This year has been different. That's not to say it's been bad... it's just been a more serious year in many ways. This year, Tyler has avoided any long stays in the hospital for a change - I think the only time he was in was for two nights. The kids have avoided any serious injuries or hospital stays. Things have actually been relatively good when it comes to physical health. But, not so much for me and my mental health. So, I apologize if this list is a little more on the serious side...
Anyway, enough rambling and onto the babbling....
Lessons Learned in 2015:
1. Making snow angels just after midnight on New Years Eve/Day is still a wonderful tradition... and one we will be doing again this year.
2. There really is such a thing as unconditional love.
3. Being told I'm like a sister, and that I am loved, by someone who doesn't say those words very often to anyone is incredible.
4. A hug from someone you love, and someone you know loves you, can make all the problems in the world disappear for a short time.
5. I have an alcohol problem. (Yeah, some day I may expand on that a little more)
6. I have the most amazing husband and children. No, things aren't perfect... but they are incredibly supportive and understanding and willing to stand by my side through thick and thin (even when I'm a complete and utter idiot).
7. I have the most amazing friends - ones who are supportive and understanding and willing to stand by me through thick and thin... and who aren't afraid to tell me when I'm being a complete and utter idiot.
8. I am incredibly blessed.
9. Sometimes, there just aren't the words to express the deep regret I feel for hurting people time and time again. There is just no words to express how truly sorry I am for the pain and stress I have put people through this year.
10. Sometimes, there just aren't the words to express how incredibly grateful I am to these people for not just giving up on me, even though I've given them ample reason to do so.
11. It doesn't matter how long I go without talking to my sisters - I still love them dearly, and each time we talk it's like no time or distance has passed since the last time we spoke.
12. I have depression and anxiety (the depression I've known for quite awhile)... and when those mental health issues are coupled with alcohol, bad things happen.
13. My way of dealing with high stress when severely depressed and/or anxious is just as it was 20-some years ago - run away!
14. Walking around in the snow in middle of the night in stocking feet isn't all that brilliant of an idea.
15. I'm not too horrible of a sermon writer. Standing in front of a bunch of people preaching those sermons, on the other hand... well... that's a different story.
16. There are some moments in life which are just so intensely moving, they shake a person to the core... and can never truly be expressed in words.
17. I am a lot weaker than I like to admit, and a lot stronger than I think.
18. Baby therapy (or, now, toddler therapy) is still one of the best therapies available.
19. Putting bubble bath in the swimming pool really doesn't work all that well - but is fun all the same.
20. Fire pits with great friends is a fun way to spend a summer night. As are movie nights, cook-outs, swimming, dancing, and well... just hanging out.
21. England is absolutely beautiful! A six hour time difference, and being away from family/friends isn't all that great... but it was worth it to get to see that wonderful country.
22. When the snow just starts to melt, making huge puddles while there is still tons of snow on the ground.... that is one of the most fun times to go walking with my girls barefoot (or stocking footed) through puddles, or sit in those puddles. Long summer walks, singing and dancing in the street, is also tons of fun.
23. I am really going to miss Caity when she heads off to college in 2016... She's my twin... Kooky and crazy :) And I am really going to miss Alex when he moves out in a few weeks. He's been a big strength to me the past couple years.
24. Did I mention I have truly amazing kids? I don't know how it happened, but I have the most giving, loving, caring, kind, compassionate, empathetic teens I have ever met.
25. Trust and love are two things not to be feared. I still don't give them out lightly... I'm highly selective... but every now and then someone comes along who is definitely worth it (even if it does take me a year or two to recognize that).
Ok, I guess I was able to come up with more than I thought I would. And they aren't highly depressing (or, not all of them). And, I could probably spit out several more. But, I'll keep it at 25.
I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's Eve, and a beautiful 2016. I will be ending this year on a positive, sober note... and I look forward to starting 2016 alcohol free, surrounded by family who love and support me unconditionally.
God bless you all!