Ok-6 months is a long time to take an unexpected hiatus from my blog. I would say I have excuses, like being too busy, getting distracted, or having something better to do..But honestly, I think I just decided one week I didn't want to write anything and left it at that.
So what happened all summer and fall while I was away?? I went to Chicago, I did 4 months of personal training and now I'm rockin' healthy (I mean...hot?), I discovered I love being a part of planning weddings, I changed my viewpoint on credit cards, saving vs. spending and got my money on track, I started two more very part-time jobs, I hosted Thanksgiving at my house and most recently, I have been sick on and off all fall. When I wasn't sick, I was exhausted. ...Needless to say I've been busy!
So here we are the day before Christmas Eve and I'm at work. And it's slow; slow = boring. But at the end of the day I get to go for my monthly massage, go to the gym, buy groceries for Christmas and wait while inches of snow falls from the sky while I'm cozied up in my house!
I think since this is more of a 'Hey, welcome back' post I'm going to celebrate it with a 'what I've learned' for the Year's End. If you don't care to listen to how wise I've become this year, then you can leave now. Thanks for stopping by! :)
First, reflecting on an entire year is a total chore! Think back to last January, do you know anything you learned last January? I'm sure you learned something, but do you remember that it was in January? Did you use it at all throughout the year? Probably not, so most of this will probably occur this summer or fall.. But I'll do my best!
So this year I went to Savannah with my Mom. We had so much fun! Throughout the rest of the year I had a lot of personal bonding moments with her, this mostly stemmed from the difficult year she had; her husband had 3 surgeries, one including a massive heart attack. But at Thanksgiving I realized that even though my Mom may not be perfect and send me gift packages and have great fashion style, she's still my Mom and we are so much alike. For the first time in my life, I'm happy that my mom and I are close and have so many of the same personality traits and qualities about us. I can't wait for the next Mother Daughter Trip!
At the beginning of this year I was very organized-One of the things I did was start tracking my student loans. Every quarter I calculated out how much principal vs. interest I paid and I figured out how long it will take me to pay off my loans. The $52,000 debt I started with at the beginning of the year is now under $48,500. Because of the increases in payments I made, and a little help from finaid.org, I will have all of my students loans paid off in about 6.5 years. That will be a total of 8 years to pay off a massive amount of debt that I HATE having to pay each month. For those of you who have less than this in debt to pay-consider yourselves lucky and pay as much as you can each month!
Speaking of Money, right around the time I ditched my blog I also started to carry a balance on my credit card...I KNOW!! It's awful! By October I had decided to take away all of my credit cards. After a failed attempt to have my boyfriend hide them from me (he put them in the cupboard...right in front of me), I decided to freeze them. Now, I can proudly say that after 3 months of being dead broke, and only having 2 withdrawal breakdowns, I have my debt paid off. I also have a wonderfully growing savings account for my new car because of my new sense of financial responsibility. As far as ever getting rights to those cards back....maabye when I travel, and they go right back in the freezer!
One of my biggest accomplishments for me this year is repairing and building my relationship with my sister. We don't get along because I disagree with so many decisions she made in the last 5 years. Because of that, and her great ability to be so stubborn, we were not even conversing for about 10 months-We didn't decide not to talk to each other, it was just we both knew it wouldn't end well if we did... But in July I discovered she had set a wedding date, to take place in Oregon, and I had a sudden fear that she might not want me there...Luckily, my fear was just paranoia, but it also showed me that my actions would have been responsible for it, had that happened. So conversing commenced and now we hold happy conversations, after her attempting to plan her wedding on her own, she took my offer of help to be her wedding planner and VOILA! Not only am I invited to the wedding, but without me there couldn't be a (fabulous) wedding! I sent tons of gifts and goodies to her family for Christmas and I can't wait to get out there next summer and give her a giant hug! I can be difficult when I disagree on something, but I'm glad that I will always have my sisters to put up with it! :)
I spent a third of my year with a personal trainer. The reason: my pants weren't fitting and I was seeing a small, but noticeable, tiny muffin top....uck! So instead of torturing myself by starvation, or thinking that I'm perfect the way I am, I enlisted for someone else to tell me what I need to do to keep my body healthy, happy and clean. It wasn't a complete torture fest, but I learned alot about muscle and its uncanny ability to burn calories and fat..and while I saw a large reduction in the waist over the 4 month period, I did not see much of a reduction in my hips and thighs...I was born with them and they are wonderful and it just takes the best pants to make others feel that way as well. :) Not to mention I lost 25% of what body fat I had and love how my clothes fit me, gained 6 pounds and no longer weigh myself. EVER. Exercise and Diet is the only way to lose weight (inches)and to feel great. I learned to accept the way my body chooses to be-when its slim and healthy.
So I have more jobs now..I'm babysitting for two families-this job I did for the extra money, it is still for the extra money. The other job is being a Speech Coach for a local high school Speech Team. I was in Discussion when I was in school and did very well. I miss it still and decided if I can find someone to hire me than I would do it. So far it has been a lot of fun! I mostly decided to take on these jobs, obviously for extra money, but also because I discovered there aren't alot of students that want to take private music lessons this year. I'm sure its more of a cost-saving measure, but it put a hamper on my budget so I had to accommodate to that. Side jobs are a great way to make some extra money!
This fall I also auditioned for a community band-of course, I am waay out of shape and didn't get into the band, but I did get on the sub-list....hopefully next year I can try again. I did notice that my right arm is still responding negatively to my clarinet. It's just more patience and work to be done before I'm 'healed'..
Merry Christmas Everyone!