For our God is a consuming fire.

-Hebrews 12:29

Monday, January 19, 2009

Beginning of Year: Fire Quest 2009

For one of my first posts, I'm 'leveraging' a list of End of Year reflection questions from Light, Sweet, Crude's blog. Thank you for the idea! This look back helps the thought for a forward look into 2009, and my '09 resolutions are included.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
A.) At the end of the year, I joined Weight Watchers. I've had 15-20 lbs of excess almost since the day I got married (note to self: cruises do not foster an environment of portion control) I finally broke down and admitted that I needed some help in getting these pounds OFF. I know how to do it. I just wasn't. So I signed up and have been going to meetings and 'sporadically' tracking food intake for 6 weeks now. It's helping. I've been exercising more regularly and I'm much more aware of how MUCH food I'm consuming. I've even lost 3 lbs. I think if I cut way back on wine intake, the lbs will fall off that much more quickly.

B.) Gave myself a demotion back into a job I actually enjoy.

C.) Cooked a completely VEGAN Thanksgiving meal.
Spent Thanksgiving just the two of us.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next this year?
Alas, I was not at all regular in sticking to my resolutions for 2008. I did MORE of those things, but they were far from daily. I will, however, make and have made, resolutions for 2009. I will even post them here on the off chance that anyone reads them, they will be that much more transparent and me likewise accountable.

1. Memorize 1 scripture/week
2. Plant a veggie garden
3. Show off my tattoo w/out shame by bathing suit season (aka, get in better shape)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my friend Jewels had beautiful twin boys. This is the first close friend of my generation to have kid(s).

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Thank you, Lord!

5. What countries did you visit?
In 2008, I stayed 100% on U.S. soil; though I came close to Canada whilst in Seattle.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Peace - of mind, of globe.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 8. We had a lovely day attending the Green Festival in DC. I remember sitting in traffic on the way home thinking streams of consciousness like "What a nice day. I'm tired. This weather is lovely. I wonder if something bad will happen to offset all these nice things?"

Why do I think things like that? Always waiting for the other shoe to drop when things are going well? 2 hours later I receive a call from my Dad that he, my mom and my granny were in a car accident. He and my Granny were doing fine. My mom, however took the brunt of the hit, was ambulanced to the hospital and was critical.

She'd broken an arm clean through and hit her head. They had to put her in a halo and we almost lost her completely. I saw her a week later, still in the hospital. My energetic, vibrant mother of 58, laying in bed helpless, unable to move without assistance, 4 steel pins drilled into her hed and a 35 lb. steel device permenantly attached to her to prevent her neck from moving.

I stayed a week with her, trying to help. 4 weeks after the accident, she was released from the hospital. Now, 2 months later, she is still in the halo, but is on the road to complete recovery!! THANK YOU, LORD!! She will probably get the halo off in another month, and I'm going back to visit for a weekend of mother/daughter beauty treatments and celebration.

This date is etched in my memory b/c it is the day priorities were reordered, true meaning in life became apparent. Our time here on earth is finite. We should be cherishing our loved ones, spending time with them, spending time enjoying everything this world and those in it have to offer. Even now, 2 months later, I am more of a hermit than I'd like to be. But I am VERY cognizant of the gift of life and family. I'm so thankful for my mother being spared.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I let go of my old career notions that I had to always be moving up the corporate ladder. I gave up a management role I despised for a 'lower pedestal' job that I enjoy and gives me a quality of life I crave. It was a big lesson for me, but having learned it at 33, I consider myself lucky!

9. What was your biggest failure?
I allowed my management job malaise to effect my daily attitude and outlook. I was depressed, overate, sluggish, bitter. I wish I had had the strength to confront that challenge and life consuming role with a 'what can I learn while in this?' approach. But, on the bright side (see #8) I DID learn something FROM the situation, and have extricated myself from that position.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I messed up my right knee carrying laundry up our basement stairs. Note to self: multiple trips are much better than physical injury.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our home! We moved from Florida back to the DC metro area and I LOVE LOVE LOVE our house.

12. Where did most of your money go?
See #11...and we were paying 2 mortgages for half the year b/c it took a while to sell our Florida home. Again, God is GOOD b/c 'a while' was only 7 months and in the current housing climate, it could have been so much worse.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving back to DC! I had a mantra in 2007: 33 and in DC and I did it. I turned 33 and we're living back in DC. Also, adding onto my tattoo. The husband and I got tattoos together to celebrate his 40th birthday. I love them both. Painful as a MUG. But I've already got a small itch to add on even more. :)

14. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Rattlin' Bones by Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter? About the same, but a bit more muscle.
c) richer or poorer? About the same financially, but I feel richer in spirit.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Written. Played music. Laughed. Prayed. Listened. Exercised. Thanked.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Complained. Taken for granted. Binged.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
In Florida, with loved ones.

19. Did you fall in love in 2008?
I was already in love with my husband, but 2008 brought challenges that we perservered through together. I believe this brought us closer to each other. I fell in love with the notion of having a child ourselves someday (which wavers only when in the presence of screaming children. Note I stated my love was of a NOTION. Not sure I've reached the full throttle love of the state of kids itself.)

20. What was your favorite TV program?
Oh the shame of this: I really enjoyed Gossip Girl. At the same time, I thought during each episode "I would NEVER let my kids watch this. This show deals with extreme adult content, yet they couch it as a show about highschoolers. Which means middle schoolers are watching it too, and there is NO WAY my middle schooler would be allowed to watch this." So, with that disclaimer, I enjoyed Gossip Girl.

I also tivo'd Top Chef, Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, The Office, and Boston Legal. Perhaps I should not be watching so much tv...

21. What was the best book you read?
I am polygamist, serial book reader. I regularly read several books at once; often non-fiction, reading only the parts that interest me most and rarely cover-to-cover. That being my disclaimer and having enjoyed parts of Andrew Weil, Dean Ornish, Gardening, Raw Foods and other's book I DID read in it's entirety was "I'm Not the New Me" by Wendy McClure. It was amusing, and I related to her story of trying to lose weight and not herself in the process.

22. What was your favorite film of this year?
I didn't get out to many movies at the theatre. I did see Sex and the City, Kung Fu Panda, Burn After Reading. We had netflix, but I don't really recall anything stellar from that either. Come to think of it, I've been considering cancelling for a while now. I think I will. Less tv/movie media is needed in my life all the way around!

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33 in September 2008. I took the day off work, got a massage and wrote in my journal. Sounds like a lovely, relaxing day. Unfortunately, the massage went awry and I could hardly walk out of the place. I had a general sense of malaise the whole day. I decided to shake it off and not make it omen-like for my 33rd year. And thus far, the shaking bad things off approach has worked! Note to self: I am in control of my emotions. I only allow myself to be affected by negative influences or self-talk. I can change how I view circumstances to be positive and opportunistic.

24. What kept you sane?
My mother and my husband.

25. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I get a kick out of the wording of this question. Jessica and Ashlee Simpson are not celebrities I fancy (get it? Fancy is Jessica Simpson's perfume. I truly think the name is terrible. Not thrilled about the scent either.) But I did reguarly look them up online to see about their latest, ridiculous quote, event or wardrobe choice. Sometimes, just seeing how people with fame and fortune lead lives I'd never want, made me feel better about any minor issue I was facing.

26. Who did you miss?
My Papa. Every day for 5 1/2 years.

27. Who was the best new person you met?
A now colleague that I hired early on the year. She's smart, curious, lovely, a Christian and I think she is going to go far in whatever path she chooses.

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