Monday, January 2, 2012

Top 10 of 2011

It's that time of year again, when I recap the last year with a top ten. Remember, this just means most memorable, or most significant. Not the best things, necessarily. In 2009 and 2010, most things in the top ten were negative. (They were not good years.) This year was substantially better. Let's see if it's reflected in my top ten...
First, let me tell you how I came into the year. I was recovering from cholecystectomy, (gallbladder removal surgery) I was recovering from a broken heart and broken spirit, I was still married, but living with my parents. I was cynical. I was angry. I was bitter. 
And now, my top ten, in chronological order:

1. New Car- In January I got a new car. It kind of had a symbolic meaning to me. I'd traded in the old family SUV for something that would suit just me and my kids. It was the first big purchase I'd done alone. It was liberating, in a way.

2.Volleyball League- In the beginning of the year, my family made a volleyball team and joined a league. We didn't win, but it was fun. It was a great distraction from other things in life.

3. Job-In the summer, for the first time since Morgan's been born, I got a job. Even though I just worked in a cornfield, I really liked it. I got to listen to audio books all day, meet some awesome people, get more fit, and feel more independent. But I didn't like having to leave my children with babysitters, even though they were competent family that I trust. So, when my babysitter had her own baby, I made the decision to stay home with my kids, and go to school the next semester, even though it meant I'd have to live with my parent's a little longer. I really feel like this is right for right now. My kids are priority.

4. Divorce- On July 11, 2010, the courts messed up in my favor. They wanted to delay my divorce for a silly reason, but the papers got stamped anyway. So, although I didn't know it till later, my divorce was finally finalized on July 11. I'd had to wait for my kids to have Idaho residency before filing, and then there were lots of issues to work through, so it took that long. When I announced to my mother that I was divorced, she asked how I was, if it made me sad. Um. NO! The sad had passed months before. It felt more like Christmas; like I could finally start living my life again.

5. Self-Publish- Throughout the spring and summer, I was working on getting the rights back for Future Glimpse so I could self-publish, or seek other representation. It was a battle, and many told me to give up, to give in, but I was kind of tired of being walked on, so I stuck it out. And I'm glad I did. I have the full rights again, and will soon be putting my book back on the market. So, watch out. I'm done being a doormat.

6. First Date- In August I had my first post-divorce date. It was a blind date, and we doubled with my brother and sister-in-law. I had a ton of fun. I have it on the top ten list because of what it represents. It wasn't my only date, and not even my best, but it was the first, and so significant.

7. Lydia's First Birthday- September 2, my baby turned one. She's energetic, crazy, happy, busy, adorable, loud, and fun, and everyone loves her. Especially me.

8. Skye Bloo- In November I finished my second book! It was a two+ year project, and a great day when the story was all down. I still have editing and proof reading, but I've already started the list of agents to send it to.

9. Prison Choir- I joined a choir with my sister in the fall. Dec. 18th we went to 4 different prisons and sang for their LDS church service Christmas program. It was an incredible experience that I wished I had blogged about earlier. We had to go through electrified, locked, gates, past guards, through many locked doors, past the guard dogs. And that wasvafter background checks, and metal -detectors. But when we'd get to the chapel or room designated for church, it was completely different. The Spirit was strong, and many "hardened criminals" got very emotional. And when they'd shake our hands afterward, their thanks was sincere. It was kind of strange how sharing the message of Christ through song made me feel so bonded with the people in prison. I didn't expect it. I learned a lot about love that day. (And it wasn't even because of the man who asked me to write to him...)

10. Forgiving- I'll put this here at the end, because I can't place the time it happened. It's been a gradual process, and I guess I don't know for sure if it's complete. But even though I entered 2011 as an angry, bitter, broken, woman, I left it completely different. No longer angry, but happy. Not bitter, hopeful. And not broken, but healed. When I realized how negatively I was being affected by my own bitterness, I prayed for the desire to forgive until I had it. And when I had it, I prayed for the ability and success. And that's basically what it took. Praying. I can't think of anything I did that brought me to this point, other than asking for it. What a blessing the Atonement is.

This has turned out very long-winded. I guess I had a lot to say about the year. It was one of growth and change, and I'm grateful for it.


Lora Dawn said...

Reading your forgiveness paragraph alone has made my day, touched my heart and reminded me how grateful I am for God's goodness. I am happy for you.....and appreciate your example.

KarenWaite said...

Love this! I'm so glad that this year has been a turning point for the better for you. :) You deserve happiness.

Smullin Family said...

I too was touched by your "forgiveness paragraph". I've found that forgiveness is a process..and comes in waves or layers. You are wise to expect there may be more forgiving, but I am so glad you are happy and content for now. Great job Melanie.

Megan said...

I appreciate your example so much more than I have the words to express. I am happy for you!

jwilson said...

Amazing growth, Melanie. And you have such courage too--putting your thoughts and emotions out there. I admire you.