My New Year’s Resolution for the last few years has been “to make it better.” And at the end of the year I’ll I always ask myself “am I better off than I was a year ago?” It’s difficult for me to answer that question in 2013. There’s been some bad things that have happened to me, but there’s also been some good things to counter them. There’s been some challenges and there’s been some victories, but there’s also been some victories followed by complications. In many ways I feel that my life in 2013 was in a holding pattern. I wonder if this is the balance I’ve spoken of.
In my 2012 year end blog I mentioned that I knew my credit card debt would be paid off at some point in the first half of 2013. I accomplished that goal in March. Two of the best feelings I’ve ever had were the times I made the phone call to authorize the final payment towards my debt and a few weeks later when I saw the statement that said two simple words, “Debt Free.” From that point, I started a budget plan and by the end of the year I was finally able to start comfortably putting some money aside from each paycheck in an effort to build up some savings. Of course, I didn’t anticipate losing my job in the process. Yeah, that happened. I’ve been unemployed for just over one month now. A victory followed by a challenge. Am I better off than I was a year ago. Well, I’ve been in a better position in my life to be unemployed, so sure. I’m better there, but having no income is not better. Don’t worry, I’m working on fixing that issue.
I’ve written about my depression and my sadness a few times during the year. Those issues are still quite prevalent, and may always be, I don’t know. But I do know that during the month of unemployment, I did go into a funk which resulted in laziness and a bit of depression. Much like I’ve stated before, I don’t know which of those traits comes first, but they’re both there. I have always believed that my awareness of the issues is my key to combating them. I also believe that speaking about it helps, and so many of you that have reached out to me have shown me that no matter how lonely I may feel at times, I am truly not alone. So, it’s possible that while I may feel lonely, depressed, and lazy at the moment, I may actually be better off than I was a year ago.
I ran another 5k during the year. My time was not as good as my time in 2012. I did not match my previous time, nor did I meet the goal time I had. But, I DID finish the race in a respectable time. I’ve stated that I was not really thrilled my effort during the race, but I was satisfied with the result. I’ll call that a wash.
Early in the summer I had decided I wanted to be at a specific weight. I needed to lose 10 pounds to get there, or so I thought. I had actually gained 15 pounds without even realizing it. That post 30 slower metabolism is rough. So in order to lose the (now 25) extra pounds I changed my diet, started a stricter DDP Yoga regimen, and paid close attention to the calories I took in and burned during a day. As of now, with just a few hours left in 2013 I still have not met my goal weight, but I am within 5 pounds of it. I also understand that I did lose fat and gain muscle, which is a good thing. And despite not hitting my goal, I am still in the best shape of my life, so I’ll say that I am indeed better off than I was a year ago.
“My social life is no worse off than it was a year ago. In fact, I would say it’s a bit better. I’ve definitely made a few more friends and gotten closer to some people that were only acquaintances before. And both of those things are good things.
In last year’s year end blog I talked about obstacles in my way and my desire to move past them. I moved past as many of them as I could. As it turns out, some of them are not movable. But in those cases, I’ve learned to go around them or re-evaluate the situation to the best of my ability. Regardless of whether I got past them or not, I have no regrets to how I handled any of it.”
The last two paragraphs were taken directly from 2012’s year end blog. The sentiments from both paragraphs are echoed for 2013. I made some new friends, I got re-acquainted with some old ones, and strengthened a few relationships. I also have obstacles in my way that I haven’t been able to get past. But, I still do not regret any choices, actions, or feelings I have on any of those situations. I did what I did because it was the right thing to do at the time and in the long run. I would tell you that I”m stronger for my actions, but I’m still depressed over some of the results, or lack of, so goes back to that holding pattern. I am no better nor worse than I was a year ago.
Early in 2013, I lost my uncle. There was a long period of time that I had little to no contact with him or his side of the family due to issues that I really don’t understand fully. We had reconciled and had some good moments in late 2012, which made everything a bit easier for me. But also, while I lost my uncle in 2013 I also became an uncle in 2013. And, every time I see my nephew brings me so much joy. He’s actually a motivation for me to improve things in my life. I want to take him to a Yankees game when he’s old enough to enjoy it. And the way ticket prices are, I need to get myself a really good job to be able to start saving to possibly afford anything resembling good tickets for that. I don’t know if I can say that this is either better or worse, but it is part of the circle of life and there’s almost a balance to it.
I think 2014 will require changes to hit my goals. My goals for 2014 are somewhat simple. 365 days from now when I write a recap of 2013, I want to say “Yes, I AM better off than I was a year ago.” I want to say it with conviction and I want to see it without hesitation. I also want to be able to successfully pull off a Black Crow pose in DDP Yoga. I haven’t even come close to that yet.
I have two quotes that sum up things about life and I think are somewhat appropriate.
“Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda
I think, in some cases that’s easier said than done. I don’t want to go against the words of the great Jedi Master, but sometimes I feel that all I can do is try.
Over the past few years, I’ve been complemented by some people in regards to “how far I’ve come” in a short time. I’ve written about how I was never able to talk about feelings before, and I’ve come out of my shell a lot there. While other people are confused by my ability to discuss feelings, since I was never able to before. The quote I’m leaving you with sums up that area very well, and may even be part of my mantra for 2014
“Times change, and so must I… We all change. When you think about it, we’re all different people, all through our lives. And that’s okay, that’s good. You gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.” – The Doctor
congrats on becoming debt free. and congrats on running a 5k. congrats on losing weight AND getting in better shape.
and you are definitely not alone. and reading this i was reminded that i’m not alone either even though sometimes i am incredibly fucking lonely.
i still find it hard to reach out to people. it’s like… i don’t feel important enough? i don’t know…
2012 was the worst year of my life. i can easily say i was better off at the end of 2013, but that isn’t saying a lot. yay, i don’t hate myself anymore! it’s progress but i still feel so behind. or at least feel like i only undid some damage rather than actually growing, if that makes sense.
there’s still a huge gap between where i would like to be and where i am now.
i’m still trying to shake all the expectations i set up for myself in my early twenties. there’s this whole thing i had in my head about what was “supposed” to happen. and none of it happened.
i spent almost all of my 20s worrying about what someone else wanted and neglected myself.
i need to spend my 30s thinking about what I want. me. megan. what i REALLY want. not what i think is societally appropriate. not what i see my friends doing. just me.
i thought i had learned that – i’m important! and i thought i knew how to ask for what i want. but the end of 2013 i realized i was falling back on old habits. i was again trying to structure my life such that it was convenient and acceptable for someone else.
2014 started with physical pain. and when i finally decided to ask for what i wanted, i didn’t get what i was asking for. so came the emotional pain from investing in something that wasn’t paying me back.
hopefully i’ve gotten that out my system now.
i’m looking at where I want to live.
and considering if I want to go back to school.
and thinking about what I want to spend my time outside work doing.
and i’m just trying to take better care of myself in general. it’s important, but it’s the first thing that goes when i get depressed. then not taking care of myself makes me feel crappy about myself, etc.
it would be nice if i found someone to truly share my life with, who would share his life with me, but i can’t rely on that. that has to be after i take care of myself. and that will be hard for me. but i’m going to do it… i hope.
PS – i like that Doctor quote.
sometimes i want to wish away some (all?) of the pain, but i know that everything i have gone through, for better or worse, is what makes me ME. and i wouldn’t change a thing because if i did i would be someone else. i never want to be anyone other than myself. so i keep all my old selves in mind, even if i don’t care for them very much. without all that past, what is there?