Some of my favorite moments of 2010…recapped here, in ‘moment-style’…

at this moment, surer than ever…

life, amplified.

the vacation of a lifetime. like whoa.

moving…again.

the best summer ever, hands down.

…turning a corner, and recovering, my little Nals.

prosseco on the beach. Um, yes.

Maine, Maine, Maine, Maine and Maine!

auntie throwdown…in style.

Tiago. Enough said.

sweating a weekend away.

honest, true, friendship. And some epic-ness.

simple, yet powerful.

bloggy friend meet-up!

BISC Vegas-style!

of pity parties and clarity.

...realizing I’m worth more.

one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

until this.

I’m sure I’m missing many moments from 2010 that I’d rewind 100 times over because of what they stood for, what they’ve helped me become, and of course for the fun many of them entail. 2010…you’ve been one hell of a year, and if it’s been *that* good, I can’t even imagine how good 2011 is going to be. I’m belted in, and ready for the ride.

Bring it.


Is learning that being alone is okay.

That being independent is phenomenal.

That ultimately, I don’t *need* a man to be happy.

(so says she, now that she *has* a man.)

I know, that may be what some of you may be thinking. But truly, this year was a struggle with myself in terms of realizing that I need to release, let go, and it will happen (even though I *did* get sick of hearing this). And in the meantime, I can completely enjoy my life, for me, and nobody else.

And I did.

I think I met Doctor Boy at exactly the right time in my life, and in the year, because I firmly believe I needed to struggle through that in-between of wanting to be in a relationship and finding love, while also wanting to sustain my independence and life I’d built for myself. At the time I met Doctor Boy, I had finally released my mind from wanting to find love so badly and I think that really did help me. It helped me see the potential sitting in front of me, and in the time that had lapsed from my last quasi-relationship with CBE, I had my firm list of dealbreakers and dealmakers in mind, and knew that I wanted to keep my life as ‘mine’ as possible while also letting in love.

It’s still a struggle every single day, to be honest, in keeping the balance I want, while also releasing some of that routine that I don’t always need to keep and just enjoying the man – and the life – in front of me.

But I’m proud. Of how far I’ve come, in this second year post-marriage, learning to be “okay” with being alone and ultimately finding someone so special to share in the life I’ve built for myself. It’s been quite a year. And I won’t spend one day not realizing how blessed I am. I know it, appreciate it, and love it.

What are you most proud of this year?

~~
If you only knew what the future holds, after a hurricane comes a rainbow…maybe you’re reason why all the doors are closed, so you can open one that leads you to the perfect road…

I was trying to find a good quote for today to basically recap the year and this one struck a chord with me as I think it’s one some of you in this lovely bloggy family would appreciate and completely relate to as well.

“Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself… ‘How did I get through all of that?’

This year had its ups and downs. Started out okay, got rough in the middle (with Nala’s illness, financial struggles, frustrations and sadness over finding love, and my sister’s illness post-baby) and is now ending with a bang…love…a new beginning…and a lot to look forward to.

But looking back, at this year, and most certainly 2009 by far, it makes you realize how far you can get, even from the deepest feelings of despair. Of course, when tragedy strikes, it’s extremely difficult and won’t happen overnight, but when you get through the storm, the feeling is amazing. The strength, the resilience, the thankfulness, and for me, the most important is the perspective. It’s really gotten me through some difficulties by seeing things just slightly differently, realizing that things can *always* be worse, that life isn’t *that* bad and that while divorce is never easy, I’m grateful mine was not nearly as bad as many others have been, or could be.

And what I’ve wished for this year has completely come to me, and I can’t say it enough, I am grateful beyond words. To have a man in my life that treats me so well, that appreciates me, that loves me, and that makes me laugh, makes me smile, and makes my heart sing, is an incredible feeling.

It’s not the only thing I am grateful for this year, but it’s one of the many things that have made 2010 a life-defining year for me.

What about you? What defined your year? What came out of it that you most appreciate?

