Monday, December 28, 2015

Adios 2015

I didn't send out Christmas cards this year.  I've always said I was going to send out one, with the cute collage of family pictures, and the letter explaining our year, but it still hasn't happened.  And this year especially, I just wasn't feeling it.  I wasn't feeling especially festive, and I didn't want to send out a Debbie Downer Christmas letter, because it may have potentially gone a little something like this:

This year has been a living hell.  Filled with one obstacle/tragedy/whatever!, after another, and it has really gotten this girl down. I wouldn't relive this year if someone offered me some obscene amount of money.

It started in mid-January when they announced they were putting my grandma on hospice, followed by my mom's wreck, a major surgery for one of my uncles, my aunt having stints put in her heart, my cousin's house burning to the ground, a very personal tragedy for another of my cousins, and possibly the most heart wrenching, my grandma's passing in April... and that was all in the first 5 months of the year.  The in between times were filled with an exceptionally challenging year at work, toddler challenges, and the stress brought on by everything combined.

By the time it was all said and done with my mom (if you didn't hear about her wreck, here is the scoop), she had 11 surgeries under her belt, stays at 3 different hospitals, and a total of over 40 days spent in the hospital combined.  It was crazy scary, exhausting, and heart wrenching to watch her hurt and struggle.  She is officially out of her wheelchair now, having turned it back in to the company she rented it from, but no where near 100%.  The sad reality is this:  This may be her new 100%.  This, walking with a severe limp, and moving slowly and cautiously, may be as good as it gets for this one time go-getter.  And I've never witnessed something so frustrating as watching my mom struggle, and just wishing I could fix that damn leg.

Grandma lost her fight on April 9, never getting to say goodbye to mom because she was not able to travel other than to and from the hospital at the time.  That has to be what is weighing on my heart the hardest about this year.  The two most important women in my life, both crying over each other.  And I can't fix it.  I will never have that chance, or the power to do so.  And I miss her.  Oh, I miss her terribly.  My world just hasn't seemed right since April 6, the last time I heard her voice.

Work has been especially crazy.  I lost a couple of girls due to career changes, and have hired more, which involves training, and coaching, both for them and myself.  I have some pretty high expectations put on me, both by myself and the higher ups, because of the good numbers my team has always pulled.  Because of that, this year was by far the most stressful I have experienced as a manager.   

To top all of that off, we have preteen hormones, and toddler tantrums running rampant through this house, and my dog that I had had since I was a senior in high school died.  He was my first side kick, and the best feet cuddler ever.  Some days, it was hard to pick if home, work, or Zimbabwe was where I wanted to be.  There were days where running away had never sounded so good.  There were plenty of days where the sound of my phone going off made me want to vomit.  Locking out the world seemed like the better option for a good portion of this year, however unrealistic it actually was.  I just didn't have that option...

So I trudged through.  And I made it.  Always looking for the silver lining in that proverbial cloud, I do have a lot to be thankful for this year.  First off, I made it through it all.  "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  Yeah, I have heard that quote, but didn't really want to test it out again.  Second, my mom made it through it.  I don't know that I could have made it through all of this without her, so we were kind of a package deal there.  Third, I got 32 full years with the most amazing, loving woman I ever could have known.  If I can end up being half of the woman that my grandmother was, I will consider myself a huge success.  Fourth, while my career was more exhausting and stressful than ever before this year, it also prospered, and grew.  My client base grew, my skills as a stylist, and definitely as a manager and leader grew, so how can I consider that anything but a success.  And last but not least, my kids are GOOD.  They're healthy, they're happy, and they're smart.  And they love their mom... HUGE success right there.  No greater reward.

While it was definitely the most challenging year I have faced to date, it wasn't all bad.  There were definitely some bright spots.  In January, adding another iron to the fire, I signed on with Mary Kay as an Independent Beauty Consultant.  I have taken a trip to Dallas, hosted several parties, and actually made some money!  So far, I am loving it, and have found that it is actually enhancing my career as a hair stylist as well.  It all kind of goes hand in hand.  In June, I got to take a trip, with Ashlynne, to NC to see one of my lifelong best friends.  While we were down there, we took a side trip to Myrtle Beach, where we met up with my "sister from another mister", Jordan, and I finally got to get my hands on her perfect baby girl, Sadie.  While in Myrtle, Ashlynne tried to buy a "tobacco" pipe, and then a matter of minutes later, smelled what it is that pipe was really used for when we walked through a cloud of smoke on the board walk.  She also got to see some "working girls".  I would say the trip was pretty enlightening for her.  Toto wasn't in Kansas anymore.  Gavin had his first year of tackle football.  He learned so much, and had a blast getting in those pads every week.  And I was so proud watching my little bruiser out on that football field.  Breckyn played her first year of tball, and Logan his first year of coach pitch, and both survived and enjoyed it!  Logan survived another entire summer with us, and I think actually had fun!  Breckyn and Ashlynne both did their first year of dance and had some adorable recitals.  My children have always been my driving force, and this year, I really had to lean on that.

I also had two other friends that both had happy, healthy baby girls.  I so much enjoy watching my friends have babies, and look forward to getting spoil their kids as they have done with mine.  And through all of this I have learned that I have some pretty amazing friends, and a lot of people in my life that really love me.  Sure, I had some people that I expected to be there that let me down, but that was the least of my worries when I looked around and saw the overwhelming amount of support I had.  So one thing I guess you could say that I wouldn't change this year, is that, becoming more clear.  If ever I had a doubt about whether or not my friends would be there for me, there was no reason to doubt that now.  I hope that I never have to repay the favor in the form of what they did for me, but I would do it in a heartbeat if life played that card.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
from my family to yours!!
So I will gladly close the door on this year, and welcome 2016 with open arms.  If new years are about new beginnings, then let's begin it already.  2016 has GOT to be a better year than this one.  I am going to make it a better one.  That's my goal.  I won't let the hard knocks of life take another year from me.  I'm going to take this new beginning, and run with it.  Look out world, cuz this girl is on a mission.

Happy New Year!