Another Christmas has come and gone. Christmas 2018 was very nice, a fun day with our family. Dave and I started the day by going to Mass and the for the rest of the day it was good food, fun games, gift exchange, and a good time just being together - really the best part. Now we look forward to New Years Day and all that 2019 will bring to us.
We had planned to go to Midnight Mass but I was struck down with a stomach bug on Christmas Eve and spent the day on the sofa sipping Sprite, and headed off to bed early. The stomach bug, thankfully, was fast moving. Granddaughter Alivia started throwing up on Friday evening, her Dad and sister succumbed to the bug on Saturday, and her Mom on Christmas Eve. Daughter Amber and four of her boys got it on Sunday, and her husband and oldest son got it on Christmas Eve. Yesterday our son Ben came down with it, so it will be only a matter of time before his wife and son get it. The bug only lasts about twelve hours, but for several days after you have no appetite at all, at this time of year we are all likely to over-indulge food wise, so it is perhaps not a bad side effect! Anyway, for the most part everyone is feeling well again.
Looking back over 2018, it was a sad year, we lost my father-in-law in July, Ralph was 88, he lived a good life and was a good man and we are thankful that he had a peaceful death surrounded by family. It was a year of fun, lots of birthday celebrations, holiday celebrations, a big party when my husband turned 60. Job changes for some of our children and their spouses, all for the better. A wonderful visit with my parents at the end of September when they drove to Indiana to visit all of us, before heading off to Colorado to visit my sister and her husband, and then on to Arizona to visit my youngest sister and her family, then back to sunny Florida. A long road trip for two seventy-nine years old, young at heart, people to make. All in all it was a good year.
For myself, I feel as if I have come out of a tunnel, I mentioned in a previous post I was struggling with my upcoming birthday, I will be fifty-five. I seem to have resolved my negative feelings about it. Since turning fifty I have been through a lot, and perhaps now feel as if I am in a good place. Firstly I lost a lot of weight, a hundred and ten pounds and have kept it off. I can tell you it is life changing to lose that much weight, of course it is a very positive thing, but it takes a long time, years to pass, to mentally accept that you are no longer obese. It is weird, I don't think I can really explain it, it just is a huge mental adjustment. People treat you differently, most are very positive and encouraging, a few (and only a very few) disparaging and hurtful. The adjustment of moving from losing weight, it took just over a year, to maintaining the weight loss, a rest of my life job is scary at first. For me the weight loss brought with it a sense of freedom and a new lease on life and a sense of loss all at the same time. After three plus years of maintaining the weight loss I am finally feeling a bit of confidence that I can do this for the rest of my life and not obsess so much about gaining back all the weight. I had some personal struggles through the past five years, but never did I give in to comfort food, I did succumb to wine for a while, but seem to have nipped that in the bud. I have learned a lot about self-discipline over the past five years, I exercise most days, and eat a very healthy diet, this has strengthened other areas of my life, I don't procrastinate, I keep things organized, I like a tidy house. And I think most importantly my faith has increased, I find Mass to be so very comforting, I walk into the sanctuary at our church and feel as if I am home, in the right place, I feel peace, I feel calm and focused. For a while, a year or longer in the past five years I went through quite a dry period in my faith, now I look at it as the "Footprints" prayer, as I see that God carried me for a long time, he never left my side, I strayed from him. I am glad that now there are two sets of footprints! So, I am looking straight ahead into 2019 and am ready to deal with all the ups and downs, the good and the bad, the happiness and the sadness that it is bound to bring and know that whatever happens, with God on my side I will be able to get through it.
Peace and best wishes to you all for 2019.