Looking Back… How’d I do???
1) Surgeries – 2009 was the year I finished my major reconstruction. When I was first diagnosed with Breast cancer, I was married, with a 3-year old and a 5-year old. I was not interested in what my boobs looked like – so going into a bi-lateral mastectomy; I was only concerned with getting the cancer out of me as quickly as possible. Who knew that two weeks after my surgery – my now ex-husband would tell me that he did not love me anymore? Shortly after learning that, it became my personal goal to achieve Porn Star Boobs.. Perky, lovely mounds atop my ribs that would drive the men wild. (I had to make him regret it!!!!) Well, 14 surgeries and 4 years later – they’re done. Not exactly Porn star, but definitely internet porn worthy. After so many operations, I feel a sort of confusion – no looking forward to the next procedure, no JP drains hanging down from my armpit. I feel a sense of accomplishment – and I don’t cry when I look at myself in the mirror anymore – but I feel like I have lost a part of my family also, then staff and doctors that I have seen on a regular basis for so long – are now just a memory of white shoes and manila folders.
2) Money – (or lack thereof). 2009 sucked for everyone I know, on a financial basis. I was no different. I struggled a lot, and cut so many corners, that I no longer HAVE corners! But I am very thankful that the mortgage got paid, the bills got paid, and I have food in the pantry. I know that there are a lot of people who cannot say that. Being a single mom, I always feel like my struggle is harder than most – but I try not to cry martyr too often, and I do feel proud that I am able to support my children, not necessarily with all the luxuries and extracurricular events that some parents can provide, but, they seem to be okay with what they have.
3) Emotional – 2009 was the year that I decided not to feel guilty for being alive. When I was 10 years old, my mother died. I was then left to feel like a tremendous burden to my father. He in turn, made me feel that way. I generally felt like anything I did, was just a giant inconvenience to him. I generally felt this way about most people in my life – like I should be grateful that they associated with me. So, I became somewhat of a doormat to a lot of people. They would take advantage of my good nature, and need for acceptance. Soon, I disappeared. I never had an opinion; I never asked for help, I never picked what movie we saw, or where we ate. I went along with everything, I overpaid my share at dinner, I was always the designated driver, I always drifted into the background, never monopolized a conversation. I even married someone who allowed me to feel grateful for being with him. 2009 was the year when I decided that enough was enough! I am still a work in progress, but I have decided that I do not owe my existence to anyone but myself. I do not have to feel like I am lucky to have friends – I am a good friend, and I deserve to have good friends. I also deserve people who know how to be good friends – so I have taken steps to eliminate people who are not good friends, the ones who take without giving, who criticize to make themselves feel better, who put their needs first every time, who don’t listen. I tend to fall back into old habits, but going forward, I hope to fill my life with people who fill my life with what I need – not just what they need.
4) Food – I’m sad – I’ll eat. I’m lonely – I’ll eat. I’m happy – I’ll eat. To fill that empty spot in my heart – I have always turned to food. It was a comfort, a support, it never judged me. Until this year. This year, I turned into one of those people – ugh.. Too much dairy – food hangover. Too much beer – bloated. Too much sweets – toothache. What was happening??? My ‘ol reliable was no longer reliable. I realized that the empty spot was no longer filled by Taco Bell or Ice Cream. I was turning into an old person! Can’t eat those hot wings anymore! Can’t drink soda before bed! What am I going to do? I began to walk away from the things that I used to love, and when I didn’t – I allowed myself to give into the temptation…I paid for it. So, now, food no longer holds that happy place for me.. and as I continue to search to fill the void in my life – I no longer reach for the crap that has sustained me for all these years; I am forced to look elsewhere – try different things, reach out to people to fill the emptiness.. what a concept!!!!
5) Men – I wish I could say that 2009 was the year that I finally met the man of my dreams. That would be some great reading, I’m sure. But alas, 2009 was the year I met…. NO ONE! Yes, no one. No one was around on the weekend when the girls were with their dad. No one was around at night – when I could not sleep, and there was nothing on TV. No one was around on my birthday – no one got me a card, or a cake, or even gave me a birthday kiss. Face it, No one sucks. Now, now. It is not completely pathetic, there have been opportunities. Well, sort of. There are the guys online, on the internet dating sites – They initiate contact with such in depth messages like, “Hi”, or “Let’s Chat”. Or my favorite, “What’s up?”. There were a few guys who were ‘taken’ – in some way or another – emotionally unavailable – even physically unavailable! At one point in my life, when my self esteem was at its lowest, I might have jumped at these offers of sexual gratification, well, usually HIS sexual gratification, I was just there to service. I guess that I am no longer excited by just anyone showing an interest. I want substance, effort, and yes, dare I say, respect! I even have a list of qualities that I want in a man. For some reason, if I create a list, I feel less cluttered, more organized in my thought process. I am a big fan of lists. Maybe one of my future entries will be a list of things I am looking for in a man. But for now, let’s just say I am hoping to meet a good guy in 2010. He does not have to be perfect, but he does need to be into me, and that means making an effort. If you’ve ever read the book ‘He’s just not that into you’ – it is a true eye opener – and I believe quite the reality. Speaking as someone No one is into.
6) Happiness – It may sound to some, that for me to be happy – to fill that void – I need someone in my life. Sometimes, it feels like that is true. I am so tired of being alone – that it feels like almost anyone would be better than being alone. But then I look back at my life, and all that I have accomplished on my own, and I realize that Hey, I have come this far alone – I can keep going. And now, I look for other ways, besides having a significant other, to be happy. That may sound like a total copout- a response that fat, ugly chicks give for why they are alone. For years, as I wallowed in my aloneness with constant moans of self-pity.. now, I really look at my life, and I realize, that I have so many things in my life that are great – that I need to focus on them. My girls have come so far in 2009. They are funny, loving people, and as they get older, it is easier to go out and do things with them. We went to the circus this year, and my heart was full, watching them enjoy the different acts, eating cotton candy, laughing at the clowns. We spent hours together at the Library – Doing book Reports and Homework assignment. We walked the local petting zoo over and over again – talking about life along the way. I really got to know what my kids were thinking about as we watched the bears play. My older daughter was picked to play the clarinet – and listening to her squeak through practicing brought back a flood of memories for me, a forever band geek. My younger daughter makes her bed now, and helps feed the guinea pig, and she is doing great in school, and she cannot walk past me, without hugging me, or asking for a big ‘squish’. We have gone to parties, stores, washed the truck together and enjoyed ice cream on a hot summer evening. There have been pizza parties with the family, fondue parties with friends, birthday parties and BBQ’s, Movie nights, game nights, and dare I say – drunk nights. There have been re-connections with old friends, and I even made some new friends. I’ve updated my resume, refinanced my mortgage, transferred my 401K, unclogged a drain, moved some furniture and even put up my own Christmas lights. I conquered the attic stairs, climbed a ladder, gotten lost while driving, then found my way home, and wrote to a soldier. I complained about receiving bad service, searched for discounts and deals and tried a few brand new recipes.
I guess I did pretty well in 2009. Here’s hoping that 2010 bring with it more successes, more good times, and maybe more Sangira!
Happy New Year all!!!!!