5 Things That Kept My Butt From Being Kicked By 2012

I haven't written on here lately because I really haven't had much to say.  In a season full of noise, static, and an overwhelming amount of celebratory junk assaulting our senses, I felt it best to just sit, stay quiet, and listen.  My 90 days of being clean slipped to a mere 30, falling off after enthralling and emotional travels to New Mexico with Matt and his family in early November.  New Mexican food is certainly some of the best food on the planet and one can never consume enough Hatch green chiles through any combination of culinary craftsmanship.

I have since allowed myself to be quietly swept away into two more months of travel, an abundance of gatherings and outings, and just general lethargy.  Most of my time was spent in constant introspection.  What I came to realize was that 2012 was a really shitty year.  I'll spare the details, but if you follow the blog you have a surface scratch of an idea of how things panned out for my family throughout the months.  Since I'm sure there are a few of you that had a first-class ticket on this year's Journey of Suck, I invite you to share YOUR own coping tactics in the comments below.  For those of you looking for a few more ideas - here are MY 5 Things That Helped Me (Barely) Survive 2012:

(1) LOTS OF HOT BATHS:  quiet time for me submerged in hot water.  Sometimes with Epsom salts.  Sometimes with dried rose buds and baby oil.  Sometimes with a mountain range of Mr. Bubble's best.  Lights on.  Lights off.  Candles burning.  Or not.  Words with Friends.  Better Homes & Gardens.  Staring at the ceiling.  Any combination of the above.  For that solitary half hour or sometimes more, life's SuckFest dissolved away like a Lush lavender bath bomb.

(2) SLEEP. SLEEP. SLEEP:  and more sleep.  At the risk of sounding a little too "Inception", dreaming became a welcome respite.  I stopped feeling guilty about spending so much time with my blankets and pillow and embraced the numerous opportunities to recharge mentally and physically.  Also, being in bed meant a) I wasn't in the kitchen eating and b) I wasn't in the kitchen fretting... and then eating.

(3) ACCEPT CURRENT STATE:  Physical.  Emotional.  Spiritual.  The last thing my overwhelmed little brain needed was negative self-talk and a self-inflicted "you should be..." beat down.  Don't mistake this as giving up or making excuses.  It is merely me owning up to the results of my decisions and actions over the course of the year.  I only have so much willpower and motivation in my arsenal.  By September's end, I was completely tapped out.  I knew the repercussions of my decisions and plans are in place to improve on my current elastic waistband condition.  I also know that being hard on myself and judging myself will not help me feel any better any faster.  Accept current state.  Plan for change.  Move on.

(4) GET OUT AND ENJOY QT WITH A LOVED ONE:  Hubby Matt did an incredible job of getting me (us) out of the house before I turned into an over saturated prune (see #1).  Since he was a co-passenger on this year's Sucktastic Voyage, Matt needed the mental release as much as I did.  Night after night we enjoyed $5 seats behind home plate, cheering our local Single A baseball affiliate to their California League Championship win.  Go Jethawks!  Or we were trying new restaurants and frequently returning to our newest favorite.  And funeral after funeral (yes, there were three this year) we made the most of our travels to each of the out of state towns we were visiting.  Boston kept us entertained with her glorious clam chowder and her Duck Boat Tours.  We broke bad in Albuquerque taking in local filming locations and engaging in valuable business discussions with The Candy Lady.  It is nice to look back on this year's events and be able to attach happy memories to the ones that would have otherwise torn me asunder.

(5) PRAY:  I talked to God more this year than I probably have in all of my 33 years combined.  I spoke.  I cried.  I questioned.  I cursed.  Sometimes softly.  Sometimes at the top of my lungs.  In my backyard at 2 in the morning.  In the bathtub.  Before falling asleep.  After waking up.  I'm pretty sure I said prayers in my dreams, too.  And then when I couldn't think of anything else to say... I just listened.  There is great comfort in laying it all in God's hands.  In waking up every morning and being able to give thanks for all the good things nestled into this year.  "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"  I think of this quote every. single. day.

Slightly related to #5, I want to share one of the greatest blessings that capped off the month of December and brought great joy (following a week of sheer panic and fear) into my heart.  My bestest friend's 18 month old daughter was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in early December.  Within the course of a week and a half, the cancerous tumor was discovered and identified.  On December 12, 2012, my precious little Olive had her right eye removed.  Enucleation as the professionals call it.  Oncology results came in 6 days later.  The great news is that all of the tumor was removed before it could snake its nasty bitchy cancer way down her optical nerve and into her brain.  18 month old Olive can say she kicked cancer's ass and is living (cancer free!) to tell the tale.  She even has a very cool scar to prove it.  I figure giving thanks and being joyful for her health is a pretty good way to end the year.  Going back to Texas to visit Olive and her parents will be an even better way to start the next one.

Look out world.  This chick has some chutzpah.

So there it is.  This is how I managed to get through 2012 with some raw emotional scars, a few new stretch marks, and very pruney fingers.  And now I'm ready to storm my way into 2013 because I am clean.  I am well rested.  And I have Olive on my side.