2019 in review

A very dear friend of mine, Willie, shared this with me after one of my most raw posts this past year. I’ve kept this as a reminder that I vowed to be real and not fake, no matter the cost. It’s special to me.

I was almost dreading writing this post. I’ve done it every year for as many as I can remember and this is one of the few years that I wanted to pass. 2019 was a hard year for me. It seems as if every hard year (from the last several) has been leading up to this one. Hopefully this was the climax and now I can have smooth sailing for a while? We shall see.

This year has been plagued by health issues. I started the year with the flu (head and stomach.) I’ve fought stomach issues for nearly half the year, and I managed to get an eye infection that almost left me blind. I’ve spent more money in Pepto Bismol, Tums, and eye drops than anything else this entire year.

I’ve gained and lost weight.

2019 was a year of dealing with multiple years worth of emotional baggage and depression that I’ve kept stuffed way down deep in my soul. Last year my ex-husband remarried and this year they welcomed their first child. While that simple sentence shouldn’t have impacted or bothered me in the least, it upset me tremendously and forced me to deal with feelings and emotions that I’d just kept shoving aside since our divorce.

I ended a long-term, long-distance relationship. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. And in doing it I just added to the pain of this year.

So….that’s the bad.

But here’s how I’m looking at it all today…

Dealing with all the emotions regarding my ex, his new family, and our old relationship, was incredibly painful. But doing so forced me to be real with a whole lot of people. I decided to take off the mask I’d been wearing for years, and you got the real Sarah. Take it or leave it. It forced me to broaden my circle of “people.” We all need people. We can’t do this life alone. It brought me my church and it brought me the girls in my LifeGroup. It made me write here more and believe it or not, it opened up so many private conversations with people! We were able to help each other. All this to say, one of the my most painful moments and hurtful years turned out to have a purpose and a point. I’m thankful that I can sit here and say that now.

I don’t know that I can find any way to spin my health issues. My eye is still not well and I’m not really sure how much clear sight and vision I’ll get back. I’ll be back to the doctor/surgeon first thing in January to check my progress and make a plan. Dealing with the limitations of my sight now are an ongoing frustration, but I’m so lucky to have dear friends and loved ones that help me out when I need it (mostly driving) and have patience with me because I’m just slow (terrible depth perception).

I’m looking back on this year as an awful, terrifying, dark and twisty roller-coaster ride. But you know the feeling, right after the last stomach-dropping loop that you cruise steady? The cart slows down, the track is straight, and everything settles back into place? The cart is barely moving back to the starting position? That’s me right now. The awful ride is over and now I can smile back on it in hindsight.

I’m spending a lot of time thinking about 2020. I’ll update you on that soon. ūüôā

TODAY I LOVE: glitter

SONG OF THE DAY: “Hold You Dear” by The Secret Sisters

I really like your dress!

Does anyone else out there struggle receiving compliments? Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing them in my soul. They make me feel so good. It’s almost like every one you get, it is a helium balloon tied to your thoughts…it just keeps lifting them up. And when you’re not used to hearing compliments in a while, it’s like 5 balloons at once. It is the best feeling.

But nevertheless, after someone gives me a compliment I almost always say something self-deprecating and then I convince myself they only told it to me to be nice. I mean, they couldn’t possibly mean it.

I mean, why do we do this to ourselves? I read a tweet the other day that said, “Rejecting a compliment is like asking for it twice.” WHOA. It’s kinda right. So then you have to ask, why do we do that to the people giving you the compliment?!

On Friday a co-worker complimented my dress and instead of just saying “thank you” and smiling, I replied with “Thanks, it’s not flattering at all and makes me look huge with the stripes, but it’s comfy.” To which, she had to say, “No, I think it’s cute!” WHY DO I DO THAT?! I was not nice to myself and then I made her say it twice. Bleh.

I have to get better at this. There should be some kind of training on being better at receiving compliments without attaching strings and conditions.

Anyway, those are my thoughts this week. ūüôā

TODAY I LOVE: cucumbers from the farmer’s market
SONG OF THE DAY: “Movement” by Hozier

the great depression

138 day move streak. ¬†4 perfect months. ¬†21 pounds and 23 inches lost. ¬†I’ve had quite the string of accomplishments lately. ¬†I’m not trying to brag; I’m just proud of myself. ¬†That’s a lot. ¬†I had (have) a long way to go. ¬†I started this year wanting to be healthier not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. ¬†And until the last week or so, I’ve totally killed it. ¬†And then I didn’t.

My boyfriend flew home.  My best friend flew away.  I went back to work where a new season of stressors awaited.  My mom had surgery.  My brother got hurt.  I got food poisoning or a stomach bug or something.  It felt like my life was full of all my favorite things and people and then a big vacuum sucked it all away.  And it left me empty.

In that emptiness I let go of all the things I worked so hard for. ¬† I didn’t count my macros. ¬†I didn’t go to the gym. ¬†I went to work and I came home. ¬†I watched a lot of Grey’s Anatomy. ¬†I did everything to fill the void but actually deal with it. ¬†It was truly like I had a mild case of a kind of depression. ¬†Nothing really made me happy.

