Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Retrospective - We Survived!

As 2010 comes to a close, I feel the need to look back before looking forward.  2010 was a rough year on my hubby, Craig, and me.  And it would be fairly easy to focus only on the negatives, but there were some positives this year.  Positives that I take for granted, as they get lost amongst all the negatives.

2010 started with a lifestyle change, as I returned to school after being in the workforce for about 6-7 years.  I went back to finish my Bachelor of Commerce degree, and I was excited!  We both knew that sacrifices would have to be made, going from 2 incomes to 1.  I just didn't know how much my income made life so much easier for us financially.  No more impulsive purchases, everything had to be planned.  Easier said than done.

The stress of being back in school caught up with me in March, and I had blinding headaches for a month.  I still managed to keep my grades up though!  I even had one professor offer a letter of reference if I decided to pursue graduate school!  That just blew my mind!  Graduate school hadn't even crossed my mind; I just wanted to finish my degree.

I became a PartyLite Consultant back in Dec 2009, in the hopes to supplement our income.  It's been an up and down adventure.  I've learned a lot about myself and running a business.  I still haven't got it figured out yet, but I've met some amazing people, in person and online on FB, that I wouldn't have if I wasn't a consultant!

However, in June, my focus changed from supplementing income to finding stable income as Craig went on short-term disability for 3 months.  Not only were we living on one income, that one income was now reduced.  But finding a part-time job was not easy.  I finally found one in July, but hours were dependent on events going on and the pay was lousy.  I stuck it out until the end of August, when I couldn't take it anymore!  The stress of worrying about Craig's well-being, lack of finances, combined with returning back to school led to myself giving myself an ulcer - which lasted almost 2 months.  As a result, I missed a lot of classes and this semester was not up to my standards.  It took me a while, but I've come to accept this fact and not beat myself up over it.

It hasn't been an easy year for Craig either.  May, he tore his hamstring (it was black and ugly-looking).  June, he fractured his left elbow and displaced his right elbow, making him unable to work.  Plenty of visits to the orthopedic surgeon and the physiotherapist.  The last visit to the orthopedic surgeon was 3 weeks ago, and finally we received good news!  No surgery required and no more physio as the fracture is 80% healed!  We'll overlook the fact that he pulled his calf 2 weeks ago..LOL!

So looking back, we survived a year of a lot of adversity!  The positives may have also got lost in this post, so I'll finish off with it (in no particular order):
  • I'm one semester away from finishing my degree!
  • Craig's almost healed!
  • We were able to spend the summer together!
  • I've met some amazing people because of being involved in PartyLite!
  • Our marriage has grown stronger by surviving all this adversity!
Here's to hoping the New Year brings us love, success, prosperity, and health (no more injuries please)!  I wish the New Year brings you and yours the same!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's Always Nice to Hear Kind Words

"Sometimes in life, what is, is good.  And what is good, is good enough."
*Sigh*  After the semi-meltdown last night, I have been met with kind words of support.  Thank you to Nanny Anna for leaving the comment you did - it's nice to know that someone else has gone through what I'm struggling with and was successful in changing that train of thought. 

I am realizing what's behind my way of thinking and I'm slowly trying to correct it.  Actually, I've realized two things which both set me up for failure (both learned while I was growing up - though I'm not that old!)
  1. No matter what I achieved, it was never good enough.  When I reached the bar that was set, it kept getting raised.
  2. I've learned to be dependent on others to function.
Unconsciously, I still do both.  I keep raising the bar, and by doing that, I will never be satisfied.  And on some level, I keep victimizing myself therefore enabling me to ask for help.  So here is my new year's resolution: to know that good is good enough and celebrate the good, and learn how to stand on my own two feet.  I am very lucky to have the support system that I have, but I need to rely on them less.  My hubby has taken too much of the burden on himself - it's time that I help carry the load.

So I am back to celebrating the invite I received yesterday! =)

Can't Sleep...Too Much on My Mind

It's been a while since I've posted and since I can't sleep, I thought now's a good time to write and maybe it'll help.  Don't mind me as I ramble on.

There are some nights when I have no idea why I'm still wide awake.  And there are nights like these when I know exactly why I'm awake.  I tend to do most of my thinking (and worrying) at night - when the house is quiet and the only thing I here are my own thoughts.  There are plenty of nights where I wish I could just shut off all thoughts that go through my mind.  Tonight is one of those nights.

