Random Saturdays – 6 Month Anniversary

Ben and I celebrated our six month anniversary by forgetting it.  Once I remembered, I thought about doing a blog post about what I’ve learned over the past six months.  Maybe I could even check in each year.  When I started thinking about what I’d learned, I realized that I hadn’t actually learned anything.

I don’t mean that in a cocky way.  I’m not a teenager, so I don’t think I know it all.  I just paid close attention to all of the crappy marriages around me while growing up and well into adulthood.  I offered a shoulder to cry on and gave advice when requested (and sometimes when not asked, which was a whole other lesson that I had to learn).  I knew that I didn’t feel like dealing with egos and crap for the sake of saving a relationship and not damaging children and not having to fix mortgage stuff and legal stuff, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Then, Ben came along.

Suddenly, my ego wasn’t importantly.  I’d rather be the first to say, “I’m sorry.”  I’d rather be loved than be right.  I’d rather openly communicate and sort through past events while planning future action plans.  Even when my mind is running away with anger and sadness and confusion and frustration, I’d rather go for a walk and burn some calories while reminding myself of all the things I could’ve done to help the situation and all the things that Ben has done in the past that proves that he probably did not spend the past thirty-some years of his life plotting how to hurt me the most at this exact moment in time.  Let me tell you, when your female hormones are crazy, you have slept 16 hours in a week, your joints are burning, and your brain feels like it’s going to burst through your skull, it can be a wee bit difficult to think sensibly.

So, the most important lesson I’ve learned over the past six months is just that I am willing to give up on alot of my ideals in order to have something that’s manageable.  There is how you live when you are making all the calls and there is how you live when you are sharing your life with others.  You have to shift your thinking from, “If this crap doesn’t work, I’m throwing it all away to get into a situation where I can be in charge!” to, “I have to find a way to make this work.”  I’m a big proponent of closing the door on the past and moving on, but I’ve finally learned that closing the door isn’t always the best option.  Dangit!  I totally lied at the beginning of this post.  I did learn something, afterall!

Random Saturdays – Begin at The End

I’ve been a bit M.I.A. lately, at least as far as this blog is concerned.  Between crazy work stuff, being sick, being depressed, the holidays, Ben, ice storms, and get-togethers with friends that I don’t see often, everything else has been on the back burner.  Having said that, I did want to get at least one real post up before the end of the year.  My one-year blogging anniversary is December 21, 2013, so, I decided to do a sort of year in review post since I’m ending the year in a completely different place in life from where I started in January.

At the beginning of this year, I had a bunch of projects that I wanted to do.  I tried to plan things out and block off my time.  The only things I really did were keep up the blog and learn how to use Inkscape.  I also managed to get into a workout routine until I moved last summer and paid more attention to my daily habits — everything from calorie counting to how often I get headaches and migraines.  It didn’t really help me get healthier, but I did lose weight.

After I started dating Ben, I gained 7 lbs.  I had just started getting back into working out after my summer move, but that stopped, too.  I started slacking on the blog.  I fell behind on email.  I haven’t been reading books or magazines much, either.  I’ve been sick twice in the past two months and think that I’m getting sick again.  In general, it seems like dating Ben did away with the little bit of progress on my goals that I had made, but that’s not really true at all.

Even with tracking my health issues, I wasn’t able to make any improvements in my health before Ben.  Now, I’m paying more attention to how all of my health issues are tied together because they directly affect my emotional and mental well-being, which directly affects Ben and his kids.  Since it’s not just me, my cat, and the t.v., I have more motivation to do something about things that I know need improvement.

When you’re alone and you get sick, it’s easy to just wallow in your self-pity and give up on trying to improve anything.  When I feel like this around Ben and see how worried he gets about me, or when I have to hide from his kids in the bedroom because I don’t want them to see me depressed and get it into their young minds that being mean to yourself is a normal way to think and act, then it suddenly seems more important that I get my crap together.  Granted, I realize that I’ll have to struggle with depression my whole life.  I realize that I can’t change myself overnight.  I realize that when I get sick, things in my body will be thrown off and cause depression on a physiological level that I will just have to learn to handle.

However, I’m trying to be mindful of all of the small things that I still have control over when I’m sick and/or depressed.  When I’m sick, I’m trying to make more of an effort to shake myself out of depression because it directly affects my loved ones.  I’ve always known this, and it’s always been motivating, but Ben and his kids are motivation on a whole different level.  I had no idea that someone like Ben could even exist.  He is a nicer, smarter, better (but not funnier) version of me.  His kids are wonderful – fun, affectionate, smart, and always concerned about how much money I spend on gas and rent.  I don’t want to teach the kids how to hate themselves and I don’t want Ben to have to deal with me hating myself if it can be prevented.  So, even though my projects were all put on the back burner for the last three months of the year, it’s all been for the best.

Furthermore (<- smart word), I’m going to Paris with Cathy for Christmas and New Year’s, a trip that I planned before I started dating Ben.  Since my plane ticket and rental cost of the apartment in Paris are non-refundable, I’m going to suffer through missing Christmas with Ben and his kids and force myself to go to Paris with one of my best friends.  (I’m only half-joking.)  I tell you what, though.  On January 1, 2013, I did not anticipate having a boyfriend with three kids or going to Paris for Christmas.  You never know where life will take you, but you just have to get out of your own way and enjoy what life brings to your table.  I’m trying to be mindful of how lucky I am for my life so that I can fully enjoy the time I spend with my friends and family this year.

I hope you stay mindful this holiday season, too, absorbing all of the joy and love shared between you, your friends, and your family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!