Seriously, is 2010 thisclose to being over?

As I look back at 2010, it’s really hard for me to capture my favorite moments of the year, but I plan to do that, as this year as turned into one of the best years of my life…something I never dreamed possible so soon after my divorce.

As part of that, I wanted to look back at some of my favorite posts of 2010 (here’s my list from last year – some of these continue to be my all-time favorites!):

  1. My blog series on my divorce: Probably one of the hardest things I have ever written, but with the most reward. The comments and feedback (emails and on my blog directly) were simply amazing.
  2. There’s Gotta Be Someone for Me Out There: My dealbreakers (and this list also ties in). And man, Doctor Boy fits all of these. Realizing that now as I re-read that post. Wow.
  3. Happy Birthday To Be Determined!: My blogoversary post was fun to write, and also tied back to some of my favorite posts and reasons why I blog.
  4. “When the world whispers ‘give up, Hope whispers, try it one more time:” One of several posts on Nala’s illness this year that I cried through writing (this was the other one) and knowing now that she is SO much better, my heart sings. I remember writing this and just praying so hard for improvement. Wow.
  5. “If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden:” One year anniversary of my Nonna’s passing. I still miss her every single day, but can feel her all around me. Always.
  6. My Man Audits (I and II) – these are just funny. Give ’em a read (perhaps gives new appreciation for finally finding love with Doctor Boy, no?
  7. Maine, if you were a man, I’d marry you. Wow, I already can’t wait to get back to Maine this summer. Absolutely my favorite memories and posts this year were about Maine. Brings me back to that happiness instantly.
  8. Sometimes all you need is family and a lot of faith: I wrote a lot about my sister Jen’s illness after she had my niece Isabel and this post makes me cry every time I read it. I was scared, I was worried and my heart was breaking for my sister. Looking back now, I am eternally grateful for her health now and my dear niece Isabel, well, I just love her to pieces…cue, next favorite blog:
  9. An Open Letter to my Niece Isabel Ann: This post is probably one of my top 3 favorite posts this year. I love her so much and the instantaneously love I felt for her will never, ever wane.
  10. Defining the Feeling and “Can I ask you a Question?”Two defining moments for me this year, beyond all else. I found love. Finally. Yes, this is it.
  11. And my bonus favorite post this year? My “I want” post – is still my all-time favorite post for the sheer fact that I got some of the best feedback I have ever gotten from you all. Thank you. Always.

It was so hard to pick some of my favorites because each and every post I write, I write with purpose and with meaning. I love to write, I love to share my story and I love, love, love all of the feedback and this blog family that gets bigger by the day.

2010…well, she had a fair share of ups and downs by as this year slowly comes to a close, the ups far outweigh the downs, like whoa.

Your independence.

When I asked Doctor Boy what the one thing he loved most about me was, I wasn’t expecting the response I got.

Him: “I love so many things about you. Do I have to pick one?”

Me: Blushing. “Yes.”

Him: “I love your independence.”

Me: “Really?” That’s what you love most? Wow.”

…and not that I don’t agree that I am independent. I guess I didn’t expect for it to be that obvious that I *am* independent or for him to love that so much about me. But he does. And that means so much to me. Because he respects my routine (yet nudges me to let go just a little bit), he respects my need for a healthy balance of me time, friend time, and time spent with him. And he just genuinely loves me for me.

And more and more, I am falling so hard in love, and it doesn’t scare me one bit. He’s really it. The real deal. The one I want to spent every minute with, that ‘gets’ my humor (as his is similar), that is driven (check!), happy (check!), also independent (check!), supportive of my every decision, and  one of the most generous men I have ever met (yet not in a going-overboard-to-woo-me way).

I told him that what I love about him is just that. His drive. His ambition. His generosity. HIM.

I love him. Through and through. He’s awesome.

Indescribable.

~~

And I never want to take it for granted. And I know I need to let go of my routine a little bit more. Or, invite him into it more. I do, to a point, but why not just embrace it? I will. One step at a time.

