Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ode to 2013 - A Great Year in Review

Well it's been a while since I've been here...I wonder if I remember how to do this...

Life has been crazy these last few months, and finding time to pour out my heart is difficult.  I mean, there's that, and I'm also addicted to Candy Crush.  Seriously.  Addicted.  It's not just blogging, I haven't read a book in months.  I remember really liking books.  Reading them, smelling them, spending the evening with them.  I miss books. 

I thought it was really important to chronicle 2013.  Probably way more important to me than you, but hopefully you'll enjoy the read regardless.  

2013 was a year of new beginnings. My momma got married (!) and my brother and his wife had a beautiful baby girl, their first (of many??) and my first niece.  I know that I'm a tad biased, but folks, I am telling you this is the most beautiful baby girl in the world.  One of the many benefits of being an introvert is the immense joy that I receive living vicariously through others.  No joke.  I couldn't have been any happier in these situations if they had actually happened to me.  

So Q and I downsized from a four bedroom, 3 bathroom house to a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom suite.  I thought I would feel claustrophobic in our new digs, but I actually found that I love the smaller space.  First and foremost, the cleaning takes me roughly 1/4 of the time to clean and secondly, it is just so cozy.  It's also encouraged me to purge and put less emphasis on *things* (and gives me so much more time to play Candy Crush...kidding...sort of...)

I started a new job.  It was such a great opportunity and I was in sooooo far over my head.  But you know what?  I made it through.  I learned that my capacity to learn new things is great, and this gave me so much confidence in myself.  I had a great year and enjoyed every second of it.  Then I got an even better job and had to decide between two awesome job opportunities.  Seriously.  Would you like this completely awesome job that you know you love, or would you like this new one that has the potential to be even more amazing?  How do you make a decision like that without thinking you might be missing out on something no matter which choice you make?

And those were just the physical life changing events.

I know, right?

All that, and some personal growth too?  What?!?!?!?!  Who gets that lucky?? 

2013 was a year of calm for me.  As a natural born anxiety case, this is really saying something.  There was no insane drama.  There was no unnecessary stress.  There was only calm.  

I spent a lot of time alone and came to terms with my introvert qualities.  I never really though of myself as an introvert, but the older I get, the more I enjoy quality time with myself.  Nothing delights me more than an evening alone.  I used to feel guilty about this - like I should be out with *people* doing *things*.  But spending time by myself has given me a deeper insight to me...and there can't be anything wrong with that.  I'd rather be alone than in a room full of people I can't relate to or having nothing in common with.  

I got to spend another year getting to know and getting to teach this wonderful child I'm blessed enough to call my son.  I can think of no greater reward or blessing in my life than my child.  Sometimes it's the smallest thing that gives me the greatest surge of pride, like when I give him something inconsequential and he says, "Thank you".  Nothing sounds better than "Mommy" and "I love you" and "Sweet dreams".  Just recently, over Christmas, Q was super sick with the stomach flu.  Amidst cancelled Christmas plans, I'm running around cleaning up his puke, and washing bedding and clothes, and checking his temperature, and bringing him ginger ale and I think to myself, "I freaking love being a mom".  Seriously, there is no greater gift than being able to take care of my child.  Gah, his whole life is ahead of him and I just know he is destined for great things and I want to give him the best beginning ever.  I just want to have a million kids and give them all the best start ever.  I just don't want to give birth to all these kids and there are sooooooo many kids out there that need someone to give them their best start.  I know that this is what I'm here on earth to do.  I don't want anyone to waste their potential because someone says they can't, or they're not worth it, or they're not wanted.  I want to WANT all those children in our foster care system, and give them love. corny, right?  I wish more people felt that way though.  You know, share the blessings around.  

But, C, what about the boyfriend....there must be one of those, right???

