Saturday, December 31, 2011

The good, the bad and the ugly about 2011

Thanks for all your wonderfully insightful comments on the terrible 2.5 post.

D said to me, "what have we done wrong?" and I said, "I will blog. The ladies are always wonderfully objective about these things" and you were!

Thank you!


I wish I could take another week to blog about each aspect of my life for 2011 but most of you except 3 people would be bored stiff :)

Let's start.

The ugly

1. The back pain that necessitated my gall bladder removal on 11 October (D's and my 19th "going out" anniversary) was the only non-reproductive surgery I've had to have done and in my view, that was quite enough.

It also set me back in my weight loss journey *sigh* as if that isn't hard enough already but I am ready for next week.

2. And then, Kendra's issues this month. It turned out to be a kidney infection which is not all gone yet. We visited the doc again yesterday and she's on a lower grade antibiotic for a full month to totally zap it.

I don't even want to think about all the bills rolling in over the next week. She had 3 scans/ x-rays which come out of the medical savings account and ours was depleted in Aug, 3 blood tests and saw the paed/ GP 3 times, and is going again for a follow-up on Tues. We're probably looking at about R5000 out of pocket :(

3. Something I haven't blogged about - Connor. Connor is totally off me and has told me many times he doesn't like me. This is probably the toddler version of "I hate you". It hurts me deeply and I have even cried. Last night I was clearing out paper in my study and found something I'd printed on the internet, about not worrying too much when your kids say they hate you. I really needed to read it then. Intellectually I know no one's lives are perfect BUT when you read Facebook updates of perfect mothers and perfect children (or at least, my friends' statuses seem to be perfect) it makes you feel even more inadequate.

4. My friend's son was murdered in Feb. I was so shocked and horrified that I did nothing except survive for a month. My diary is completely blank. And that was just me. I still can't think too much because I just want to cry. Thankfully there is justice in this world. The boy that stabbed him to death was sentenced to life without parole (there is no death penalty in their state). My friend said she didn't think anything could be worse than getting the news but there was something worse - sitting through the whole trial and hearing a play-by-play for a whole week. I can't even imagine.

5. My website was hacked 3 times in one month, once again the next month, and a different domain was hacked again in Nov. Not this blog. I deleted that one without even a smidge of anger or anything. This is very bad though - it's dangerous when I become so cold about things. I can't even explain the stress I felt during this time. I really don't care to repeat any of that. Sad thing is my site still doesn't do its thing properly in some people's browser settings. I have just had to let go.

The bad

  1. My wonderful boss leaving me. I'm dealing with it as best as I know how - by blocking it out. I've already put myself in his calendar for a regular catch-up to talk nonsense like we do.
  2. The church group not being as successful as I thought it would be. I really thought this group would take off but it hasn't. I was faithful though and poured my heart and soul into each and every talk, preparing, doing handouts, etc. Not sure if it was just on a bad day but it is what it is. I still haven't heard back from the pastor after my email saying I wouldn't be doing it next year.
  3. Business.............. shocking. I had wonderful clients but overall, not great sales or responses to anything really. Totally disheartening again when I do pour my life into it. Still praying about how to keep it alive but not let it consume me. My coach friend thinks it's just the economy but I don't know. I'm gearing up to do final financials over the next day or two.
  4. Christmas in the hospital. Just very sad. I still cringe at the thought of eating a roll for lunch - and not even a tasty roll. Our friends from yesterday said they just assumed we'd be okay since we didn't ask for help. I hate asking for help. You?
  5. Then, friendship. I had a hard time at the beginning of the year especially. As with my fake family, I also have fake friends. I like to imagine that I'm as important to others as they are to me and we have relationships like Friends. Yes, I like the dream world I live in :) But I'm getting better at learning to accept the form of friendship for what it is.