Thankfully, I knew to get myself out of it I’d have to look ahead. ¬†It would all pass. ¬†I made goals for July. ¬†I visited my family. ¬†I watched the clouds and reprioritized. ¬†I think I’m ready to start over.

I won’t lie; even writing this is as cathartic as it is embarrassing. ¬†It’s humbling to admit that mentally I went from wonder woman to fragile vase in a matter of hours. ¬†But the reality is I’m human. ¬†And these days/weeks are going to happen. ¬†I won’t be perfect all the time. ¬†I’ve got to learn to cope better. ¬†This was a cold reality check that I really don’t have it all together yet. ¬†My old mechanisms are still there, under the surface, and will attack if I don’t deal. ¬†I didn’t deal.

So I’m starting over. ¬†I don’t know how much strength I’ve lost from my week off, but I was at least pleased(?) to note that my scale hadn’t went up any. ¬†I hadn’t lost (despite the stomach bug) but at least hadn’t truly gained. ¬†It’s going to take me a bit longer to gain my mental strength back.

I wrote this post for me. ¬†It’s a checkpoint; a reminder for the future. ¬†Thanks for hanging with me.

TODAY I LOVE:  Aussie brand deep conditioner (it smells so good!)

really moving on

You guys, I really debated if I was going to post this one or not. ¬†It’s likely too personal, too raw, and too real. ¬†(It’s been sitting in my drafts for days and days.) ¬†But you know what? ¬†I decided to hit publish. ¬†Because like I said several posts ago, not every day is bright and shiny. ¬†Some days are hamburger meat: raw, smelly, and squishy.

This past week I found out my ex-husband has been in a relationship for quite some time now. ¬†First things first, let me get this out of the way and be very clear about it: I’m happy for him. ¬†I’m in a relationship with someone too, so none of what I’m saying should be clouded or construed incorrectly under the guise that I’m bitter. ¬†That is so, so, so not the point of this.

I’ve honestly been hoping and praying for quite some time that the right gal would come along for him. ¬†We had our problems in our marriage (obviously, or we wouldn’t be divorced) but he’s a great guy and he deserves to be happy. ¬†It’s just…the reality of actually seeing him with someone else…it’s just weird. ¬†I don’t think you can be with someone, love someone, for 17 years of your life and it not feel strange. ¬†It’s not something your emotions are conditioned to understand at first. ¬†It’s would be like me seeing the same blue sky for years, but then all of the sudden waking up and looking outside and it’s orange. ¬†lol. ¬†It takes some getting used to. ¬†It’s…finality. ¬†I’m sure I’ve made a mess of explaining this, but it sure does feel good to let it out. ¬†That doesn’t stop the slight sting that I feel of finally knowing I’ve been replaced, but at least I know it’s with a good girl.

At any rate, I am really glad that we’ve both moved on and are repairing the damage that we caused each other. ¬†It really does make my heart happy, and I mean that sincerely, that he appears to be happy. ¬†He and I talk a bit, but we haven’t talked about this. ¬†In some ways I’m thankful. ¬†We still care about each other and maybe tiptoe around some stuff¬†so the other doesn’t get hurt. ¬†I appreciate that.

So…how do you wrap up something like this? ¬†ūüôā Life moves on and things are definitely changing. ¬†And as I like to say, that’s ok too.

And guess what?! ¬†I actually did the RIGHT thing this time. ¬†I didn’t eat my feelings! ¬†No stress eating macaroni and cheese and pizza and cake for me!

TODAY I LOVE: feeling sunshine on my face

you know what? not everyday is great.

It’s really easy to only write about happy things. ¬†I like writing about accomplishments. ¬†I get downright giddy sharing a life hack that helped me. ¬†It is not fun, however, exposing the underbelly of emotion. ¬†The emotions that bubble up and catch you unawares. ¬†The emotions that make you crawl into yourself and hide until it’s all better. ¬†Sadly, I’m not being a very authentic person if you only get the good side.

Yesterday was just rough. ¬†For the first time in 3 diligent months I just did NOT care about my macros. ¬†I did fine all day but by the time dinner rolled around I was in such a mood that pretty much said, “Screw it” and ate whatever I wanted. ¬†(Thankfully I don’t really keep much in my apartment.) ¬†I had cleaned my office earlier in the day and in doing so it brought up a lot of emotions and memories. ¬†Other than a few items, I hadn’t changed anything since the divorce. ¬†All in all, I was lonely and sad. ¬†And apparently ate my feelings (they taste like macaroni and cheese among other things.)

Afterwards I felt like such a failure. ¬†That is not a great place to be, nor is it at all healthy mentally. ¬†It was one day; one meal. ¬†Lucky for me, my best girl called me out on these unhealthy thoughts and brought me around. ¬†These days are going to happen. ¬†I’ve got to manage my emotions, anticipate how I need to handle things, and not revert to my old way of stress/emotion management. ¬†Life isn’t going to be easy and these moments are going to happen again. ¬†And that’s ok.

Today, my friend, is a new day. ¬†And that’s ok too.

TODAY I LOVE:¬†opening a new tube of toothpaste (it’s evenly distributed!)