Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

What a year 2011 has been.  So much is swirling around in my head right now.  I'm not sure I can make sense of any of it, but I'm going to try.  Please bear with me.  I have learned something though, life is all about choices.  I'll try and explain.

I can choose to see 2011 one of 2 ways:

Way 1:  2011 started with STRESS!!  Stress of business not doing well equaling low income.  Stress of trying to find a place to move too.  Stress with wondering if the rental agency would allow us one more month contract free to stay, while we figured out what was going on with finding a place to live.  Stress of a bad neighborhood.   Stress with DRAMA caused by the bad neighborhood.  Stress of bank after bank telling us "No" to a home loan. 

Then came My grandfather's diagnosis:  Alzheimer's, and later, Lung Cancer.  Then we lost my husband's grandfather this year.

Then we had the stress of moving.   Leaving friends, getting the rental ready to turn back in, and such.

Then of course the everyday stresses of  going back to school, birthdays, raising three kids, a wedding, ect.

The stress of a loved one having some personal issues.

In "Way 1", I could choose to see 2011 as STRESSFUL, to say the very least.

WAY 2: 

We got a miracle!  Everyone said (for one reason or another) we'd never be able to build a house.  Four banks said so.  Even a lawyer's office we called for advice said it would take a miracle.  But I'm sitting in the house we had built.  The house no one believed we'd have.  I'm sitting in our miracle typing this now.  *start hallelujah chorus*

We were moved to a safer, more sane, less dangerous neighborhood. 

My kids adjusted great to the move and a new school.

Through the death of one grandfather, and the death sentence of the other, we were reminded (again) how fragile life is.  And how important it is to tell and show those you love, that you love them. 

And through all the stress we've had this year, my family has grown closer.  M:y marriage has grown stronger.  Communication is much better, and we continue to work on it.

My marriage grew stronger in 2011, due to some of those "stresses" mentioned already, and others.  I have a stronger, happier marriage.

I have made new friends this year as well.  Some are neighbors, some are not.   Each brings joy into my life.

My baby sister got married this year!  And it was beautiful.  She was stunning.  And her new husband and in-laws are just part of the family now.  We love them all so much.  They are a great fit!

My other sister bought/built her first home.  She is now a neighbor.  How exciting is that?!??!

My husband's job maybe more demanding, but it was promotion.  And that rocks!

I got to spend the holidays with my entire family.  Even those from Germany!  (who are still here and get to ring in the new year with us!  WOOHOO!)  This is not a luxury a lot of families have.

In this scenario, "WAY 2",  2011 can be summed up as BLESSED.

I am choosing to see things as WAY 2.   I choose to hold on to the good and let go of that which wasn't. 

I choose to see my grandfather's diagnosis's as a blessing.  It means we were one of the few lucky families that get time to prepare for and say good bye to their loved one.  It means we can make sure he leaves this Earth never doubting what he has meant to any of us.  Too many people in life are taken suddenly (as my family well knows.  We have lost 3 that way).  This is our chance to say our goodbyes and fill our loved one's life with love.

I choose not to let those who have wounded me, go.  I don't need them.  I don't want that kind of toxic in my life.

I choose to not let those who don't like me, or the way I live (which is clearly not the way they think I should), bother me.  In the end, they are just control freaks, mad that I didn't do (or do) what they think I should.  Even those who don't me.  People like that are not worth the energy I have spent worrying about.  I choose to let it go.  It's much healthier for me this way.  And more of energies are freed up for things and people that truly matter.

I choose to leave the bad of 2011 in 2011. 

Shoot, in the past 24 hours, the stress of my husbands work week had gotten to us.  We had one grand fight.  Been a while since we had one like this.  (by Sunday evening, he will have worked AT LEAST 90 hours this week.  And no, I'm not exaggerating.)  But even now, we have learned some things from it.  And we know things that need worked on.  This is progress.  And we are choosing to leave the fight in 2011 and start tonight, and 2012 brand new.  It's a choice. 

Every day we have choices we make.  Every choice comes with a consequence, good or bad.   We can choose to hold on to the bad, let it make us bitter.  We can choose to hold on to hurt.  We can choose to focus on the unfortunate.   We can choose to be prisoners of our past.


We can choose  learn from the bad, and let it go.  We choose to let go of the hurt and not let it hold us back from all the good the future has for us.  We can choose to focus on our blessings and find things to be grateful for, rather than looking too hard on that which upsets us.  Thus freeing us up to move forward in life.

Life is about choices.  And I choose to leave that which does not matter back here, in 2011.  I choose to ring in the new year with those I cherish most in this world.  I choose to try and be better person and not let life get me down so much. (I'm not saying it's going to be easy.  I'm not saying I'm not going to have days when I may fail at this.  But I CHOOSE to TRY).   I choose to start fresh in 2012.

My wish for anyone reading this is this:  I hope you each will choose to leave behind that which does not truly matter.  I wish you all great new beginnings in 2012.  I wish you all the happiest new year.  May it be filled with more joy, blessing, laughter, learning, and love than ever before.

Happy New Year my friends.


  1. Thank you, Noelle. You are such a wonderful writer and I have bookmarked this to keep re-reading. 2011 has been one of the hardest years of my life (much more than what's shown up on FB or CPM LOL!) and I am fighting depression and anxiety - I am praying for strength and the ability to let go and move on, and to find peace. Your words are exactly what I am trying to do. I will re-read this often! Thank you, happy New Year and I hope you have a wonderful 2012!

  2. *hugs* Lara!!!

    I had a few years like that. I understand. If you ever need to talk, or just need to vent, or even for someone just to listen, I'm here.

    Just remember, everything takes time. And your friends are here for you. I'm here for you.

    Happy 2012! May this year bring you more smiles than tears. More joy than pain. And more wonderful memories to cherish, always. *hugs again*