it happen. I let it be and I accept for what it is--a day when I really really wish that my cervix hadn't opened up forcing me to end my pregnancy. And then I just hope that the next day is better.

And a lot of times, it is!   

This year, I feel stronger. I still hate when people say "what doesn't kill you will make you stronger." I always protest:  "But I didn't ask to be stronger."  In my case, I finally feel like the experiences I've had in my life so far have turned me into real steel.  Some days I feel like titanium runs through my veins and literally nothing can stop me.  I doubt my emotional and mental capabilities a lot less.  And I'm beginning to feel the same way about my physical abilities as well, mostly functioning transplanted kidney and all. 

Looking back on the year so far, I don't I have any regrets.  I've probably spent way more money this year than I have in previous years, on lots of experiences of course.   I've gone out to eat a lot more times and had more fancy dinners. I've gone on more trips that didn't require months and months of planning.  I've purchased more clothing...something I NEVER do!   I've even bought more make up! LOL  And I never wear make up.  I started hosting a monthly book/movies discussion club, something I've always wanted to do but didn't think I was truly qualified to do it.

And, to be completely transparent, a major factor in being able to enjoy my life has been giving myself permission to do things I wouldn't have done last year, including letting go of my church life.  I gave myself permission to stop going to church when I felt like I wasn't enjoying being there anymore.  And I spend my Sundays NOT feeling guilty about it, which is great.  A big part of enjoying life has to do with feeling guilt-free.

Notice an important word in my goal. I'm setting out to enjoying MY life, not someone else's. Avoiding comparison is also important to accomplishing this goal.  As a woman, it's easy to fall into the trap of believing that if you only had the husband, the nice home, the children, the money, the dog, the vacation, the nice car and whatever else, THEN you would be happy. I think women are more likely to make checklists and find purpose in crossing everything off in a timely manner.  But life doesn't work like that!  I've done a good job of not comparing myself to people who have children.  COUNTER TO SOME OPINIONS...I have found a way to experience great joy without holding a baby 24/7.  And I assume that the people who are parents, have found a way to do the same with children in their lives. 

I guess I feel grateful and hopeful to know that if I'm ever given that privilege to be a parent, my kids' mother will be a woman who is much stronger than she was in 2015, much wiser, bolder and a lot more FUN.  

So, my assessment of 2016 so far?  Great. Let's keep the greatness going for another six months, or more.