Today is the last day of my thirty-third year, and what a year it has been! I think that the last year has probably had the most life-changing events for me personally than any other in the past (barring the birth of my children, that is). There has been a fair few ups and downs this past year, and most of them have contributed to the person that I am now on this, the eve of my thirty-fourth birthday. Sure, events from every year of our lives shape the people that we are today - experiences alter our view of things, mistakes help us to learn to do better, and successes help drive us forward - but it sometimes happens that some years are almost non-eventful, while others have a spate of occurrences that somehow wake you up from the Plodding Through Life slumber. My thirty-third year definitely falls into the latter category.
My birthday falls on the 24th, so technically I can't include all of July in my recap of the last year, but the last week of July in 2009 can definitely be mentioned. I remember waking up in a mixed mood. I was feeling a bit down because my husband was starting his annual two weeks of working away from home that day, so I only got to see him for an hour or so - not the best start to my birthday. But then I logged into Facebook and was bombarded with lots and lots of lovely birthday messages, which cheered me up no end. I saw my husband off and spent the day opening cards and gifts, then finished it with a few friends sharing a celebratory drink with me. Lovely!
August can best be described as a blur of madness. Most days were spent trying to entertain my kids in the limbo that is The Summer Holidays. *cringes* All would be well and good if we actually had decent weather and plentiful funds, but when most of the days are rainy and miserable, and finances are tight, entertaining two highly active children for almost seven weeks is exhausting. Yup, August was a bit of a blur.
Back to school joy-ness! Soon to be followed by back to school annoy-ness. *snort* Schools tend to hit you with purse-emptying events in the first month of the academic year. As if being skintified by the Buying School Uniform Gloominess wasn't enough, we are bombarded by school photos, school trips and 'fund raising' events in the very first few weeks of term. Still, at least we don't have to worry about entertaining the kids so much now, eh?
I started blogging! The first big 'up' of the last year.*grins* I never thought I would ever start blogging - it's not really something that a procrastinator does because blogging generally means commitment. I did really well in my first month, and blogged every day. I made a few new friends, had a ball writing the daily blogs, and discovered that my personal brand of craziness was mostly accepted by the blogging community. Awesome!
I wrote a novel! Seriously, I did! *faints* NaNoWriMo sucked me in for the first time ever, and not only did I finish my 50,000 word novel, I also blogged every day too (well, I missed one day, but I don't hold it against myself *winks*). I introduced requests to my blog this month too, and also let loose on the general public the loony-ness that is Taff. Best month ever, November. *nods*
December passed swiftly, what with the Christmas build-up and the general busy-ness that it brings, and the extra excitement added from the daughter because her birthday falls so close to the festive season. Mostly a good month, but with some underlying tension which was a prelude to what was to come....
January through March 2010
Dire, very dire. New Year's day brought with it a change in my personal circumstances, and this change led to a very big dip in my well-being. I've always been prone to periods of depression throughout my adult life, but usually I pulled out of them all by myself. This time it took my GP to pull me back from the abyss. After several attempts, my doctor finally found the right medication for me, but it wasn't until the end of March that I started to feel more like myself. Although the first quarter of 2010 were the worst months of my life, they actually caused me to take a step back and reconsider a lot of things. I finally lost the bulk of the weight that had literally been bogging me down for the last seven years. Okay, the first twenty pounds fell off me with no effort at all - not eating or sleeping properly for a month will do that for you - but the next twenty pounds came away through sheer doggedness and refusal to slip back into bad habits. Coupled with the new determination to look my best was a change of attitude in general. After too many years of plodding along through life, I finally took charge and allowed myself to be heard. I let myself speak up for the things that I wanted, and for the first time in a long time I didn't always put everyone else first. I'll never say that I am grateful for the circumstances that started this chain of events, but I can honestly say that I would probably still be stuck in a rut if they hadn't have happened. It's funny how the worst things in life sometimes lead to the best things. Maybe there is a God up there after all, and maybe He does work in mysterious ways.
I really started to get back to my usual self around about here, which could be taken two ways. For the good, I no longer turned into a cry-baby on a regular basis, so the episodic depression was thankfully under control. Unfortunately, the return of my normal self brought with it the return of the Procrastination Princess, so while it was nice to be in control of my feelings, the downside was knowing that my bad habits were slowly but surely creeping back into my life. But do you know what? Despite the fact that procrastination isn't really something to be proud of, I actually like being like this. I think if I became this organised person who did everything properly and kept to deadlines and what-not, I wouldn't be me. And for the first time ever, I am happy with who I am, procrastinator or not.
The epic fail of BuNoWriMo should really have put me back into the Pit Of Doom, but thanks to the new-found acceptance of myself, I wasn't bothered that I didn't manage to complete my second WriMo. Oh, I felt disappointment in myself, sure, but it wasn't the kind of disappointment that sucked me into LaLa-Land and made me want to crawl into a corner and hide. I was able to shrug off the failure and see it for what it was - a blip in the general plan, but not something that would affect the rest of my life. I also started back at my old job this month, which in spite of the impact it will have on my writing, is actually a good thing. Getting out of the house for a few hours every week is actually fantastic for getting you out of a rut, and although I was feeling better in a lot of ways, I was still stuck in the Waste Time Just Because I Can zone. Now that my days are structured according to whether I am working or not, I have to fit things in as and when I can. Gone is the There's Always Tomorrow attitude, and it has been replaced with the Acckkk!! I Have To Do It Now Or Else It Will Never Be Done attitude. So despite having to get up at stupid o'clock three days a week, and having to deal with snarky customers and figures that don't always balance, going back to work was a good thing.
Arriving back at my birthday again, in summary I would say that although the badness of last year probably outweighed the goodness, I am still in a much better place than I was on the eve of my thirty-third birthday. I'm healthier (dropping 40lbs was the best thing ever), I'm happier, both with myself and with my life in general, I've written a freaking novel - ! - and although far from being Blogger of the Year, I have mostly stuck with it and not delegated this blog to the Abandoned Projects pile (which is precariously teetering on the brink of collapsing owing to the size of it).
So that was the year that was.