Saturday 9: Baby, It's Cold Outside
Saturday 9: Believe

Sunday Stealing: Reflections On New Year's Eve

Link up here if you're playing along today!

Questions for a New Year’s Eve Reflection Meme

 1. What was the single best thing that happened this past year?
I could say it was moving back to Miami, or Rob retiring from the Navy, or any number of things. But the absolute best-best thing was when we were seriously down-and-out over the summer and early fall, and dozens upon dozens of people stepped in to help us out in innumerable ways. We were struggling to pay our most basic bills and put food on the table for our three young'uns, and we were wowed by the impact of all those people banding together to support a Navy veteran and his family in need. It was incredible and really re-instilled my hope for humankind.

2. What was the single most challenging thing that happened?

Well, like I said, we really struggled for several months this past year, but the biggest challenge was when we lost our Odyssey, Penelope, in the midst of it. We could no longer pay the car payment, of course, and it got repossessed. I'm saddened when I think of it, but joyful now that we are out from under that car payment and have a somewhat-reliable vehicle, Miguel, which we were able to purchase with funds from the many donations we received.

3. What was an unexpected joy this past year?


There were many, but the most recent one happened yesterday. My 10-year-old son, Jack, has had a huge escalator phobia for years. He'll cling to his father or me, desperately terrified, for the duration of the ride. Yesterday, he decided he was going to overcome that fear and stepped bravely - four separate times - onto and off an escalator while barely touching me, except for stability. I'm super-proud of my boy!

4. What was an unexpected obstacle?

In May or so, just as he was retiring and we were losing all our Navy income, outstanding insurance, and so forth, Rob's previously-diagnosed cerebellar cavernous angioma started acting up. It resulted in five Cyberknife surgeries to vaporize the tumor, but there were unexpected complications from that, too. He still struggles with those as well as side effects from the meds to treat them, and it's caused us to have to delay his plans to return to school for a nursing degree and pursue any kind of work.

5. Pick three words to describe 2013.  


Interesting. Stressful. Amazing.

6. What were the best books you read this year?  


Those are the books I want to read, but I only got to read ONE book this year, and it was not a good one. Here We Go Again by Jennifer Somebody is not one that I can recommend.

7. With whom were your most valuable relationships?  


That's me and Jack, 10.


That's Sophia, 8, on the left, and Chloë, 12, on the right.


And of course, that's me and Hubs. My family are my life; they mean everything to me.

8. What was your biggest personal change from January to December of this past year? 

I continually struggle with making poor decisions, many of which only matter inside my own head, and then I dwell on them forever. I have got to learn, in 2014, to just let. things. go!

 9. In what way(s) did you grow emotionally?  


I have long pursued an attitude of gratitude, and I think my appreciation for all that I have been blessed with has grown by leaps and bounds this year.

10. In what way(s) did you grow spiritually?  


I have come to understand myself and my beliefs more clearly.

11. In what way(s) did you grow physically?  

Stealing this one from my friend Erica! I definitely added a few pounds this year. I'm working diligently to remove them, but it's proving to be a bigger challenge than I expected. I'm going to have to start, you know, exercising and stuff. (Well, I already started, but my motivation has flagged over these holidays...)

12. In what way(s) did you grow in your relationships with others?


I have long played the part of doormat in the family in which I grew up, and I stood up to those people when I felt like I was getting that same ol' treatment. It feels good, and now I feel like I have more of an equal footing with them.

13. What was the most enjoyable part of your work?  


I took a six-month hiatus from my "job," and now that I'm back, I realized just how much I enjoy the work! I really missed it in those latter months of my sabbatical.

14. What was the most challenging part of your work?


Walking away for those six months was really difficult, since I have been doing the same work diligently for 7½ years now. I needed the respite, but I felt like I was letting a lot of people down, including myself. In the end, though, I'm glad I took the break.

15. What was your single biggest time waster in your life this past year? 


The internet, of course. Sophia said I spend more time on the computer than anything else, and I vow to change that in 2014! (I don't necessarily think she's right, but I do spend a lot of time online, and I don't want that to be her main memory of Mom!)

16. What was the best way you used your time this past year? 

Absolutely, that would be homeschooling our trio of Odettelettes. They are so worth every second of time we have devoted to this endeavor!

17. What was biggest thing you learned this past year?

That quote about holding onto resentment meaning you're letting that person rent-free inside your head? It's so true. I've pretty much let it go. Almost.

18. Create a phrase or statement that describes 2013 for you.

Charles Dickens said it best!

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This was a good one; I've enjoyed it. Cheers to all you thieves!