My 2019

It’s officially 2020. While the welcoming of a new year usually doesn’t matter to me, I’m glad to say hello to 2020. Readers of my blog will know that 2019 wasn’t the best year for me and some of those I love. So, it’s time for 2020.

We can’t get too far into 2020 without looking back at 2019. So, here is a brief review of my 2019.

Things that Didn’t go Well

The worst thing that happened in 2019 was Emma’s passing. We miss our beloved beautiful girl so much. Mom and I still talk about and to her a lot. Emma was the sweetest animal I have ever known. Honestly, I hope to someday be more like her.

Ufi’s cancer diagnosis was the second worst thing that happened in 2019. Watching him slowly lose ability has been painful and difficult. Not having him with me most of the time has been a sad, hard transition. But knowing he has lived months longer than expected and that his life still has meaning to him is wonderful.

Even though I’m hopeful for a good 2020, I know Ufi’s death will leave a traumatic mark on 2020 for me.

I have been battling problems with my prosthetic eye since Memorial day weekend; in fact, I spent part of Memorial Day, which was also my birthday, in two emergency rooms. Four procedures, two surgeries, nearly seven months, and lots of unnecessarily expensive medical bills have finally gotten me to where I’m finally feeling like this is over.

I haven’t seen anyone about the eye in nearly two weeks. So far, it’s holding up well. If I can say goodbye to these eye problems with the end of 2019, 2020 will be off to a good start.

I didn’t do a good job taking care of myself in 2019. I had a strong intension to focus on getting in better shape after my birthday. With everything that happened on and after my birthday, I never got to working on that goal.

It’s true that I worked out on a fairly regular basis. The elliptical I bought in February was a big help. But I consumed way too much bad stuff–especially sugar. The stress I have been feeling for the previous seven months was certainly a contributing factor, but I can’t blame my failures on the stress. I could have and should have done better. I need to hold myself more accountable.

I left 2019 with no idea as to how or when I will find love. For the last several months, I haven’t even thought about looking. I want to say it will come when it comes, but I’m tired of waiting. Also I know I need to be more proactive. That doesn’t mean I think I should intensionally go out looking for someone to love; rather, I need to put myself in more positions to find someone I wind up loving. With luck, they may love me too.

I will leave this until my post on resolutions for 2020.

Things that went well in 2019

Wanting to end on a positive, here are the things I feel good about from 2019.

With all the bad things that happened in 2019, I was regularly reminded that the few people who really know me love me very much. The knowledge that there are people who love me unconditionally is priceless. Knowing we can go through difficult times together and never have our relationships suffer or be questioned is amazing.

It was a difficult year for the animals in my life. Still, Emma, Ufi, Mr. Rogers, and Scorpio reminded me in their unique ways how much they love me. More times than I can remember, each of them was a source of entertainment and a friend. My animal friends are truly special to me.

Mom and I got the nice holiday season we needed. It wasn’t flashy, but it was full of love. With the stress we have been facing, simply listening to the music as it played in rhythm to the lights was relaxing. For us, this holiday season really was more in line with the spirit of the holidays than holiday seasons too often have become.

In August, I became a certified ADA coordinator. This means the ADA National Network says I’m capable of being the Americans With Disabilities Act coordinator for an organization. I’m not yet sure how the certification will help me and there are others I want to get, but I’m certain someday the ADA coordinator certification will help me make the kind of difference I know I can make.

At work, I really found my stride. I can’t say anywhere near as much has been accomplished as I would have liked, but I have discovered a job I can do well and that enables me to make my community more accessible. I’m proud of what I’m doing for the city of Portland, and I know I have a ton more to give.

By meeting folks from around the country working to make things more accessible, I have come to believe my abilities and skills could make a difference that goes way beyond Portland. That isn’t to say I don’t have a lot to learn. Part of my belief in the difference I can make comes from the willingness of others to share their strengths with me. Yes, I have a lot to contribute. But I have at least as much to learn.

2019 has helped me do a little better at focusing on what I can control. The stresses of life and those at work have given me lots of chances to practice not getting bogged down by things that upset me and are beyond my control. I can’t say I’m as good at this as I wish, but I’m certain 2019 made me better at it.

I want to thank all the writers who entertained and/or educated me in 2019. Wanting to be here with Ufi as often as I can and struggling with my eye, gave me the time to read a ton of books. The reading was sometimes an escape through entertainment. Other times, reading was educating me about the world we share. Always, reading left me feeling better.

Goodbye 2019

I’m sure there’s more I could say about 2019, but I need to quit somewhere. With fireworks still banging in the background, it’s time for me to embrace 2020.

I hope all of us have a wonderful 2020!

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