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?

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Quote Friday. And what more perfect quote than this one? As I navigate through the unchartered waters of love and struggle with embracing love for what it is and allowing myself to truly, unabashedly love with all of me, I came across a beautiful quote that speaks volumes (thanks whiteecrow!).

Love is difficult to define, and there maybe different definitions. But one definition of love, and perhaps the most pure and exalted kind of love, is an utter, absolute, and unqualified wish for the other’s happiness.

This quote speaks volumes to me!! Not only does it really define loving someone in your life, it defines love in the more holistic sense. Loving your friends (and their loving you back) does mean sharing and supporting them in their quest for happiness (and vice versa).

For me, this is huge, because I just naturally feel compelled to want happiness for those close to me, and when that isn’t reciprocated, it says a lot about that person, and why they may not want happiness for you, or they may not be able to support you in that. Be it jealousy, or misguided anger, or an inability to see that happiness for others and happiness in their lives sometimes lends to your own happiness.

Or it should lend to your happiness too.

I don’t know about you, but when my family and my friends are happy, it warms my heart.

When someone close to me is struggling, or going through something difficult, it makes my heart heavy.

That’s also love, in my book. When you genuninely care for their well-being, almost over your own.

And, in my opinion, that level of reciprocated love, in friendships, relationships and with family, is the kind of love I look for and want. If it’s not there, then quite frankly, they just aren’t worth it.

And getting back to this definition in terms of Doctor Boy? Well, I think this screams “him” all the way. His happiness for me (cue unspoken resolution…) floored me. I knew he would be supportive, but as part of this, there will be some challenges for us, but he doesn’t care. Because he loves me, and he wants what is best for me. Damn, how did I get so lucky?

Have a great weekend friends, I’m really looking forward to it myself. Lots of time spent with Doctor Boy, friends, and, well, wine, of course. So much to celebrate, so little time 😉 Cheers!

Today’s quote Friday quote is one I’ve been harboring for awhile, but it’s one that I want to throw out there, in part to the Universe as I feel it is absolutely one of the best and most real quotes there is about friendship and also in terms of how I view my friendships – exactly like this.

“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.”

I think that friendships have their ebb and flow, and there is a time to embrace, and a time to step back and sometimes, a time to walk away (as I have had to do in the past, as I am sure many of you have too), as hard as that may be.

I value my friends. Very much so. As much as I value my family and my sisters, I value my friends. I treat them with respect, I encourage, I support, I love, my friends. And all I ask is for that in return. Sometimes it is easier said than done, and sometimes there’s a level of communication that needs to be part of that to make sure those levels don’t drift away for no good reason.

I also think everyone has a right to step back and find themselves. See what makes them tick. See what makes them happy, what makes them mad, what makes them sad and what makes them want to be the person they want to be. I’ve done this in the past, to a certain extent, probably as I was getting through the toughest parts of my divorce. I just wanted to be alone. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want a hug. I didn’t want my friends to say “you’ll get through this, you’ll be better off, it’s his loss.”

I just wanted to mourn.

It was what I needed and the friends that stuck by me regardless of my that are my closest friends today. Some of those friends have surfaced as the ones that really “get” me. They know what makes me happy, they share in it, and if they don’t, they can still embrace it (like working out. not everyone loves it, but if you can accept that it’s a big part of my life and I love it and stress out when I don’t work out, then that’s kosher by me!).  I’ve never ever felt more valued to my friends and I’ve never valued my friends more than I do right now and that is a part of my life I would never change. They give my life light, they make it sing, and I love them (you know who you are).

So, my friends, this is my art of timing. In silence, or support, or embracing your destiny.

~~

It’s been a crazy week, and I am really looking forward to the weekend. I had an in-and-out trip to Chicago yesterday (4 am wakeup was a blast – NOT – but at least I was able to sleep in my own – okay Doctor Boy’s – bed, right? He even dropped me off at the airport and picked me up. And not only did he pick me up, he came in and waited for me by the escalator in the terminal.

total.

utter.

swoonage.

~~

Life is good.

Embrace it, embrace your friends, and have a wonderful weekend all! I will be celebrating “Friendsgiving” with my girls tomorrow night, as our annual tradition, so this post feels particularly fitting (even though some of my favorites can’t make it, you’re there in spirit!), and an evening tonight with Doctor Boy.

Cheers!

I’ve been struck with dope slaps of perspective quite a bit lately, so I thought today’s quote Friday quote should reflect that:

“Although time seems to fly by, it never travels faster than one day at a time. Each day is a new opportunity to live your life to the fullest.”

I’ve complained ad nauseam about how much this week has dragged and judging from some of my other Facebook friends and IRL friends, it seems this week has dragged on for many. And as much as I complain about weeks dragging on, at the same time I think to myself “I should be enjoying every minute of every day because life’s good” but some days are just easier to do that than others. I’ve had a bit of a tough time shaking that off this week, but as the weekend nears, I realize that hey, it could always be worse, and if the worst thing that happened this week is that the work days were dragging, then I think that’s pretty good, right?

And taking this quote a little deeper, it’s allowing me to take a step back and again look at all the goodness life has to offer. I just feel so blessed to be in a good place in my life, to have some really special friends, the start of what seems to be an amazing relationship, and a lot to look forward to.

During what should be a month of thanks…what else are you thankful for? What do you savor most each day?

Beyond the things I listed here, more specifically, I am thankful for spending time with Jen and my niece Isabel this weekend, and watching her grow and develop. It’s been amazing to be a part of and seeing Jen continue to improve and spring back to her beautiful, happy, fun self makes me beam.

