See, the past year for me has been so drastically different. In less than 365 days I: quit smoking, quit drinking, got married, had a baby, and adopted 2 step-children. (just to give you an idea of how totally different my life is).
1. I learned that I do not have to be tied down to ANY addiction: I smoked a pack a day of Camel Menthol cigarettes for nearly 5 years. (At $5.00 a pack I might add) I would often choose a pack of cigarettes over food, gas, bills, or any other NECESSITY. Smoking was something that I was never ever proud of - and it controlled my life for five long years. I was constantly coughing - coming down with bronchitis on NUMEROUS occasions, and even continued to smoke through my coughing fits. (classy, eh?) I was also a pretty consistant drinker - going out nearly every weekend because well, I just didn't know what else to do. Alcohol was turning me into a mean, unhealthy person.. and one summer day last year I decided that enough was enough. I quit smoking and drinking just one day out of the blue. Never to return again. And just as my body started to regain its' health again, a few months after quitting, I found out that I was pregnant. Apparently my body just wanted to be cleaned out and healthy enough to grow a baby. ;) So, #1 thing I've learned: I can conquer any addiction. (except possibly my freaky addiction to water... but that shouldn't count)
2. I can commit! That's right, I got married. I actually CAN commit to someone!!! I even unpacked all of my belongings and set up a HOME! I am no longer just a nomad, wandering around Knoxville looking for a nice couch to crash on.
4. Being a mom isn't as scary as it looks - (not yet anyways) I had NEVER, I repeat - NEVER changed a diaper before Novalee came along. I had probably only held a baby for a total of 10 minutes also. Something about being pregnant for 9 long months prepares you for all of that. A natural instinct kicks in - and you immediately can tell what your baby needs. (90% of the time) What an amazing experience to say the least.
5. I like to read!! - I discovered the public library and the rest was history. I think 2009 was a great time to discover my love for reading. Thank you to all of my bloggy friends who recommended books for me to read - I'm still working on that reading list!
6. I deserve more at work - more benefits, more money, more respect. Although my relationship with my job is a love-hate one... I realized this year that I hate it more than I love it. And when the bad outweighs the good, it's time to move on.
7. There are better things to do with my time than watch T.V!! - Right around the time I quit smoking and drinking, I also gave up television. Partially b/c of finances and partially b/c I was just OVER it. G-A-R-B-A-G-E!!! I also put a ban on rated R movies - and will never ever ever again watch a Horror movie. Ever. (I have Dark Knight and Halloween to thank for that) I realized that all of those movies were damaging my soul - really, truly hurting me, putting negativity in a place that God intended for pure, positive things. So, I cleansed myself from all (well, as much as I can possibly control) things violent, scary, and cruel. I think that this one thing has changed me more than any other thing on this list. I have far better things to do than to watch trashy television! (does that make me sound old?)
8. I am strong! - I've mentioned throughout this blog that I was put through some pretty insane ailments while I was pregnant.. (head lice, swine flu, LABOR) I managed just fine. Who knew?!
9. Sometimes I just need a good cry - letting out my emotions instead of bottling it up. Wow. What a concept. I figured out this past year that it's okay to ask someone for help... and that more often than not, family and friends will rise to the occasion and BEG to help. I've learned that it is OKAY to not have it all figured out.. and that a lot of people know more than I do! (okay, so maybe I was just a little slow.. )
10. True happiness is easy!! - My husband makes me the happiest woman in the World. No doubt about that. I don't ever have to be miserable again. I will never have to settle for things that I know aren't right. I will never put myself in a situation that makes me unhappy. I will always fight for my God-given right to be happy... and I will NEVER let anyone take that away from me.
Can I get a "Amen" around here!?
Okay, enough preachin' from me. This list was good for me today. Thanks to Emilee for the inspiration. :) OH, and here's a few more pictures of baby Novalee.... just for fun.