Although I would never describe myself as terribly ambitious, I am looking forward to the coming year. I have been thinking about where I am at now compared to where I was just a few years ago. It is amazing how much can change in a year.
In 2009, I moved cross-country. Overweight and unhappy, we struggled financially to regain our footing. My oldest child started kindergarten. My youngest was potty trained. Near the end of the year, I started a full-time job after being a SAHM for most of the previous 5 years.
In 2010, our finances stabilized a bit. We finally found a home for the very, very bad dog we had struggled with for years. I worked full-time and hated what I was doing. My youngest child was in full-time daycare, my oldest in school all day and then afterschool daycare until 6pm. They were both unhappy with this, and I felt huge guilt. Yet, I also decided to lose the weight that had been plaguing me since my first pregnancy. I joined a weight loss program and stuck with it. I decided to quit my job so that the kids could be home more. I returned to college to pursue a completely different career. And then I fell into a part-time contracting position. My youngest child began preschool. I hired a nanny. I was hired on as a full-time employee at the end of the year, and promptly found a puppy from the shelter.
In 2011, I worked full-time as a school counselor until June when I was surreptitiously laid off. We moved to a nicer neighborhood in a bigger home with, good lord, an actual fenced yard and TWO trees. I decided I did not want to pursue the other career but did like the school counseling work and chose to pursue certification in that field. I started and completed the Couch to 5K running program. I slowly gained 10 pounds over the year. Strangely, this weight gain coincided with the running. My youngest child began kindergarten – two kids in school now. The puppy we were told “will not get bigger than 40 pounds” expanded into a 70 pound lovefest. I worked my way through the certification courses, culminating in an internship at a high school in the fall. I ran 2 5ks. I became a vegetarian. At the end of the year, I have a full-time job offer as a school counselor and my husband has a promotion – but the promotion involves relocating.
I have been thinking and thinking about the different possibilities waiting within this coming year. And though I have listed the factual events of each year since our move, I left out the more subjective shifts that went on within my own being. There are things I understand now about me, about life, about desire and longing and happiness. Things that deserve their own post, on a different day.
So I will say that the biggest thing I have realized is that while life is a journey, you get to control the ride – and the ride is what it’s all about.