I am thankful for feeling back on track with my routine (mostly) and my workouts (nothing like a good sweat, I swear!), and a weekend ahead filled with family, friends, Doctor Boy, and well, what else, wine…and I hope you all have great weekends and if the slap of perspective hits you, document it. It makes a world of difference.

 

As I drove home this evening after another rewarding (but exhausting!) “baby duty” day with my sister Jen and niece Isabel, it struck me.

This weekend, two years ago, was the weekend my life turned upside down, when I officially knew my marriage was over. (the days leading into realizing this wasn’t just a fight, but the beginning of the end are a little hazy for me but if you read my blog series under “Some of my favorites” you can get all of the details on how it unfolded)

And on this quote Friday, there’s nothing better to fit what I’m feeling than Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish” in large part for these specifically:

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret

I can, without a shadow of a doubt say that I will never look back at my marriage and wish I was still in it. I can, without a shadow of a doubt, know who loves me (and love them back), forgive and never regret. Why? Because at this point in my life, two years later, I firmly believe I am exactly where I’m meant to be. It feels so amazing, every time I reach one of these milestones and realizations that the little things melt away and the big things come to the forefront and I realize this is where I’m meant to be, without a shadow of a doubt.

And these lyrics are dead-on for what I feel – hell yeah, they are dead-on:

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

It can’t get any better than that, can it?

To know you are loved, and to love back.

…and to know you are capable of love again.

To know that there are big dreams ahead, and a lot to be accomplished.

…and to know you’re capable of big things.

To know that above all else, there are no failures in life, just challenges that make you stronger.

“I hope you never look back, but you never forget.”

Phew. I totally missed quote Friday this week, so I’m going for a ‘quote Saturday’ today…why, you ask?

Baby! It was my first 24 hour ‘baby duty’ helping Jen get through the night with Isabel’s feedings and all day on Friday, to her appointments and such. Thus, today’s quote:

“A baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.”

I have to admit, I was really nervous on Thursday to have my first solo ‘baby duty’ with Jen, feeling a bit high-strung, stressed and hoping it would go smoothly and I’d be able to help calm Isabel when she cried, feed her, change her, and burp her, and it felt a lot more daunting than I thought. And I wanted to show Jen I could do it and give her the help she needs as she continues her recovery (5 weeks and counting…).

But when I look into Isabel’s eyes, and see the wonderment, flashes of a smile and contentment in the midst of tears and needs and wants, I can see how much she signifies new beginnings and possibilities for Jen, and for our family, as we continue to band together and give her all of the support she needs right now (in more ways than one).

She’s worth it. The tiredness. The stress. It’s all worth it.

And seeing Jen continue her recovery is almost more worth it. Going to her wound care appointment yesterday, she was hoping for continued improvement (and meanwhile I was worrying about keeping Isabel calm during the hour long appointment) and wow, did God come through in spades.

She’s now rid of her wound care vac WEEKS early! She just has to continue packing it a bit (with our help, er, Doctor Boy’s?! Hehe) for a few weeks, but she no longer is tethered to the vac, and tubes and in constant pain. She’s healing, and healing much faster than we all expected. And she’s elated at the progress. I don’t think I’ve seen her smile bigger than that in a long time.

And Isabel slept in my arms for almost two hours, and then slept another hour in the car. She was an angel for me. I was floored, but relieved, and really enjoyed watching her sleep, cooing, holding on to my fingers and nuzzling up to me. I felt like I gained her trust and Jen’s in helping care for Isabel, and am feeling much better about my ‘baby duty’ rounds this week.

I just can’t help but think how much Isabel signifies the possibilities that lie ahead…for Jen, for me, for our family, in many ways. I think as 2010 starts coming to a close, 2011 has big things in store for all of us.

I’m feeling blessed.

I’ve clearly had some pending milestones on my mind this week that have actually turned into some pretty thoughtful posts (it feels good to be back to blogging regularly after my trip, too!), and all of your feedback this week in particular, has been amazing, so thank you, friends and bloggy friends, it means the world to me, and is one of the many reasons why I absolutely love blogging.

My quote today for Quote Friday, ties into that milestone coming up (two years since separating from my ex) as well as in my journey towards finding someone special to share the life I’ve built for myself.

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.”

Yeah, I think my life is successful, I’ll say it. I really do. Despite some persistent money woes and desire for some new challenges (including physically. stay tuned on that, as I have some thuoghts on new fitness challenges for the winter now that the half marathon is over), I’ve come to a place in my life where the effort, persistence and patience (albeit sometimes shaky patience!) has brought me to now…the place where I’m meant to be, firmly planted.

And while it may sound a little premature to say that I’m happy to be sharing the life I’ve built with someone else, I say that as in the 5 or so weeks since I met Doctor Boy, I already feel some pretty strong feelings for him and think this weekend’s “reunion” of sorts will really make clear where this is heading. And I’m really looking forward to it. I’m ready. I’m content, no matter what. And that feels better than I ever imagined.

I also think this quote is relevant to some other people in my life, who are going through some struggles in life, with their Faith, and trusting that all that is happening is for a reason. There is no failure in struggling through some challenging times, because ultimately, I firmly believe that you do make it through better, stronger, happier, after overcoming these life challenges. It becomes glorious success.

And man, that feels good.

Happy weekend everyone, I hope you enjoy it (I know I will!)

~

PS – check out my new header, that’s a picture from the hot air balloon over Napa. The sun rising…breathtaking.