Nope.  Nope, there isn't.  And for the first time in my whole life, I can honestly and certainly say that I am TOTALLY okay with that.  Totally.  It's funny because this is a pretty significant life situation for most people - easily 2/3 of my friends are married or dating.  I mean, what would life be without romantic comedies?  What would Pinterest be without a "One Day" board?  What would Martha Stewart be without "Weddings" magazine?  Our whole society has placed a fair importance on being married, being doubled up, having a better half.  And don't get me wrong, I am so not opposed to it happening to me should that be the case, but I am so content with my life the way it is.  I am okay with me the way I am.  I don't need anyone else to complete me or my life.  I've been able to spend this time with my son.  Watching him grow and learn and be.  We have a really unique bond and connection to each other because it's just the two of us.  I remember falling asleep to the fantasy of finding the perfect man and having the perfect wedding and the perfect marriage.  Or looking at every man I passed, wondering, "Is he the one?"  And there's nothing wrong with having an active imagination, but wishing your life away is more of a waste than playing Candy Crush, in my opinion.  And I see God providing for me in a million other ways that make me so happy to be me. It's kind of like He's saying, "It's not time yet for you to have a husband, but in the meantime, would you like this blessing that will help provide for your needs??"  Uh. Ya.  Totally

I've become so much more spiritual.  And I don't mean yoga and feng shui.  Christians these days get such a bad (somewhat well deserved, though) rap about being these judgmental, self righteous, pious individuals whose belief is something so out there/naive/supernatural that makes them better than anyone else.  I don't want to be that person.  Ever.  I would agree that believing in a God who lovingly created each one of us in his image, then sent his one and only Son to die for our sins (because ugh, we are not perfect and we screw up soooo much) so that we could have eternal life in heaven where the streets are made of gold is pretty crazy.  On an almost a daily basis, I ask myself if I'm sure that's me.  And each time, I cannot find anything else that seems plausible to me.  I'm not stupid.  I've heard the big bang theory.  But at the end of the day, I choose to believe this instead.  Loving, well thought out, bigger plan, grace and mercy sounds so much more wonderful to me than BOOM!!! here we are, this organism reacted with this blob that became that blob and then millions of years later, here I am...a blob.  I try to live life like this:  Before I do anything, I ask myself two things, "How would Jesus react to this situation?" and "Will this right now matter when I'm in heaven?"  And then I try to do likewise.  At the end of the day, an eternity in heaven when I die sounds a whole lot more comforting than just ceasing to exist.

Okay, so what does that mean?  That means that when the Landlord fails to shovel my walk after a (relative to Vancouver) snow storm, I don't rant and rave about how careless and irresponsible he is for a home owner with a paying tenant (because this whole event won't matter when I'm in heaven).  Instead, I get the shovel and shovel my walk and his (because this is what I imagine Jesus would do, and while the snow pile won't matter in heaven, my reaction to it certainly will.)  I try to meet every situation with this formula.  Homeless person on the street asks for money, I go into to coffee shop and buy him a hot coffee and some chili.  He gets a full belly of food, and I know he's not buying booze (which, in my experience, don't really go well on an empty tummy).  

I don't want to judge.  I want to love.  I want my love to be contagious.  I want my love to be inspirational.  I want to be the example of someone who has been saved by grace.  If that makes me silly or naive, well I'm okay with that.  Totally.  At the end of the world, if I'm wrong, I will not regret my choice to live life the way I did.  And in the meantime, no one will (hopefully) be affected negatively by my decision.  And, I know from experience that living this way is so much more fulfilling than drinking myself into a coma or sleeping with another man who tells me, "It's just sex."

* Please note:  This does not mean I will not drop the occasional f bomb while sitting in rush hour traffic.

Phew...see what happens when you don't write for a while??  A novel comes out.

It almost seems like the end to Single Dating Mommy, because that's not what defines me anymore.  Not just the end of the chapter, but the end of this book.  Unfortunately, "Mommy" doesn't really have the same ring to it.  It's a little short for a blog title.  So I might keep the name, but I assure you, the content will not be the same.  

Will you join me in my new journey?  I sure hope so!!'s to 2014!

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