The good

  1. Deciding to work out with a personal trainer. Except for my times near the end with J, the one before this current trainer, I've loved it. I go because I've paid upfront, I work out and I see results. The only worry is what if I have to work out with someone forever??? I get used to good things very quickly!
  2. Losing 3 kg on Weigh-Less (and putting 2 of them back) - that part's not good but I want a true picture
  3. The kids were a delight until they turned 2 years 4 months. These last two months have been hard with them. Thank goodness there are flashes of cuteness.
  4. I had pieces published in 3 books and wrote my own book. I have not worked through the edits yet though - once everything settles back after our holiday away (notice how positive I am) I'm going to take a day's leave and get stuck in.
  5. Getting regular massages for 8 months this year til my therapist left.
  6. Getting two Brazilian blow-waves - changed my hair life. Those with crazy curly hair will understand.
  7. Following through on my commitment to do the church group. This was a good thing for me because I had to really push through some months.
  8. Doing my first (and only)  talk about infertility. I really don't know what God's cooking up but should I still bother to go to She Speaks next year?
  9. Doing the Newtown photo shoot. I really should have done this earlier - I can't believe how happy it makes me to look at those images. They are TOTALLY me and I love, love, LOVE the results. I have frames on my desk at home and at work, in a brag book, in photo books, on my walls at home and I'm still deciding which ones to put on canvas. Best decision ever.
  10. My word of the year, courage, has done me well this year - more on that tomorrow but it helped me to live BIG this year. To step out and take action even when I felt vulnerable.
  11. Paying off our bond. Yes. I haven't blogged about it because I'm coaching people how to do it and that's one of my rules - to not do both. But yes.
  12. While I'm talking about money, I had a good money year at work. A fantastic bonus. It kind-of embarrasses me, it was that good, but then I think I haven't always received good bonuses so it's about time, right? I also had two other free money payments and I also had a good increase.
  13. Of course the reason for all that is that I also had a really good year at work - I'm still working on a fantastic project, one I'm so excited about - I can't WAIT til it launches. Aside from Big Project, I feel like I've come into my own more. I'm very comfortable doing the (secret) stuff I do and it shows in my external and internal relationships at work. 
  14. I have truly LOVED working with the people in my work team. We are GREAT together - we disagree nicely, challenge one another, communicate beautifully and work together really well, especially with deadlines. Speaking of which, I have two nice meaty things to do this week at work...
  15. Real life friends - I prayed early this year for God to send people into my life who were right for me. As you know, I crave connection. And so some friendships deepened, some others started and still others have fallen away. I'm trying not to take those (too) personally as maybe they're just not into me as much as I was into them. I've so enjoyed our Fertility Babies suppers, my lunch/ shopping dates with other friends as well as the socials with our couple friends.
  16. Blog friends that became real friends - those I met like Rina, Louisa and Hayley - and those I haven't (yet) met although we might as well, for all the emailing we do behind the scenes like Julia and MandyE.
  17. Received plenty of good mail - much of it from etsy (I checked and I placed 16 etsy orders this year) but also from lots of dear friends all over the world.
  18. Also had the honour of sending good mail to plenty of people. I haven't counted but let's just say I now budget hundreds of rands for postage every month :) I've probably done 100 random acts of kindness this year. It's so satisfying to write, address and mail envelopes and know that people will get them all over the world.
  19. And last but not least, my creative expression. I feel like this year I brought pretty back in a big way. People at work say things like, "you're becoming so creative" and I say, "I've always liked making things pretty - it's just that I'm making the time for it now" and that's 100% true. I've always liked paper and stationery and this is another outlet for me. I did those washi tape binder clips in the hospital with Kendra one day.
  20. My gorgeous new camera. I've had it for exactly 1 month and I have 743 pics in my December folder (still have to download the last few days) compared to 109 in November. Yes. Scary. I am 100% happy with it and I still haven't read the manual.
  21. Moving to the turquoise bank. This might seem trivial but I can't explain how I'm LOVING my new bank, 9 months in. The service is just SO outstanding and I've not had a single complaint; instead they delight me at every turn. I was with the previous red bank for 25 years and while I want to say, "why did I wait so long?" regrets are useless.
  22. Something fun - the kids stopped stripping off their clothes. I am not joking - I used to have na.ked children (completely na.ked) running through the house without their nappies, peeing on the tiles. Not fun!

It's refreshing to see the good still outweighs the bad and ugly because it sure didn't feel like it til I started writing this post. :)

I said to D on our date afternoon, even in the midst of our infertility, I always felt I'd had a good year because the infertility was really the only bad thing in my life.

This year felt like so many areas sucked - medical, business, some personal, we weren't 100% on the same page a lot of the time, s*x, etc.

I am SO glad for this opportunity of a Brand New Year to turn over a clean page.

There's a scripture (Lamentations 3:22 - 23 - I looked it up - I'm not that good :)) I love that goes.. "His mercies are new every morning" and it's true. No matter how bad a particular day or year is, the very next one is always an opportunity to start anew.

That's exactly what I intend to do.

So that's my 2011.

Did anything surprise you? 

On a scale of 1 - 10, how was your 2011?

PS I've just finished MWF Seeking BFF - oh, it's so good. I can't wait to start blogging about all the friendship insights I had.


