Monday, January 3, 2011

a look back at 2010.

It was a hard year for a lot of people, ourselves included. As I thought back on 2010 I realized just how much of it seemed to have been spent at doctor’s offices, in bed, or at therapy appointments… all for me. I am grateful that my children were largely healthy for the year (aside from K getting his tonsils out and having a large mole removed from his back, P breaking her arm and needing a lot of miserable skin treatments for other problems, and Kyle getting tubes in his ears). I am not sure how we would have juggled much more. I think I went to the grocery store maybe 6 times during the year. I’m grateful I had a good store of food storage to use and a husband who could pick up some things here and there. January started with my wisdom teeth coming out, getting horribly infected, then getting braces on before they were even fully healed. By the end of February I was having serious vertigo problems that were leaving me largely bedridden for days at a time. It took over a month before an ENT finally determined that I had gotten a minor traumatic brain injury and damaged my otolith (something in your inner ear) back when I had fallen and hit my head on the stairs in October (also the reason for the braces, to realign my messed up bite). So it was that in either March or April I began physical therapy at the Werner Institute. It was a long, painful, sometimes sickening process as I had to have multiple epiley maneuvers and experienced many setbacks. I went twice a week for an hour every single week until the beginning of September. What a blessing it is to move around normally! To be able to ride in a car (or even drive), especially at night, without feeling like you’re going to throw up… to be able to pick something up off the ground or turn side to side without feeling like you’re going to either throw up or fall over… to be able to feel awake and not worn out from your brain working overtime just to keep you upright. I still experience the effects if I get worn down, overly stressed, or sick…but it’s not nearly as bad and I even find myself grateful for a very clear signal from my body that forces me to stop everything and just rest. I went straight from physical therapy to being involved in a wonderful 12-week therapy group called SOLE (Survivors of Life Experiences). That ended at Thanksgiving and we filled the last month of the year with appointments as we had met our deductibles.

While it seems that much of the year was spent in a fog I realized that it was a year of tremendous growth and lessons learned. I learned much about humility and patience. I gained much more of these attributes than I ever honestly thought I’d have. I learned that when something heals wrong you have to break it to fix it the right way. This is often incredibly painful. Even though we have the remarkable ability of adapting to cope and survive, it doesn’t mean that those mechanisms we develop are the best for us and at some point we must examine and correct where needed. I learned that my Heavenly Father loves me for me and that He loves me for my imperfections…that I do not need to be perfect to receive His love and approval. I learned that if we pray for a change of heart and for humility, we will surely receive… That it does not have to be a heart-wrenching experience as we feel pride crushed, but rather it is an opening experience as we are better able to receive the Lord in our lives and feel His presence more than ever. I learned how to just let things go. I experienced a powerful Priesthood blessing from someone unaware of my circumstance that gave me unmeasured blessings and showed me just how much my Heavenly Father truly is aware of my every need, often even before I am. I experienced many answers to prayers as I received confirmation from multiple sources… giving me greater confidence in myself and my ability to receive personal revelation. I was blessed to be able to see others through the eyes of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and to glimpse the love they feel for us. I learned how much I need others and yet how much I don’t…how very capable I am. I learned to experience peace and joy in the midst of chaos and imperfect circumstances. I grew…and I am grateful.

Also, I found this list that I had made at the beginning of 2010. I prefer to make ‘affirmations’ rather than goals and see how many come to pass. My health issues threw a wrench into a few things but I’m pretty happy with where I ended up. Here is the list I’d made:

In 2010 I will:
- Read at least 20 books Done

- Finish rereading the Book of Mormon Done

- Take a name to the temple Done

- Lose all this baby weight (and yes, I’m still going to call it that even though my baby will turn 2 this year), slowly but surely so that it stays off uhhh….yeahhhh…

- Go on a hike each month was getting done until I could no longer hike as the walking made me dizzy and nauseous 

- Pay off AT LEAST one or two creditors Done

- Attend the temple each month Done (minus Dec  but I was going weekly for a few months so that must count)

- Be more provident by preparing my own mixes for ready-use Done

- Learn to can (no, not can-can) I made some jam that didn’t really set and I canned some dry mixes, does that count?

- Teach Will and Pammie to play piano uhhhh

- Paint something Done

- Focus each day not on making my house clean, but instead on helping it be more clean more often Done

- Take one photo each day to document what our life is like This went out the door as soon as I spent a full week unable to even get out of bed without help to go to the bathroom.

So I’m pretty satisfied with it. This year’s list looks something like this:

In 2011 I will:

- Finish reading the New Testament

- Read 20 books again

- Attend the temple monthly

- Pray daily

- Pay off at least another two creditors

- Write a letter to someone each month

- Document our lives (whether it be regular blogging, daily pics, journaling…dunno)

- Have regular one-on-one time with each of my kids

- Spend 5 hours a week in personal meditation, reflection, scripture study etc as challenged by our Stake President

- Get my kids all doing regular chores

- Lose at least 20 pounds….preferrably all the rest I have to lose as well

- Live within a budget and record finances

- ‘DeJunk’ weekly

- Go on at least 6 hikes

- Go camping

- Sew each kid a pair of pajama pants and myself a full outfit

- Update the favorites recipe book I compiled

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