Time after time…

And so, another year draws to an end.
Hogswatch is tomorrow (although we’re celebrating on Boxing Day), and the New Year is just a few days after.

Every year, I like to take some time to reflect on all that has happened, good and bad, to see my growth, and to assess where I want to be next year.  I’ll share with you a few of the highlights:

Morgan and I celebrated one year together, and a few short months after that, we came out publicly about our open relationship.  We received so much love from our friends, it was overwhelming to me.

I attended 3 weddings this year:  One for The Punknecks, one for my dear friends Jody and Jeff, where I was a pirate wench bridesmaid, and the most recent was on Saturday: Wasaabi and Karissa, where I was asked to stand up as a bridesmaid…I was honored to have been a part of all three.

Two of my besties also had a beautiful baby girl, Calliope, who is my goddaughter.  Once again, I was overwhelmed with emotion and joy.  Calliope is a beautiful baby, good tempered, and very smiley.

I embarked on a journey towards reclaiming my health, kicking some of my bad habits, and starting P90X.  In 90 days, I lost 15.9 pounds, 11 inches off my waist, and more from my hips and thighs.  My next weigh in is actually in a few days, and I think I’ve done well these last four weeks.    I’m eating better, making better choices, and getting myself active.  I’ve seen results in the fact that I, generally speaking, have fewer body aches and pains, and can fit into my clothing more comfortably again.

I’ve done 3 photo shoots this year, 2 with my fella Morgan…I’m pleased with the photos, and can’t wait to start diving into more modeling opportunities!

I’ve seen an outpouring of love from friends, during some hard times, financially and emotionally…

I’ve also started learning to play the guitar too.  This one started as a dream that I had one night, and has evolved into a desire to really learn more about music and to play another instrument.

Morgan and I became parents to an adorable furbaby:  Gentleman Jack, a beagle/dachshund mix, has been bringing us joy (and a bit of frustration) for the last month.  I love my sweet cuddle bug, and am so happy that we rescued him.

Of course…there have been some bad things…
Multiple costly car repairs have left us feeling drained, but the car runs, and is able to get me to work.  We didn’t raise as much as we needed for a down payment on a newer car, but we were able to afford the repairs with borrowing very little.

I’ve had some people in my life decide that they no longer wanted to be friends with me, which is sad to me, especially since they didn’t even talk to me about if there was a problem, but all in all, I see it as a positive.  No more needless drama, or ridiculous judgement.

The worst part of this year, however, happened just a week ago:  My best friend of 15 years, Jake, passed away.
He had been sick and struggling with all kinds of health problems for nearly or over a decade (the time frame when the problems started is hazy, but its close to 10-11 years ago).  Last week, his liver and kidneys failed, and he passed at home, surrounded by his family.  I consider myself extremely lucky to have received a phone call from Jake’s brother Donnie the day before he passed.  Jake couldn’t speak anymore, but I was able to speak to him, and to tell him goodbye, and that I loved him.  I’ve been a mess for the last week…good days, then bad…crying fits coming out of nowhere, this has by far been the hardest loss since my GrinGran passed away 13 years ago.
Even with this loss, I’m trying to keep a positive attitude:  Jake isn’t hurting anymore.  He isn’t in pain, he doesn’t have to go to the hospital every month…and he’s been reunited with his parents, sister, and friend Ryan.  The selfish part of me misses him, and always will, but I’m glad that I could say goodbye, and even more glad that he was surrounded by family and the people he loved.

In the coming year, perhaps driven a bit by the loss of a friend who was so young, and had his whole life ahead of him, my goals are simple:  I want to live every moment to the fullest.
I’m going to continue to try to live a healthier lifestyle, curbing more of my bad habits, and making better choices…being active, and trying new things.
I want to spend more time outside.
I want to start working on my “40 before 40” bucket list that a dear friend inspired me to start.
I want to play my guitar more.
I want to love more…be more accepting, more humble…less needy…less demanding.
I want to exercise love and tolerance.

I want to live, and be a better person.
I want to give freely of my love and time, to those who need it.

To all of you who have been a part of my year, thank you.  I love you so very much

A handful of special thanks:
To Karissa and Nina: my two best girlfriends…I love you guys.  I don’t know what I would do without your love, advice, and amazing spirits.  I hope that the year to come brings you two nothing but amazingness.
To Wasaabi:  I love you, my brother.  And I have to thank you for falling in love and making a baby with the awesomest woman who is now your wife.  I love you guys SO much…thank you for always being there, for your help, love, support, and your uncanny ability to make me laugh when I need it.
To Virginie and David: my dear amazing friends, a goal of mine this year is to spend MORE time with the two of you!  I love you both so much for the amazing support you’ve always offered, and for the brain stimulating conversations that we always have…the fun games, movies, drinks…I love you both so much, you are so dear to me.
To Jake:  I miss you so much, and I love you.  I’m glad that you aren’t hurting anymore.  Thank you for helping to shape me into who I am.  Keep an eye out on me…I’ll sing songs for you every now and then, and will always smile when I remember you.
And finally…to the love of my life, Morgan.  My sun and stars…moon of my life…you’re my everything.  As we approach our 2 year anniversary, I have to thank you.  Thank you for choosing to be with me.  Thank you for your affection, for your unwavering support, encouragement,  and love for me…we’ve been through some rough times this year, and you’ve stood by me no matter what…I hope you always know that I love you.  I will always love you.  Together, you and I can conquer the whole world.  I look forward to what this next year has in store for us…we’re going to do amazing things!  I love you so much.

To the rest of my beloved readers, even if I did not mention you by name, know that you are loved by me, and appreciated.   May your holidays be joyful and safe.
Good luck on your ventures in the coming year, and know that you have a supporter here,waving her pompoms for you.

Happy Hogswatch, and Happy New Year!

Me and Jack, the night we brought him home.

Me and Jack, the night we brought him home.

Jack and I at the shelter.  I fell SO in love with him when he climbed into my lap.

Jack and I at the shelter. I fell SO in love with him when he climbed into my lap.

My dear departed friend Jake, in his younger days...

My dear departed friend Jake, in his younger days…

My love and I.  photo by Bright Borders Photography

My love and I. photo by Bright Borders Photography

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