2009 started out with a hangover of epic proportions. One of the worst since my 20's. Only vague flashes of the New Years Eve party the man I and threw remain. The Pixie ran around with my camera taking video and blessedly, I am not in it much. I've been told I sang the song "Vaseline" and didn't totally suck. Well, that's something right?
On Jan. 1st 2009 I was a Taoist who was going to church, I was grateful but there was no list, my dog was old but doing OK, I was unemployed and knew nothing of a future as a superhero, a camera was just a camera and something to be taken out on holidays and birthdays....if remembered, the man still had a camera, I only had one BFF and she was 900 miles away, the new couple next door was interesting and hot, I was 45, weighed 175 and would NEVER speak my weight publicly, I was seeing a shrink occasionally, I only had 2 grandchildren and didn't anticipate any more, I had quit smoking for 3 months, I loved my husband and could not fathom loving him more, me write a book? Are you mad? My father in law was alive and Patties heart was not broken.
To say that 2009 was a year of extraordinary growth and adventure would be a colossal understatement. This year has grown me and changed me and healed me. As I've watched my country grow weaker, I've seen its people grow stronger and reconnect to the values that made this country strong in the first place. I've seen the new face of hope and witnessed extraordinary firsts. I've personally changed the world with my vote and learned the power of a smile. Banks crashed, markets crashed, economies crashed, but I've soared. How I got so lucky? I get the sneaking suspicion its equal parts of God's grace & my husband’s good planning.
In a year so full of lessons learned how to you break it down and decide the #1? I can't, I just can't. How do I decided between the lessons A) grace in the face of epic sadness taught to me by Pattie and B) the life altering power of gratitude lesson taught to me by the universe? Oh, or how about between A) all things are possible though God and B) you CAN quit smoking even if you don't really want to. I just won't. The list of lessons learned this year is simply too long to post so I'll just keep the list in my heart. "I" know and honestly, I've learned that that's what matters most.
2009 was better than 2008 and the very best wish I can make for 2010 is that it live up to 2009. To ask for more would be greedy. For 2010 I face forward with excitement and anticipation for what's to come and gratitude for what has been.
Today I'm grateful for:
God. I mean come on. I got baptized this year and I didn't a) break the pastor b) scare Pastor Hal. That's epic right there, I don't care who you are.
lessons learned. I have learned some extraordinary lessons from some extraordinary people and THE higher power. There are 3 people I want to thank publicly. I have MANY people I owe thanks but I'm trying to keep this blog post to a reasonable size. Mom, you are ALWAYS on my list so don't go gettin all put out.
Patty Reed. I know when we talk on the phone I sound distracted and itching to hang up. Truth is there is so much I want to say to you, things you've taught me, what you mean to me. When I hear your voice my head starts going a thousand miles a minute with all the things I want to tell you but I always stop myself. Timing is everything and I want to respect your grief. One day we will sit in the swing on your front porch and have a proper girls talk. Until then just know that I love you and value the lessons you've taught me more than you'll ever know.
Sarah Reed. Woman, you astound me. How the hell you raised this gaggle of oddlings I'll never know but you did it. You got them to adulthood as fully functioning humans and beyond that, they are some of the most big hearted, funny, loving any UNIQUE individuals I've ever met. Being a part of your family had been my honor and privilege for more than 23 years. The lessons you've taught me may one day just lead me to growing up. If I'm not really Peter Pan reincarnated as I suspect.
Kelly Reed. You are proof that YES, you can learn life lessons from your children. From the day you were born you've been teaching me. I remember the very first lesson you ever taught me "she won’t die if she don't eat her green beans" followed quickly by "pick your battles". Recently you've taught me forgiveness and humility. It's humbling to be taught lessons by your children but you do it with humor and style. I love you my Redbird.
another year. I got to live out 2009. How many others didn't? To all of those who left us in 2009 I say "You are missed and leave this world better for having had you in it."
my husband. You gave me one hell of a year babe. I can't imagine you topping it. I mean, Mr. Smoovie Smoove is legendary, but I know you'll try. Thank you for letting me love you and for making your love for me so obvious.
my job. On January 2nd, 2009 I started my job as Maintenance Superhero with Heth Realty, Inc. When I was laid off just before Thanksgiving 2008 I asked a litter of kittens "do I work for bucks or bliss?" They UNANAMOUSLY told me to work for bliss. They were sososo right. Thanks to my job I get to swirl a purple cape, flourish a yellow sharpie and save the world one clogged up toilet at a time. From my glass cage I watch Jacksonville’s freak parade. The pay is low and a once a month payday sucks ass, but the perks of my job make up for that and more. This year FLEW by w/ no fear of Mondays, 3 weeks off with pay and a boss who calls me her superhero. What more could I ask?
finishing what I started. I completed my first set of goals in 2009. What's a word bigger and better than epic? Poetical, that's what that is, poetical. Hey, don't scoff! It's a real word! I looked it up I did. SEE!
my life. It freakin rocks man.
those who are in my life. You choose to let me in. You’re crazy you know that? You should have escaped while you had the chance. Now, consider me like the puppy your mother warned you not to feed.
having an open heart. It used to be 12X's smaller, all black and shriveled up. Me and the Grinch had much in common. But like the Grinch I was able to learn, grow and love. I don't even mind that I cry at insurance commercials.
life renewing. I lost my Misty in 2009 and I miss her but because she was the amazingly good dog she was, she allowed me to love another. 2010 will be Roy's year. Atta-Boy Roy!
my girls. They all 3 love their Momma. How the hell did I manage that? I love them in a way I never thought possible. They loved me when I didn't love myself, they kept me going when I thought I had nothing else. They are the depth and breadth of my world. When I tell each of them that they are my favorite, I am being 100% truthful. Without them I would cease to be me.
my parents. They made me who I am, they did this to me.....and I'm exceedingly grateful.
The Church of Argyle. You've resorted my faith and you taught me the difference between "religious" and "Christian". I'm still working on my prejudices, but I'm headed in the right direction. Pastor Hal said so!
Facebook. That frustrating, aggravating, time sucking, mass they call a social network. You gave me a safe place to put my infant list. When it and I needed protection from marauding spammers of negativity. You allowed me to stay connected to those I thought I'd lost and you returned to me those that were lost. For all of that I say Thank you. NOW, if you could get Mafia Wars and Farmville to work as intended, I'd be even more grateful.
My labels. I have 'em, I own 'em and I like 'em. I've learned to tell the difference between mine and the ones others try to put on me. Don't try and label me or I'll sick Ms. Shankabitch loose on you. You may just find her hiding under your bed one dark and stormy night. *insert creepy music here*
lastly I want to thank all of you who have supported me and encouraged me with my Life of Gratitude. My family and I have gone though some pretty hard times this year but you have kept me connected to my gratitude. On those days when it was the hardest, you made me try and I'm better for the trying. Some of you watch in secret, some PM me occasionally, some have started your own lists. To you I say God Bless you. This journey has been not been a lonely one.