Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 304 of 365

I'm not one for New Year's parties. I'm not one for New Year's resolutions either.

Just looking back over 2011 I could never have predicted how my life would have changed.

A year ago this week I had yet another surgery. A lengthy one-armed recovery at my daughter's apartment. Months of even more physical therapy. When the therapy stopped, I counted. Thanks to the back issues and surgeries, 17 of the previous 18 months were spent in physical therapy.

I started a blog. I've been writing and taking a picture every day.

I was able to return to work part-time. I promised myself I wouldn't overwork myself but I did.

I sewed like crazy for kids' and military causes. I did more sewing this year than all my other years combined. When given a choice on my birthday of a new sewing machine or a heck of a lot of quilt batting, I chose the batting. I started filming how-to videos of crafts and cookies and posted them on You Tube.

We grew a vegetable garden and I was able to can and freeze things from the garden. Thanks to my two new post-surgery shoulders I could hang up my laundry on the clothes line for the first time in a couple years. I spent a lot of time sitting on the patio watching momma hummingbird feed her baby.

I had to start giving myself extremely expensive shots to combat arthritis. My hair started falling out. My arthritis didn't get better. I rode an exercise bike every single day. And then I stopped biking and started walking. And then I tried exercise videos, and eventually I stopped exercising at all.

I stayed up late with my daughter taking pictures of lightning. I traveled to the casino by myself and spent the night. I hated it and came home. I started riding the bus to the casino for the day and liked it much better, well enough to go back a couple more times.

I de-cluttered and then stopped. Then I started up again. Then I bought new things and got rid of some old things.

I realized some people are interested in what I'm doing and what I'm saying. Over 15,000 people have visited here so far this year. (A sincere thank you to those who have been here for the sometimes bumpy ride.)

There would have been no way to predict where I would be right now. So no resolutions, no promises, and no hopes for the new year. Just something I found when I was cleaning up some papers this morning. I have no idea when I cut it out or where it came from, but it obviously struck a chord with me then and it still does now.

I'll be going into the New Year with this in mind.

And to you, I hope you have a safe and joyous New Year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 303 of 365

Out with the old, in with the new.

Yesterday I was lamenting about not getting any after-Christmas shopping done. Not 10 minutes after writing about it, boxes started arriving. (I forgot that I did some after-Christmas shopping online. It's pretty sad when you buy things and forget.) But how could I forget these things? Some of my before-Christmas things finally arrived yesterday, too. I've never quite a delivery day like it.

Box number one came in the mail. It was a box of things - all free - ordered from Vista Print. A wall calendar using pictures I'd taken and used on the blog. 250 business cards. (While I didn't need that many, I did need some. And these free ones are prettier than anything I could make myself.) A mug for my husband and a tote bag for me.

Box numbers two and three came by UPS. Two separate orders placed on two separate days arrived in two separate boxes at the same time. A new bag for work to hold all the files I transport back and forth. (Now my mom can have her bag back that I borrowed in August.) Also, a new binder. Maybe a new coupon binder to replace my other one?

Box number four came by Fed Ex. The first generation iPod that has been sitting in a desk drawer for a couple years since it doesn't work has been recalled by Apple because of a battery/fire hazard. They are replacing them with a sixth generation iPod, so box number four was the empty box I use to return it in. (As soon as they get this old one, they'll send me the other one.)

Box number five came from another Fed Ex van. I ordered a copy of a Children's Writer's Market book (a serious writer needs good resources) and a Roku, a thing I've had my eyes on for quite a while. It plays videos from the internet so I now can watch movies in my bedroom while my husband is downstairs watching his sports. Woo hoo!

So in the last week the out with the old, in with the new tally:
  • 2011 calendar out, 2012 in.
  • Old coupon binder out, new coupon binder in.
  • Old work bag out (back to my mom), new one in.
  • Thanks to a Christmas present, an old iron out, new iron in.
  • Thanks to another Christmas present, old slippers out, new slippers in.
  • Old Writer's book out, new in.
  • Goodbye Sonicare toothbrush, hello Oral B rechargeable.
  • Old iPod out, new iPod in. 
  • Old haircut out, new haircut in. 

I have been growing my hair long (from the previous short, short, spiky cut) so I could cover some of my balding/thinning/receding hairline issues caused by the chemotherapy drugs. But I've grown tired of so much long hair falling out everywhere. While I didn't return to my short, spiky locks, I did go with a much shorter cut than I've been wearing. A cut just long enough on top to hide what needs to be hidden on my head.

I was going to add "out with the rain and in with the sun" to the list but had to retract that. As I was in town the rain clouds started moving out in a very definitive line and the sun started moving in. Unfortunately the pollution from the factory clouded my picture a bit.