I'm about 2/3 of the way through my Year in Review post for 2010, but rather than wait for it to finish itself, I felt compelled to write something before January ended. I decided a couple years back to post a review annually as a way to keep some sort of track of the highlights of each year - you know, in case I only wanted to look back on one post a year or something. Or in case anyone else was remotely interested. (You know you are.)
This endeavor is taking me quite a bit longer than usual. I'm not sure why, but I think it's just not as fun as before. In looking back over our last year, I've noticed an increasing sense of... hmm... I can't quite come up with the word. It's not "darkness", it's not "doom and gloom", it's not "horrible, awful, terrible or BAD", it's just... blah. Yeah, that's it. BLAH. My year was "blah". I feel as though somewhere along the way I lost the sparkle in my day, the energy in my activities, and the exciting streak of creativity that came along with doing all the things I liked to do.
Where do you suppose my "sparkly" went? I guess it went the way of two years filled with multiple deaths in our family, one never quite getting realized before another one occurred. That would probably dampen the sparkle in anyone's year. I'll add to my list of moans and groans the fact that I'm currently trying to raise a daughter in High School and a daughter in Middle School (HELLO hormones and frequent attacks of drama-queen), plus my boys are each attending separate schools so I've got too much to keep track of. My husband is working loads of hours more than he used to, while getting paid less. Our bills reflect our increasing financial struggle, and our house reflects the fact that my Seasonal Affective Disorder hit MONTHS earlier than it normally does.
BOY HOWDY. I forgot to mention Marriage Counseling, therapy for Post-traumatic Stress, trying to adjust to a new church and less time with close friends plus coming to grips with the fact that my weight loss goals have completely and utterly eluded me. Hmm... I think I just figured out where my sparkle went.
This past weekend I got to have a little chat with God about all of this. It seems like it's been ages since I've had one of those good heart-to-heart talks with God about my life, my direction and my purpose and actually have time to listen without any time constraints. Maybe it's because it was the first time I was alone without kids, a mess, chores, a husband, electronic devices, phone service or a schedule to keep in ages. It was somewhat unsettling to just be alone with God. But it was good. It gave me a tiny bit of Sparkle back.
Since I returned home, I've been determined to keep that spark alive. I'll feed the fire with more frequent time with my friends, time just to listen to my husband, time just to hug my kids, a resolve to love myself more and hold on to an attitude of gratitude about what I DO have and what I'm blessed with everyday. I'm also planning some things for my future that I'll share as they develop. I'm still "waiting and listening" for the direction I need to go, but I'm pretty sure it involves employment in my near future. It may be temporary until our circumstances change, but it may be longer. I don't know for sure, but I'll certainly keep ya posted.