For those who know me, you will know that I feel guilty about anything and everything.  I've been told that I always see the glass as half-empty, and that I blame myself for everything that goes wrong, whether it was in my control or not.  I fixate on what went wrong instead celebrating what went right.  I'm working on it, but it's going to be a lot of work when you lived most of your life thinking this way.  Again, my way of thinking is being tested and I am reverting back to my negative train of thought.  That's why I'm awake, as it's eating away at me.

Today, in the mail, I received an invitation from Grant MacEwan to join their inaugural chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society for my academic achievement!  I was so surprised and excited and proud at the same time!  I couldn't believe what I was reading!  I showed the letter to my mom and my hubby, I was so happy!  But then my mind took over and sabotaged my moment of pride.  This invitation is based on my academic standing now, and does not include this semester.  If they would've included this semester....well let's just say I wouldn't have received the invite.  It's been a horrible semester - one I'll be lucky to survive.

So rather than be proud of what I've achieved over the course of basically my adult life (MacEwan has credited courses I took back in 2000), I'm focused on the failure that is this semester and can't help feeling like a fraud.  I even accepted the invite right away, because I thought that way they couldn't take it away from me.  Now all I can think about is the chapter inauguration event next Feb (I believe) and feeling like I don't belong, like I'm some kind of fraud. 

I know my grades are going to take a hit after this semester.  And I know it's not the end of the world, but I can't help but feel like I've let my family down and most importantly, I let myself down.  My family's made a lot of sacrifices in order for me to return to school.  Part of me knows the reason why this semester is not up to my standards is due to missing 1 1/2 months of classes because I was sick, and a couple other reasons.  But the negative me keeps telling myself that those are just excuses and that I'm responsible for the situation that I'm in.  This is the part of me I'm working on but it's overwhelming me right now.

I am trying to keep the Serenity Prayer in my mind, as a way to redirect the negative thoughts, but it doesn't seem to be working.

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Been MIA - last post was Nov 25 yikes!

A lot has happened since Nov 25, which kept me away from sitting down to write.  I've been struggling to keep everything balanced - the point of this blog (though it may not always seem like it).  I started this blog with the intention of helping myself, and thought that maybe someone out there could relate and know someone else is going through it too. 

I have many thoughts that run through my head - constantly.  I've learnt (the hard way) that everyone has their limits.  And I don't mean that in a bad way, there's only so much one person can do.  I've learnt over the years that I hold onto stuff for too long, that I feel guilty about everything that doesn't go right, and that I blame myself without looking at the circumstances.  I've weighed myself down with burdens, real and perceived.  I've tried to control things that weren't in my control.  I am slowly letting go of that negative thinking - slowly, but I'm getting there.

However, this past week and a half really tested me and my way of thinking.  On Saturday, Nov 27, I had a PartyLite Party for one of my friends.  I had been looking forward to it all month!  She and I had worked at the place that my husband still works at.  But before the party, she told me that a former coworker of my husband's had been killed in a car crash the day before.  I was shocked.  I didn't know him, but he had worked with my husband as well as my friend.  On Sunday, Nov 28, I was a vendor at my very first trade show and had a lot of fun!  A couple bumps in the road but I'll be more prepared next time.  I was just about to walk in the door from being on my feet for almost 8 hours, when my husband sent me a message saying that his aunt had just passed away.  We knew she didn't have much time left as the cancer on her spine had spread.  I never had the chance to meet her, as she lived on the other side of the country in New Brunswick, but she did send us something when we got married and Christmas cards. 

It was hard the next couple of days (still is).  I had homework to do but couldn't concentrate on.  I couldn't focus on deadlines, forgot an appointment, and just wasn't very productive in a time when I needed to be (I have 2 days of classes left before final exams - eeks!).  I've spent A LOT of time on Facebook to distract myself.  I've experienced a roller coaster of emotions - excitement, grief, panic, guilt.  My husband has been busy working, and has shown some emotion but not a lot.  Me?  I wear my emotions on my sleeve.  Him?  Not so much.  That's the way he is, plus I know he doesn't want to add to my worries.  But I will be there if and when he needs me.

I know I'm lucky to have married a guy like him.  He's willing to take the weight of the world off my shoulders and put it on his.  And I'm grateful for all that he does for me.  But part of me thinks we should share the load.

Okay, I've rambled on long enough for now.  Thanks for listening and letting me vent.