Trite as it is to use this time of year to recollect and reconstruct the past 12 months, that's exactly what has been going on in my head these past days. What kind of a year was 2005? What did I learn? What do I need to continue in 2006? What do I need to change?
There are a few things from this past year that are really a source of pride and joy for me. The first and probably the biggest is the strengthening of my relationship with Mark and the strengthening of the family we're building. Losing Chance was the worst kind of trial, obviously, but I am proud of how we've dealt with it, how we've been able to be there for each other, and how is has toughened the fiber of our relationship. The addition of first Leo and then Atticus to our family has also strengthened it, I think. We'll never be able to replace Chance, but it's not about replacement--it is about opening your heart and enjoying the time you have. I really feel like I've internalized that this year, and I am happy about that.
Another big source of accomplishment for the year is having bought the house. Scare tactics about market crashes aside, I feel we did the right thing and we picked the right property. I love our house, and I love being a homeowner, even if it is a constant source of stress. It sustains me on a mental level, feeling like we're being responsible and building equity and all that, and on an emotional level, being able to come home to something that is mine. I also think it was very wise for Mark and I to get ourselves out of the toxic living situation we were in before, and it has decreased our stress levels greatly to have done so.
A third source of pride is my return to school. It would have been really easy to bag the whole program, and it was really tempting to do so, but ultimately I know that finishing is the right thing, and I'm proud I made the decision to do so. I'm also proud that I did so well with balancing work and school this past semester. It was a little more stressful for me than I would have liked, but it turned out well. The classes I took challenged me, which is good, and I actually learned quite a bit, which is an unexpected benefit at this point.
Finally, I'm proud of having taken charge of my health this year in some pretty important ways. The biggest thing is finally having accepted that my allergies are more than an annoyance, they are a major problem, and addressing that problem with both better allergy pills and starting allergy shots. It's a huge hassle, but I have to believe it will be worth it. I've also made positive changes in my diet and exercise, though those changes have largely fallen by the wayside this past month and will need to be reinstated in 2006. And I've come to a better understanding of my mental health as well, I think, though I definitely have more work to do in that area in 2006 as well, including the possible addition of therapy to my drug regieme.
All in all, I am proud of and happy with the things I have accomplished in 2005. I think I've grown up a lot this year, and made some importance advances and changes. This is not to say that there is no more work to do--there is much more, enough that it is a whole seperate post--but I think I am justified in feeling proud of what I've been able to accomplish, and hopeful about the things that have only begun.