1. Who do you know better than you did at the beginning of the year?
This one is SO easy. I developed a really special friendship with someone who had previously just been an online friend that I wished lived nearby. After her visit to my new house in January for the housewarming, Laura
and I started recording voice memos on our phones to each other on a nearly daily basis (a lot of times twice a day), and I now find myself with a friend who is closer to me from two states away than most of the people I spend time with in my own town. She’s the first friend I want to tell anything, and she’s the friend I tell the most. :)
She is also the reason I joined WeightWatchers
(and later started running also), after she spent the weekend of the housewarming telling me all about her successful journey. I signed up the day after she flew home, and she’s one of my biggest weight loss cheerleaders.
2. Who have you listened to carefully?
Primarily… myself. I think I have trusted myself and my own intuition more this year than at any other point in my life. Aside from better listening to my own intuition, I’ve obviously been doing a lot of listening to Laura
via audio files, and I think Jim
and I do a better job of listening to each other every year. The person I’ve listened to the most
would be Laura, which is now one of my favorite things. :)
3. Who have you cheered for?
I’ve cheered for a lot of people who have been doing the weight loss struggle with me these past several months. My two local WW supports, Kristen
and Amanda, have cheered me on as I’ve cheered them on when each of them joined me on a healthier path. I’ve cheered on Laura as she’s been making her way to her goal weight and running marathons and such, too.
I also cheered on a lot of great local writers for Nanowrimo
this year, as I do every year, and it was a really great year for Cantowrimo
. We had a ton of people finish and we had some really quality meetings with really great people, many of them fairly new or brand new.
4. What do you understand better than you did in January?
Myself. How to stay healthy, how to live in a home with two dogs and a still fairly new husband, unique ways to be a friend despite a lot of distance, how to be a good wife in my marriage (even when I don’t want to). I think I understand (probably through finding someone else out there in the world who is so like me – Laura) better that I am someone with a short attention span on projects, so I go into projects with a better understanding that I should enjoy them now, and move on when I enjoy them less, and that’s okay.
5. What are you explaining to other people that you weren’t able to explain then?
After a full year in geriatric psych, I feel really comfortable and competent in a job that requires my being able to explain the aging process to families and counsel those families through some hard transitions and some hard decisions.
I also feel better able to explain myself. That sounds weird, but as I’ve been losing weight, a lot of things have become more clear, like why I stopped video blogging, why I started wearing certain types of clothing and stopped wearing others, why I started doing or stopped doing a lot of things, and even why I drifted from certain relationships (where I felt like the ugly, fat friend who wasn’t worthy of certain prettier, skinnier people). I’m sort of amazed by how much my weight gain has held me back in the past few years, and how much the weight loss has freed me, and I’m better able to explain that as I look back on it with so much clarity.
6. Where have you been that you didn’t expect to be this year?
7. Where have you stopped going because you needed to stop going there?
8. When were you most comforted during this last year?
I feel like I’ve had a pretty comfortable year, so I’m not sure there’s a good answer for this one. I’ve often felt comforted in my voice memo relationship with Laura simply by hearing that the things I ramble about and think are things that someone else in the universe thinks and feels too. That’s sometimes a comfort. I also panicked on Christmas morning when my alarm clock didn’t go off and I was late for Christmas morning with my family, and when I came in the door in silly tears at the thought of everyone being upset with me it was a HUGE relief that no one was. Silly that I was so worried, and hugely comforting to just get hugs and assurance that the world was not going to end just because I was an hour late for Christmas.
9. When did you say, “I’m not sure I can do this” and then discovered that you could?
When I started running in March. The first day of Couch-to-5K
I literally keeled over into a dirty snow drift afterward, but then in September I ran a 10k leg of the Akron Marathon with my relay team. Turns out… I can
run, even though I used to trip over my knock-knees as a child and hadn’t run since some torturous mandatory gym class in high school.
The other obvious answer is “lose weight.” About this time last year, I was doing a lot of internal rationalization, telling myself that maybe I was simply someone who was now fat and that would just be part of who I was from then on. I’m glad I’ve discovered a much healthier me.
10. What is your favorite sentence, blog post, paragraph, or tweet that you wrote since January?
Crikey, that’s an impossible question. My favorite blog posts are always the funny ones that involve my husband and our hilariously awesome marriage of teasing and debauchery. I don’t know if anyone else really gets how much fun Jim and I have together, but we really do. Our competitive, always-right natures bang up against each other in some pretty hilarious ways. For instance, last time one of us likely would have gone blind if we hadn’t somehow put an end to our “blink each other into submission” war.
11. What was the most encouraging thing you did for someone this year, as measured by their smile?
I think the most encouraging I’ve done has been through voice memos, so I’m not sure, but I’ve also done a lot of encouraging of my local weight loss partners and we’ve done a lot of laughing and smiling along the way. My husband has been off work for the past two weeks because things in the construction/electrician world are all mucked up, and I’ve tried to keep him smiling and positive by reminding him that we’re fine financially and we’re lucky to be able to manage with my salary for this short period.
12. What question have you actually spent time trying to answer this year?
Who am I under all of the baggage that has fallen away (both literally in the way of weight and figuratively in the way of mental baggage)? I’m not sure there’s a concise way to share the answer, but I LIKE the answer. :)
13. Where, geographically, did you find the most delight this year?
In my own home. I absolutely love having this house, coming home to a family, and having a refuge of my own. I’ve had great trips and great adventures this year, but I treasure and covet my time at home.
14. What item did you cross of your list this year that had been on it the longest?
Cripes. Losing weight. That’s clearly the big theme of this year, but seriously, I had been dragging my feet for entirely too long… an embarrassingly long time.
15. What book did you intentionally quit reading because you knew, halfway through, that you didn’t need to finish to get the author’s content?
How to Win Friends and Influence People
was a book, full of obvious things and sexist things, and I eventually just put it down and walked away. I put down several books in the first part of the year, but that’s the one that I remember just being completely done with long before I was finished. I skimmed to the end and read parts of each section, but ultimately just felt that it was a disappointment.
16. What book did you read that was written before 1846?
17. What picture you took did you look at more than once because liked it?
18. What was the best conversation you had this year?
I don’t think I could pick just one conversation, but the people I’ve had the BEST conversations with overall this year have included my friend Matt, my coworker Kevin (great for discussing both personal and professional quandries), my husband (our lazy morning conversations in bed are some of my favorites), and obviously Laura, who has been part of my favorite ongoing conversation. (Laura is the answer to a lot of these questions. Get over it. We are MFFs
19. What was the most satisfying $5 you spent this year? (and you get to define satisfying).
I’m guessing it’s somewhere around $5 per week to drive to and from WeightWatchers and the gym every week. That five bucks each week has really paid off. I also probably spend about $5 every couple weeks on a pack of Starbursts, which are my favorite candy treat that I’m willing to spend WW points on, and I savor each pink and orange piece (I’ll eat a couple red, NO yellows though).
20. What piece of mail that you received this year made you smile the most?
Pretty much any single piece of real mail makes me ecstatic, whether it’s a card or a package or really anything that isn’t a bill or spam. I get pretty excited about real snail mail, so keep it coming! :)