Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year New Life

As you have read, the holidays weren't that great for me. I am glad that they are over and I am actually looking forward to New Year's Eve. I mean, new year, new life, new dress? Why wouldn't I be? 

I hate 2012 with most of my being although I have to say there were still many many good times. There is a saying that goes a little something like this; "things can't get any worse". I foolishly used this statement in a year known as 2010. I remember it crystal clear... I was sitting at a rehearsal for a friend's wedding who would be married the next day on New Years Eve. A friend and I were discussing life as Matt had walked down the aisle to take his seat. He had a huge scar on his head from his 2nd brain surgery. He had surgery only about a week and a half prior but the trooper that he was, healed quickly and still made it to all of our holiday plans. My grandfather had passed away only a few months prior. A lot had gone down in only a few months. I shared with my friend that I was looking forward to the New Year because really how could things get any worse? 

So as I stand at the end of 2012, I realize that although I suffered the greatest loss of my life yet, I still have much to be grateful for and things could always get worse since you just don't know what tomorrow brings. Sometimes I struggle with the fact that more bad things will happen to me. I know this sounds pretty depressing and I still sound like a fool in 2012. Really, what I mean is that when you have dealt with an incredible amount of hardship by the age of thirty, you think surely this is it for me! Or more simply I just can't take anymore! However, I know this isn't true because mainly life is impermanent with many many ups and downs especially when you put yourself out there in any sort of relationship. While 2012 was defined by a very giant down, there were certainly some ups as well. So below is my list of Top 10 accomplishments and moments of 2012 and I encourage everyone to do the same! 

1. Hawaii - I made the trip to Hawaii that I never imagined I would take by myself. I originally went with Matt to Hawaii when my grandfather took my whole family back in Spring of 2007. We loved it there and were happy to hear one of Matt's friends would be having his wedding there. We discussed attending this wedding many times together and I knew if it was possible, I would get him to that wedding. Unfortunately Matt did not make it to the wedding. I missed him greatly and it was tough but I am glad I went.  I also know that Matt was happy I went to celebrate with his friends in his place. 

2. Turning Thirty - Not that I had a choice with this one or it was really an accomplishment but I turned thirty this year. While I never thought I would be where I am at thirty, I think I am making the best of it. I embraced the day of celebration and found the perfect way to enter this new era of my life...  a hot yoga class with my friends and family followed of course by some boozy Popsicles!

3. Fixing Stuff - I still have the initial inclination to call the handyman but then I remember how expensive that is and I at least give the home repair a shot. Yesterday, I put my heavy glass shower door back on track. A month ago, I changed all the light bulbs in my house including the super tall one above my front door. I also learned that not only are those fluorescent light bulbs better for the environment, they mean less changing of the light bulbs!

4. Blog - I started this blog and love writing. Who knew I had it in me? During Matt's battle with cancer, I was always pretty private about it all. Expressing my feelings with many friends and family has helped me immensely. Blogs helped me in those early days of grief immensely. Hopefully this helped another young widow out there. Sometimes when you are suffering a loss, the best thing is simply to have someone to associate with. It's true, misery does love company. 

5. Headstand - I won't bore everyone again by going on more about this but remembering that I set this goal for myself last year (January 1, 2012) and achieved it makes me happy. Can't wait to go to class on New Year's Day and chill in headstand for 10 deep breaths! And today, I decided what my pose goal for 2013 is, Handstand! Got into it this morn with the help of the Instructor!

6. Zumba - Somehow during all of the commotion I still showed up for my students and taught with love and passion. Not only did I teach but I attended Convention which was life changing. Then I went on to host a Zumbathon with an outpouring of support from friends, family, and students. We were able to raise over $4000 to benefit the ABTA. I think one of the best moments happened to me just about a week ago when one of my students came up to chat after class. She shared with me that Zumba was a huge stress reliever to her as her sister battled breast cancer. Mission accomplished. 

7. Plan B - Despite my life plans being turned upside down, I created a new plan and found a way to look forward to each new day. I am so ready for this!

8. New friends - Loss and grief truly rock you to your core. It shakes up everything you thought to be true which includes relationships with friends, family, and co-workers. Some friends and family have simply stepped up to be by my side like I could have never imagined. I have made many new friendships that simply wouldn't have happened unless I was in this situation. I also know what types of relationships are healthy for me and which ones I want to maintain. Thank you... you know who you are! 

9. I am a Good Dog Mama - Matt did a lot of the caring for Lila. He fed her, walked her, and took her to the dog park everyday. However, he knew he would be stuck with this when we signed up to adopt Lila. I found myself in charge of all these responsibilities. I know, people do this everyday and Lila makes my life that much better, but nonetheless it was a change for me. At first, I would forget to buy dog food and would have to make a last minute run to the pet store for the expensive stuff but eventually I learned to just buy the bigger bag! Lila and I figured it out and she is a happy little dog. Lila is still a legend at Wigglyville but her Papa is still greatly missed there. 

10. I was a supportive wife that stood by my man. My marriage lasted till death did us part. 

Here's to a wonderful, amazing New Year... as with all years there will be some ups and some downs but hopefully we can all move through it gracefully and appreciate the downs for what they teach us and enjoy the ups with a smile on our faces!




  1. Here's to 2013, Melissa! May you have lots of love, laughter, and blessings in this new year! I love your blog and I wish you the very best! Hugs to you my dear! Sabrina Veley

  2. Thanks Sabrina.... Happy New Year to you as well! Best wishes all around for 2013!