Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflections: A Year in Review (Part 1)

It’s almost 2012.  That means it’s time to look back at 2011.  This is a long post, and I’ll break it into two segments and post one part today, and the other tomorrow:

January – The year started out with a bang, not a whimper.  We heard they were going to do layoffs at work.  Hubby also received a proposition from work to move to North Carolina, for more pay, but not quite enough unless I was laid off (with severance and unemployment).  We had a huge decision to make, and unfortunately the climax of the two events did not occur on the same day.  Hubby and I discussed it, listed pros and cons, and in the end I left it up to him.  It is his career, and we knew if he did not take it he could keep his job here—plus the pros and cons were equal and so at that point I felt like he ultimately needed to decide.  The moment culminated at my parents’ house.  We gathered in the Great Room, and Rob said he decided that we should stay here.  The support of the family outweighed the financial benefit.

I came into work the following Monday, and HR was laying people off.  I did not lose my job, but two of my departmental co-workers did, and so did my best friend.  It’s funny—I was relieved not to have lost my job, and at first I didn’t think that losing my department and my BFF would impact me that much, but it did.  I think this is when I first started feeling depressed.  Looking back—I started spending a lot more time in front of the television, on the computer, and just basically tuning out the world.  I felt lonely at work.  I felt the catastrophic effects of a change that I did not want, and it just felt like too much was happening all at once—spiraling out of my control.  Yes, I’m a control freak. 

But then after a few days of moping around at work and crying for my friends, I started to feel better.  My boss was supportive and talked with us, and no one was very productive for a few days.  Then we had to be productive because there were less people to do the same amount of work that had been done before.  Busyness can take a lot off your mind.   My friends (most of them) found work, and we stayed in touch (most of them), though our relationships began to change a bit, just part of life. 

These 3 will remain Auburn "War Eagle" fans, instead of Tar Heels!

February – I signed Son #1 up for Taekwondo.  Looking back, this probably was not a great thing to do for his anger management.  He had not been in a sport for awhile though, and I wanted him to try something new.  So, he started at Tiger Rock, and so did one of my friend’s sons.  My friend, let’s just call her Miranda Grace, and I started to become closer.  We began to talk about life and love and happiness.  I feel blessed that she entered my life at this time, because I have really grown to love and depend on her this year.  I hope she thinks the same about me.  I began doing things for myself again—not just other people, and seeing the benefit of having friends away from work and away from home to help bring light into my life.  My camera broke this month too, and I had to send it off to be fixed, so February 2011 remains undocumented!

March – March was when I began to realize the Son # 1 was having some problems.  He was on medicine for ADHD, but it was making him tired.  When he was tired, he’d feel angry.  He began getting very angry when disciplined or during limit setting.  Hubby and I were at a loss for how to help him.  I didn’t understand why he felt so angry, when he had such a loving family.  My hair started falling out more.  It had been falling out since Darling Daughter was born, but I think the stress of the year was taking a toll on my immune system.  It first started falling out underneath a layer of hair on the right side of my head (probably around the middle-end of 2010).  Then, my bald spot in the back (that I’ve had since I was 5—it’s never completely gone away) started expanding.  Eventually I started losing the hair on the left side--it was still under a top layer of hair, but my hair just kept looking thinner and thinner.  Then my eyes started itching, and I lost my eyelashes.  Then one of my eyebrows started falling out.  I shaved the other one when it didn’t fall out all the way, and it never grew back. 

April – Son #2 turned 3.  I could not believe that my baby boy was 3.  Hubby and I started having problems.  Relationships are so up and down, and they just take a lot of work.  It is worth it.  It is worth it to have someone who is always there for you, who you can depend on, and who can depend on you.  Hubby and I had a few rough months, starting around April.  This made me realize later in the year, that I have a problem with forgiveness.  I always felt like I was not one to hold grudges but I am, just not in the normal way.  I seethe on things.  I let the ill feelings stay there, and then I end up resenting the person.  I’ll be nice to your face, and then inside I’ve felt all these emotions of hate and anger that I don’t let out.  It’s interesting, because Son # 1 let’s those emotions build up the same way, and then he explodes, but I had never exploded.  I just let those emotions sit there.  All the times I hadn’t forgiven people in my life and hadn’t forgiven myself for things I’d done and regretted, and then instead of being angry I’d feel depressed and withdraw myself from those people around me who love me, care about me, and want what’s best for me.  2012 will be a year in which I learn how to forgive--how to move on and let go, effectively, and not let it build up until I’m at the point of breaking down, like in 2011.

May – Darling Daughter started to walk.  Darling Daughter turned 1!  Darling Daughter started to wean, regardless of the fact that her mother did not want her to.  She was addicted to the bottle.  She loves her pacifier (still!).  She was/is afraid of crowds.  I started telling everyone in the world that I have alopecia areata.  I was really losing my hair at this time, and finally my Mom and I went down and ordered a wig.  I had a hard time with this, but I didn’t really let myself feel the emotions associated with the hair loss at that time.  I just kept on trucking, as I sometimes do.  My friend, Miranda Grace, convinced me to start Taekwondo around this time (or maybe this happened in April).
June – My new wig arrived, and when I put it on I felt like crying.  I looked like Loretta Lynn.  The color was wrong.  The hair was too big for me.  It wasn’t MY hair.  I wore it to work, and everyone complimented me.  Hubster complimented me too, but I just couldn’t take the compliment.  It was a hard adjustment for me, and even though I was really losing most of my hair, most days I still walked around with a baseball cap, unless I was at work.  Then I just tried to finagle the wig to work the best for me, with pony tail holders, and clips to pull it back.

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