Welcome to the 30 Days of Change Blog Carnival hosted by Living Peacefully With Children and Hybrid Rasta Mama. In celebration of the New Year and forgotten resolutions , we’re sharing the results of our 30 day commitment to addressing one habit the we either needed to eliminate, reframe, or include in our life. We hope you are inspired and energized to make one positive change in your own habits.
2012 was really a very terrible year personally for me. Nearly every month, some particular agonizing trauma occurred, so that by December I felt emotionally drained and depressed.
Let me summarize it for you.
In January, I invested my savings in a little taco place for my husband to run. He decided after a week of business, that it wasn’t for him, and I was out my investment.
In February, I lost some of my long-term students and that left me in a financial lurch. And I was faced with an unexpected lawsuit, which meant court appearances and other stressful annoyances and expenses.
In March, my 90 year-old grandpa died. I understand that these things do happen and that life comes to an end eventually, however I was sad.
In April, my mother’s kidneys failed and she hovered between illness and wellness for some time. Her quality of life is forever altered. And a second lawsuit with my name on it came my way.
In May, my mother-in-law was killed by the carelessness of a police officer. The damage this has caused our family is indescribable.
In June, my father-in-law was accused by the same police of being the instigator of the accident and was put on trial, more stress and expense. And the proposed summer courses where I had hoped to teach and earn a little money, were canceled.
In July, I had to close my little store, The Crap Shoppe, because I could not keep it open without the help of my mother-in-law. And my friend Réne died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving me with a raw bloody mass of grief I didn’t know what to do with.
In August, the school that I have been working for the last 2 years, decided it didn’t have enough students and would not be open this year, leaving me unemployed.
In September, my friend Ian, husband of my best friend died, again leaving grief and a sense of helplessness.
In October, my husband and I separated.
In November, I had to close another little business Yummy Breads (bread made from organic goat’s milk and eggs) because I moved to a crappy 4th floor apartment and management said no goats or chickens.
In December, the last ditch effort to make a go with the school failed as we had no students for the planned Holiday Activities Course.
Just reading that list and I feel wave after wave of exhaustion.
I finished the year emotionally bruised and in a severe depression. Everything had conspired against me this year. I was pretty pessimistic about everything, throwing off a negativity that I know was not in the least helpful for myself or my son.
At the end of December, I spent several days going over the things that had happened in my mind. Finally, I came to the conclusion that none of these things were my fault, so I should quit blaming myself. But that wasn’t enough for me to haul myself out of this black hole of despair I was in. I thought some more on it. I realized that my attitude had to change, or I would drown in the sorrow.
I made the deliberate decision that come 2013, just days away, I would choose a new theme for my life to follow, just what that theme would be, I wasn’t quite sure, but it had to be different.
Then, going through some Christmas songs preparing for another class I was to teach, the very last song was the un-Christmas “I can see clearly,” sung by Bob Marley. You know the song, I’m sure. That was it! The theme I had been looking for. 2013 would surely be a year of blue skies all around. I spent quite a bit of time humming that song as a personal talisman those dark last days of December.
And in came January, not as serendipitously as I would have like, but it arrived. Each day presented challenges to my new self-proclaimed attitude and I struggled. The days were overcast and cloudy, not at all what I hoped for. So I called in the heavy reinforcements, my friends. And they listened and loved and gave advice. They said that maybe my singing the blues was just another way to see those blue skies. They said that I was expecting too much of myself, to look at what I had accomplished that a few months ago I didn’t think remotely possible. So I struggled on.
I told my son that we were going to keep track of each and every little joy that came our way this year, so that at the end of the year, it wouldn’t be the negative things we remember. I washed out a pasta jar to hold our joys.
Some joys were easily identifiable. My son put in the day he got his first cell phone. I added the day an acquaintance gave me a bag of Jelly Bellies and a hug. Once we started, we began looking with mindfulness on our days. Another slip of paper was the day we found and adopted a stray puppy. Then there was the day the relentless rain stopped for a bit and the sun shone again.
My son and I don’t always share what we’ve written before it goes into the jar, so even though it’s only January, I have started looking forward to the end of the year, just so I can see what joys we have had.
It isn’t always easy to keep this positive attitude. There are days that I am sad and days that my son is angry. But seeing that jar on the kitchen table while we eat, reminds us that it is our responsibility to fill it with joy, not negativity. It isn’t much, but it’s a beginning.
Please take a moment to visit the blogs of our other 30 Days of Change Blog Carnival participants. The links in this list will be updated by the end of the day.
- Finishing off 2012 depressed and negative, Survivor decided to start 2013 off with positive actions and attitudes. In her blog Surviving Mexico, watch as she discovers how to overcome the disasters and find the adventures in living again.
- Mrs Green from Little Green Blog spent her month not just meditating, but prioritizing it in her life …
- In The LoCo Locavore Takes OVER, our family went completely local for 30 days… IN JANUARY. Read about how we fared on our local fare. Spoiler alert! We didn’t starve. You can also find Wide Awake, Half Asleep on Facebook.
- Mari from Honey on the Bum relates how she came to the conclusion that she should stop picking apart her body, and figuratively, her life, and briefly discusses some challenges on the way.
- Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she made two changes; stepping outside of her “comfort food shopping zone” and starting a food storage program. You can also find Jennifer on Facebook.
- Mercedes at Project Procrastinot demonstrates new sticktoitiveness when she joined the Ultimate Blog Challenge in January. You can also find Project Procrastinot on Facebook.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy can be overwhelming. Join with Shannon at GrowingSlower as she takes back control of her health during her second pregnancy, all while parenting a toddler!You can also find Growing Slower on Facebook.
- At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy has been working on making time every day just to breathe and be.