Happy New Year!

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.

Your Vision is the promise of what you shall one day be;

your Ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”

James Allen 

Tonight I’m celebrating New Year’s Eve the way I usually do. I’m listening to music, trying not to let the kids get too wired because they are staying up later than normal, thinking that it’d be so much quieter if I just put them to bed now, and thinking about the last year and the new one. I don’t make resolutions for the New Year. It’s hard to keep them and I always end up beating myself up if I don’t keep them. Instead, I think about what I’d like to learn in the next year. What do I want to accomplish? Have I realized any of my dreams? This last year was a hard one for me. I lost a very dear friend in May, had to put down two of our beloved cats, one in June and the other in October, and I lost my dad in November. I have other friends who lost one of their parents this year as well. It’s been a really tough year.

So, all day I’ve been trying to think about the positives that happened to me.

Positive thing one: I got out of the expensive apartment I had been living in and moved into a house, a rental, sure, but better than where I was.

Positive thing two: I let go of a lot of control over things that I needed to let go of, that mainly being my eldest son. This was a double-edged sword in way. My son, Sean, approached me about going to live with his dad, my ex-husband. He’s 17 years old and a junior in high school. I knew I could tell him no and make him stay but what would that accomplish? I thought a lot about it and I knew it was time to let him go. It was his way of cutting the apron strings so to speak. I gave him my agreement and blessing. I think he was surprised that I didn’t try to talk him out of it. There was no need for it. I miss him like crazy every day but at the same time, it is a bit of a relief to not have to worry about him as much. That’s not to say I don’t worry. I’m his mom. But I know he’s in a safe place and seems happy. I see him whenever he decides he needs a break from his dad and that’s good for both of us. Our relationship is improving with time and I think he’s learning to see me differently as I am him.

Positive thing three: I started losing weight. From January of 2011 to March 2013 I was wearing a size 12. In March 2013 I was 167 pounds. I’m a 5’3” tall woman. That’s the biggest I have ever been in my life. I was miserable. I wanted to lose the weight but I didn’t have the drive. When we moved into our house I had to do almost all of the moving. I started losing weight but it was just the natural progression of exercise on a body. Slowly the weight came off. In November, with my dad’s passing, I realized I wanted better for myself. There is so much I haven’t accomplished and I need to start. So I started watching my portions and completely giving up sodas. I’ve had a few over Christmas but I have discovered they don’t taste as good as they did. I’ve had more water and tea instead. As of today I have reached 138 pounds. I’m proud of that. I don’t believe in fad dieting or even dieting in general. I think a balanced diet, portion control, exercise, and a lot of common sense will do more for you than dieting. Plus, it’s natural, not chemical. Nature rules in my opinion.

I’ve had more positives but these are the big ones to me. I’ve learned so much this year from all of it. I’ve learned to give in with grace, to listen to what my kids are really saying, that love never dies even though your heart feels like it will never love again, and that inspiration can come to you even from death. I’ve learned discipline over myself and my tongue, although I still have a long way to go. I’m learning to appreciate my own heart and talents, and I’m trying to recognize the positives in myself that have been buried for so long. I have lofty dreams and I intend to see them through.

So for you, a toast for New Year’s:

I hope 2014 brings new lessons for you to learn even though those lessons may be hard-it is our trials and errors that bring the greatest growth to us, that your positives outweigh your negatives, that you love with all your heart, and may you dream lofty dreams and become them.

Happy New Year!