For as much as I have fallen in love with Doctor Boy, sometimes I feel myself holding back ever so slightly.It’s as though I *still* can’t believe *he* loves *me.*

Why is that?

I know I am worth it, I know I’ve worked so hard to find the right man, and he is most certainly it. By far. More than I ever dreamed possible.

And maybe that’s it…maybe I’m going back to that “waiting for the other shoe to drop” thing, when I should just be enjoying and savoring every minute of it, while also not sitting back and just taking it for granted either.

I feel blessed.

To have him tell me every single day how much he loves me, how much he loves spending time with me, how beautiful I am (swoon), how happy I make him, how I drive him and motivate him to finish off his PhD, because he sees that as part of our future together.

And sometimes I wonder what I am doing to make him feel that way. Because that’s how he makes me feel, yet, I feel like he does so much more for me than I do for him (even though that’s grossly understated and likely untrue).

Could it be that we both just “do it” for each other that naturally and synergistically?

Really?

I guess I had gotten so accustomed to being rejected that being loved so much feels like the complete other end of the spectrum (well, it is, isn’t it!).

I need to allow it.

I need to embrace it.

I need to own it.

And I need to love the hell out of him back.

Because he’s special. He’s it.

And he’s mine (giggle).

Damn.

~~

Three months ago today…we met.

Today, we’ll go to the same restaurant.

To celebrate…so much to celebrate.

Cheers friends.

Sometimes you just gotta believe.

That you’re worth it.

That you’re loved.

And deserve love (so allow it, will ya?)

That everything happens for a reason, and God works in mysterious ways sometimes, but he’s *always* working.

That when shit happens, there’s usually a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s a gleaming one.

That you deserve happiness.

That there is joy in giving. So give. Your time. Your love. Your life.

That believing in yourself leads to greatness.

That confidence is learned, but you gotta unlock it yourself, nobody else can.

That sometimes short-term pain is worth long term gain.

That chocolate is a virtue, and so is wine. Often.

That friendships are two-way, filled with respect, communication and love. And if they’re not, they’re not friends.

Believing.

It’s powerful. Believe in something. Just believe.

~~

My post tonight…stream of conscious. I have about four topics in my brain, all swirling around but they’re aren’t coming, so instead, you get this. Believe. Writing it down is powerful.

Eleven years ago, I met my ex-husband.

At a mall, two states away. With my best friend and my sister Jess in tow (why? Because we met online the “old-fashioned” way – via chat room! Seems ancient now, doesn’t it?).

And wow. Does it feel like a whole lifetime ago (funny, I barely touched on it last year).

Because it kind of *was.*

I realized the date as I was mid-workout this weekend, as the tingles of a kiss goodbye from Doctor Boy remained on my lips, and I felt a strange sense of calm.

Things feel right with my ex. We’re in a good place. We chatted today, and I filled him in on some things, we talked of our families and furbabies (his and mine), and it felt good to catch up. He even asked about Doctor Boy (and not in a prying way) and reiterated how happy he is for me. It was a good conversation, better than our last conversation.

Things feel even more right with Doctor Boy.

Even though it felt like a rushed weekend with not a lot of downtime, things felt more connected with Doctor Boy. The love growing between us feels even more palpable. I could feel it emoting from his forehead as his face was leaned into mine. And when he hugs me, it’s engulfing and filled with love. It still feels…amazing…swoonworthy…perfect.

Eleven years ago was a different lifetime, and looking back, I stand by my sentiment that I’ve said a hundred times…I wouldn’t have changed anything, I don’t regret my marriage, or my divorce, and it’s been a big part of who I am today.  And it’s helped me see as clear as day who I want in my life, and I think I’ve found him…Doctor Boy.

It feels good.

