Quiz of the Year Response!

quiz-of-the-year

Valerie Living Lighter in Atlanta, tagged me for this quiz!  Thank you for thinking of me! This is a challenge for me this year-not one of my favs! If you saw I thought I was waving, a year in retrospect. Then you understand why, but…here it goes!

Quiz questions:

What was your highlight of 2016?

We had a number of fun traveling adventures. Kansas, Idaho, Arizona, Victoria BC…Those are the ones off the top of my head. Each was quite different and had unique qualities that kept me engaged. Several of them were wrapped around a run or climbing event and we found that were are really interested in doing more active destination trips in the future.

Name one thing you are likely to remember about 2016 if asked in five years time?

Today, I would say this is the year I would like to forget. My hope is that in five years there will be a softening of pain and memories and it will be remembered as the year I needed for personal growth, but would never want to repeat.

Sum up 2016 in one word.

Transformative. This is the year I realized that I had become invisible in my own life. Now I am invisible-no-more!

Name one pearl of wisdom from 2016 that you will carry through 2017.

I matter. I am important and I deserve happiness too!

Do you have any new year resolutions?

I am a list maker, like most of the people I have connected with through blogging. I have already signed up for two more half marathons and am planning a rock-climbing trip with my family to Smith Rocks in Oregon. I “resolve” to climb as high and as far as my body will allow!

How did you ring in the new year?

My husband and I went to Portland for the night, I posted:  New Year’s Eve in Portland, Oregon with the details. It was great! We both wanted to do something different to mark a new beginning!

What would you most like to do in 2017?

We have a lot of travel planned and I hope to “blog on the go” and explore some new areas!

What are your main goals for 2017?

I would love to still be blogging by the end of the year and have moved beyond the issues of 2016. I want to heal and repair, live and love, refresh and renew!

 

I’m tagging the following bloggers:

BeaFree

Mom vs. Five

Don’t Give a Jam

 

 

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I thought I was waving, a year in retrospect.

waving

There is no hesitation for me when I say that 2016 has been the worst year of my life. It started out excruciatingly painful and by April, I just wanted it over. I thought it could not get worse, until it did in June. Any recovery I had scratched out for myself to that point was smothered in a new round of despair. I found myself slipping under the surface time and time again, hoping that the decisions I was making were the best for my future and my self-preservation. I have never felt so alone, so sad and so invisible.

Slowly, so slowly, I have been moving forward and trying to find solid footing on this shaky, unstable ground. In the course of re-establishing my life I have been reading. Books, poems, song lyrics, really anything and everything that may, in any way, connect me to some sort of idea on how to proceed from this darkened space. In this massive literary consumption I came across a poem that truly spoke to me.

Not Waving, but Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,

But still he lay moaning:

I was much further out than you thought

And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking

And now he’s dead

It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,

They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always

(Still the dead one lay moaning)

I was much too far out all my life

And not waving but drowning.

-Stevie Smith

I began to research Stevie Smith and learned that this was her most famous poem, and I can understand why. Smith’s words perfectly captured my feelings of obscurity. That I was as far out to sea as one could get, yet no one saw my signal for help. I had become irrelevant in my own world. And I cried, but there was no one to see my tears. I hid them like I always do because I don’t want to upset my family.

The truth is that I pretended that I was waving, not drowning. And, it was not just this past year that has been the root of all my pain and problems. When I really started being honest with myself, and looking at the pattern of my behavior, I realized that I have been drowning for several years. I told my family and friends that I was waving the entire time but the reality was that I had been drifting further and further from shore. I had not been happy for some time and was trying desperately to figure out how to fix myself without inconveniencing my husband and children. This mid life quandary is impossible to navigate alone, but that is me, and how I deal with everything, on my own. It took the ensnarement of this massive rip tide of the last 12 months for me to finally ask for help. I had to realize that my friends and family want to help and we both gain from that exchange. I have been trying to change these engrained behaviors of mine for the last few months. It’s very hard for me because this often requires me to think of myself as a priority, and I am not wired that way. When I have managed to remember to include others and let them into my personal space, it has worked well and I feel better, prideful even that I acted against my nature and let others know what I am feeling and thinking.

The last two months have found me in a better place than back in June. I have started this blog and connected with many interesting people, which I hope will continue to grow. My husband and I are more connected today than we have been in several years. We are spending more time together exercising, traveling and laughing. I have been able to find the gratitude in the small things that one takes for granted in a long term relationship. If you think that is easy, wait until you have been together for three decades to render that judgment!

So, as I end this ugly, unpleasant year I want to start fresh in 2017. I can’t control how other people act, but I can control how I respond. I will…

-Stop putting my needs last

-Ask for help when needed

-Not be the last priority in my relationships

-Have my own back

-Continue to exercise for stress management and fun

-Remember that I deserve happiness too

-Travel more!

And to start a regular gratitude segment for my blog to remind myself how good I have it, how lucky I am and how great things may be in the future.

a-year-ago

Happy New Year!