Most people like to look back on their lives on New Year’s Eve, and make their resolutions to build a better life going forward. I do that most of the time, but as I entered my 30’s, I have been doing it more by my Birthdays. As I turn another year older tomorrow, I wanted to count my blessings on the past birthday year, and blog on what has really counted in my life. So grab a party hat and let’s blow out the candles!
A year ago I was celebrating my birthday at work- I wore my white party dress, felt great, and went in with a positive outlook on the day. I looked forward to seeing the family that night, and hanging out with my Mom the following weekend. Mom and I had a tradition of going out to lunch, strawberry pie at Perkins, and lots of rummage sales. We were still on the path of moving to FL, but at that point it was all talk and eyes on 2012, not 2011. It was a wonderful birthday, and everyone made it special. I remember thinking THEN, I am a blessed woman.
I found that I had a lot of growing up to do this year. Yes, I am nowhere near perfect, and I am flawed like everyone else. I found that any storm I had to weather, whether of my fault or someone else’s, I always had my family, friends, and most importantly, God in my corner. I grew closer to friends I thought I never would, and made some incredible new ones in WI and here in FL. I found out who were real friends, and who were distracting me from the true joys of life. It’s amazing how life takes you from person to person, and how some stick, and some just repel right off you, either leaving a mark or nothing at all. I finally “get it” on what I want from friendship, and it is an amazing and beautiful thing once you do.
I learned a lot about myself and what I was capable of. Too many times I passed on something, or was too afraid to say something, and I learned this past year to really find my voice. Life is too short, and I needed those who I loved to know that I do, and those that had hurt me, to let go and forgive. I used to hold onto things so tightly, so that any time someone would hurt me, I would reference it as a defense mechanism to protect my heart. It’s hard to come to the conclusion sometimes that certain friendships shouldn’t have been formed in the first place, and it’s an even harder thing to act on it and stop the poison that has started to settle in. In that same sense, sometimes the friendships you never saw coming can take you out of the darkest spot in life and teach you how to smile when all you want to do is cry.
Looking back at your life and yourself can be a very scary thing- I can tell you this from doing it first hand. The great moments warm my heart, and the sad moments make me smile because I made it past them. Sometimes you wish you could go back and make better choices, or tweak some of them just a bit to make what you live through now a bit easier, but you can’t, so you have to learn to move forward.
It takes storms to realize what you have in your life, and how to never, ever take life for granted. I am married to an amazing man, and even with all the bumps our marriage has had… when he looks at me with that smile and those amazing eyes, I still melt. We had quite the year together- planning, saving, talking and walking and we made it. Craig, we are here.
I had a dream. I have actually several dreams, but this was the biggest one- to live in FL one day, minutes from WDW, and experience the magic and joy any time I want. I sit here, as I type this, in my FL home, where I will hear the fireworks from my living room this evening, and where I will enjoy the Parks tomorrow with my family. I wake up to the sun shining in my bedroom, and I wonder how I got here. You can plan for what seems like forever, but nothing can prepare you for your dream being realized.
A year ago I was turning 36, living in Appleton, WI, working, and talking about moving to FL some day. Tomorrow I will turn 37, living in Kissimmee, FL, playing in the sun with my family, and enjoying Epcot.
I. Am. Blessed.