  1. I can't believe it is 2012!!

    Happy New Year to you and your family. I hope that this year is going to be even more awesome for all of you.

    I have had a good chilled start to the year, and am sitting here loving staring at my boy enjoying his scrambled egg lunch, and knowing that he is going to make every day this year worth it!

  2. LOL..Lance and I have been asking ourselves exactly that. WHAT HAVE WE DONE WRONG?

    Sjoe. You have had SUCH a full year. Seems like the highs were exhilarating and the lows were just low LOW LOW! I know how you stressed about your website and how it pained you to have your beloved boss move on to greener pastures.
    Am thrilled though that you have had an EXCELLENT year professionally AND financially and I LOVE that despite the tough 2011 you had, you can STILL see the wonderful blessings in your life.

    What surprised me in 2011? How debilitating grief can be and how it can affect EVERYTHING. Another thing that surprised me in 2011 was ME getting it together or rather STARTING to get it together.

    ps...please blog about Connor? Maybe we can help.

  3. Oh sweetie - to me meeting you was such a highlight and we really need to do it again.

    And I feel so sad for your Christmas - I was so barely in social media being away and having 16 people for Christmas here that I really feel I dropped you.

    I really hope your year will be fantastic.

    And you know what our years been like....a

  4. What a year you had! Quite eventful!

    As for Connor - hang in there. I promise he doesn't really hate you. Not really. Just doesn't know how to express that he prefers his dad's company right now. Bianca went through the same phase where she didn't want anything to do with Terence. It is hard when it happens, but things will balance out again before you know it!

    As for friendships. I've been pretty unlucky with a number of friendships. Somehow I tend to attract people who turn out to be toxic friends. And just last year I had to distance myself from such a person who was incredibly hard work. But later in the year found myself with a few amazing friendships. Friendships I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

    I also find it incredibly hard asking for help. But just because you don't ask for help, doesn't mean that you didn't need the support or that you didn't cope. There should actually be a guideline out there for people supporting others going through a hard time. A list of things to remember. Because when you go through something difficult or traumatic i.e. with sick kids then all you can focus on is to stay strong for them because you can't crack up in front of them. And you have so little energy left at the end of the day that you can't even bring yourself to let others know. And so unfortunately that might lead others to think you are coping wonderfully. Between you and I we could write a whole list of things so when others go through what you've just been through they can email the list to their friends and family :-).

    You've had some amazing things happen in 2011 as well.

    Praying that 2012 will be an amazing year for you filled with blessings.

  5. You've had quite a year Marcia!

    If I had to give my 2011 a mark out of 10 I'd probably go with a 7. It was really a very good year for me, except for when Nicola was so sick the ENTIRE winter and I practically had no sleep for at least 2 months running. Dark days indeed. Also MySparrow being in bloody Cape Town isn't really one of my highlights either, although I do understand that is/was part of a journey that he had to take to wrap up some of his personal issues. I'm going to have that business head in a definite direction this year, one way or another. I do hope it's the way I want. ;-)

    Other than that it's been a simply marvelous year for both Nicola and I and we've been blessed and carried through so many things that I hardly know where to begin saying thank you.

  6. Had to come back and comment that YES, OF COURSE you should go to She Speaks. And I hope that the financials don't look too bad.xxxx

  7. Sorry to hear about your troubles with Connor. Go look through my FB photos and you'll see a photo posted by my cousin taken at our family reunion last summer. It's the one of me holding R and R has a crying/pouting face (come to think of it, I used this photo for your cry baby link-up). Anyway, that photo was taken just after he told me, "I love Daddy much more better."

    He has not yet told me that he doesn't like me, but he does often scream, "You're not nice!" as he sits in time out for hitting, kicking, or pushing me.

    Fortunately, I don't get this from him all the time, and there are plenty of moments where he's been very sweet to me. But there's no doubt in my mind that he prefers his Daddy to me. And sometimes that does make me feel sad- not that he loves his Daddy so much, but that he doesn't feel the same way about me.

    It's good to see that you have soooooooo many good things that outweigh the bad and the ugly. I hope Kendra's infection is gone soon, and that the medical bills don't become horribly unmanageable.

    Thinking of you...

    And- Happy New Year!

  8. Happy New Year!!! I can't wait for you to get the package I sent you and the kids!!! I saw these and thought they were so perfect for you.

    By the way, there is no such thing as being a perfect mother, wife, person, etc. I always say if someone is perfect (or acts like they think they are, LOL) they cannot possibly be friends with me. I've learned to embrace the imperfection within me and outside of me.

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