So, it’s Sunday, and the weekend has literally flown by in the blink of an eye, so pardon my random musings, but this is what’s swirling around in my brain presently:

  • Okay, sooo now what? I’ve declared that I am transitioning my blog to more of an anonymous one, so where do I start? Anyone have any pointers on how they slowly transitioned until this one became “retired” and the new one became the everyday blog? I don’t want to lose all of the content here and plan to shift it all over, but any advice supremely appreciated 🙂
  • Speaking of that post, I’m blown away by the response. More than 40 comments, private emails and Facebook messages noting support, love, and appreciation for my blog. Wow, I never imagined, almost two years ago when I started this blog, that so many could identify with what I have to say, and my experiences, and my journey. I thank you all for continuing to share this with me. It means more than you could know.
  • It’s also one of those times where I wish this blog was private, as there is so much I want to share right now that I just can’t. Soon enough, I will. And know that it’s a sign of good things to come. I hope.
  • Vegas, anyone?! Seems Doctor Boy and I may be headed to Vegas in June! Who’s in for a lil bloggy reunion of sorts?! Mini Bloggers in Sin City style, except on a smaller scale?! I’ve emailed a few of you, but if you’re interested, for sure let me know, as I’d seriously love to do it up in Vegas!! So fun.
  • I love seeing this bloggy circle expanding…from those I read every day and seeing other bloggy friends start reading each other’s posts and commenting. It feels like we’re expanding and I love it! I love seeing the exchanges (since I subscribe to all comments on the blogs I comment on!). It warms my heart. Does anyone else get that way?
  • For those of you in colder climates…does anyone else have NO tolerance for this cold weather? It’s not even winter yet, and I’m at my wits end. I can’t handle it. I go outside and feel slapped in the face with cold, as if I’m surprised it’s so cold out. WTF? I think Mexico has to be in my future or I just might not make it through the winter. Just sayin.
  • I still am not used to feeling so loved. Doctor Boy gets more amazing by the day. He’s so thoughtful, genuine, loving, happy, driven, funny, laid back (I can learn from that, seriously. I need to let go of routine just a little bit more sometimes!). And he loves me. Who knew?! Swoon.

See. A lot swirling through my brain, mostly good, bloggy-related thoughts. It’s Sunday. I hope to enjoy the rest of it at Doctor Boy’s house, over a good movie, the couch and dinner cooked in.

Enjoy the res of it, friends!

 

Not to open the “happy hornet’s nest” as Snark aptly put it in his blog today on in-the-moment vs. big picture happiness (which I concur with!), but I’ve been kicking around a few other thoughts on the subject of happiness as well.

Getting through the bad and enjoying the good. What is that?

Resilience.

Strength.

Happiness.

Yes, I think the ability to get through the tough parts of life makes you enjoy the good *that* much more. It’s something that struck me as Doctor Boy uttered in my ear one morning…”I never thought I could be this happy. When you’re as unhappy as you are at one point in your life, you don’t realize how happy you can ever be.”

Amen.

And you know what else?

Your ability to bounce back from the bad is called resilience.

And your ability to appreciate and embrace the good is that much more heightened and you don’t take it for granted. Ever.

And you realize that some of the moments you now consider bad, or stressful or sad are more bearable because you’re stronger and just power through them a little bit easier.

No, it doesn’t mean that traumatic experiences or life-altering experiences, like death, or poverty, or depression, or divorce mean you are happy. Of course not. But I think those experiences shape you and impact you much more than anything else.

To allow you to be more resilient.

To allow you to appreciate the things in life that you may never have noticed before getting through something extremely trying.

And that, my friends, is why, while I still go back to happiness is a choice (for me), I think almost more importantly, the ability to get through the bad and the good gives you a level of resilience you never had before.

Allowing you to be content (even if things aren’t going your way all the time), happy (even if you’re not happy with everything in your life) and strong (no matter what).

I feel grateful that I *do* have so much happy in my life, but I am almost more grateful that I can actually see all the good, even the tiniest of good, and let the bad slide off my shoulders just a wee bit more.