Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Reflecting on 2010

New Year’s Eve is just a few days away and like most people, I can’t help reflecting on the year and looking toward 2011. On last NYE, I never could have predicted what a wild, fun, happy and exciting year I would have, but I guess that is the way life is. You can plan, predict, make resolutions and hope for things, but life can be unpredictable and surprising in so many ways.

We all know how this year started with a kidney stone and ended with an extremely rare throat infection and hospital stay, and there are a few things that haven’t changed a bit, but this past year has been amazing for me. I’ve accomplished a lot, tried new things, laughed a lot and learned a ton about myself in the process.

I’m thinking a lot about what the next year might hold and can’t wait to share my 2011 wish list with you guys…. stay tuned!

I hope you all have a safe and happy new year! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Christmas kind of snuck up on me this year. I knew this would happen seeing as I was out of commission for the month of November. Nevertheless, I am loving this time of year. I always have and always will. I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas growing up with my family and I love the traditions we keep and the memories we continue to make each year.

I've always been really into Christmas. We wouldn't even be finished with Thanksgiving dinner and I was the kid asking when we could put the Christmas tree up. In high school, I worked at a year-round Christmas store. I spent the year lighting and decorating trees, listening to Christmas music and stocking ornaments and Christmas villages. I loved every minute. I love it when one of the local radio stations starts to play nothing but Christmas tunes and wear I my Santa hat while I do my Christmas shopping.

My favorite part of Christmas is the traditions. For as long as I can remember, my siblings and I have done a secret Santa gift exchange. The thing is, it never ends up being secret because someone inevitably slips and then next thing you know, everyone knows who had them. It never fails, but it's one of those things that I love about us. Another tradition that we've started in the last few years is having a girls cookie day before Christmas each year. Sometimes it is my mom, sisters, aunts and I. Other times, like this year, it is just my mom and I. We each pick a new or favorite cookie recipe and spend the day baking and gossiping and giggling. This year, I made Snickers Stuffed Brownie Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies...and it was a huge success! I got the recipe from a fantastic blog I follow, A Whisk and A Prayer. Check it out...she posts some great recipes and was totally right when she said these cookies were life changing.

The best part of Christmas in my family is that it's not about the gifts. Sure, my parents still ask us to make Christmas lists, which become more boring every year as we get older (this year I asked for pots and pans). We still do stockings for my parents and get them a few gifts. But when I look back at Christmas over the years, I'm not reminiscing about the gifts we got or gave. I'm remembering the moments...the wonderful memories I made with these amazing people.

I try to always appreciate the wonderful life and family that I have, but the holidays always make me extra emotional and appreciative for all the blessings in my life. I hope you all enjoy the holidays with the people that mean the most to you.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Finding Harmony

Being on eHarmony has been relatively unsuccessful for me. Have I met people? Yes. Have I started a relationship with any of those people? Yes. Have I enjoyed the process? Sure. But the most important question is, am I in a relationship now with any of those people? Nope.

After recently realizing that I have been on eHarmony for a year now, off and on, I decided that when my membership expires in February, I will close my account for good no matter what happens in the next few months. It’s not that I am bitter about my lack of success, just that I think it has served it’s purpose in other ways and that maybe some people aren’t meant to meet the love of their life this way.

To be honest, I have actually really enjoyed the experience. Sure, it brought a little bit of heartache and some awkward, nightmarish dates, but I wouldn’t regret any of it, not even for a minute.

By joining eHarmony, I was able to see that there are great guys out there, I got back into the dating world and learned a lot in the process. I’d say one of the biggest things eHarmony did for me was help me become more aware of not only what I have to offer, but also what I am looking for in a relationship, in a person.

I now know what I can and will compromise on and what I simply won’t settle for. I won’t settle for having to convince myself that someone feels how I feel about him. I won’t settle for someone who doesn’t know how to communicate his feelings. I’ve learned to trust my instincts. You can’t create a spark, no matter how much you want it to be there with someone. I’m more aware of what I have to offer someone. Please don’t mistake this for arrogance, but I know I am a great person, I know I am beautiful inside and out (even if sometimes I don’t feel that way), I know that I have lots of love to give and that I deserve that in return. It’s taken me quite some time to find this self-confidence and awareness, but I honestly don’t think I would find the right person without it.

So maybe I haven’t found the love of my life on the World Wide Web. I’m single with no real prospects right now. I don’t know what’s next in my dating life and I’m okay with that. I do know that when the time is right, I will meet someone special and I will be ready to love him. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It’s the Simple Things in Life

I’ve always been a fan of the simple things in life. Whether it be a small victory like finding something I thought I lost, or sitting in Starbucks drinking a nonfat white mocha writing these blog posts, laughing until I cry, reading a really good book, or sitting in my dark living room watching TV, the only light coming from the lights on my cute little Christmas tree, I experience overwhelming enthusiasm and happiness in these moments.

I’d like to say that my recent health scare spurred all this on, but I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember, though this year it has probably intensified. It’s something I get teased about by friends and family, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Some people require so much to make them even the slightest bit happy. They need big, extravagant things or huge, breathtaking moments to make them feel as genuinely happy as I feel when I am talking to my sister on the phone and hear my niece and nephew saying hi to me in the background.

I kind of feel like we are always in such a rush, so focused on our day-to-day lives that we let the simple things pass by without much notice. People might be happier if they savored some of these small moments in life.

What are your simplest pleasures?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Firefighter

I never meant to be the one to let you down, if anything I saw myself going first
I didn’t know how to stick around, how to see anybody but me be getting’ hurt

I met a firefighter on eHarmony and dated him for about a month. Insert jokes here about sliding down his pole and him putting out my fire.

For the first time in a long time, I was the one to disappoint someone. I did the dumping. I was the one who wasn’t falling for someone. I was so used to being on the other end of a breakup, the one who would have done anything to make things work, that I had no idea how to deal with it when I realized something was missing.

When I first met The Firefighter, I knew he wasn’t the image I had in my head of the person I wanted to be with, but I was attracted to him and we spent two hours drinking wine on the patio of one of my favorite restaurants and getting to know each other. I was pleasantly surprised by well it had gone considering my track record of eHarmony dates. We started seeing each other pretty regularly and I had a guard up from the very start.

If you know me at all, you know that I am not that person. I don’t hide my emotions, I can’t play games, and I don’t ever have a guard up, which is sometimes my downfall. My mom and I had me convinced that I was just being cautious after getting my heart broken by The Rocket Scientist and I did enjoy The Firefighter’s company, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to see where things went.

As strange as this sounds, I wasn’t used to dating someone who lived so close to me. It was nice to be with someone I could visit at work, who could bring wine over when I had a bad day at work and take me to a movie in the middle of the week.

I knew from the beginning we weren’t on the same page as far as feelings go. It was inevitable that he would be ready to make things official, and when he was I told him I wasn’t ready. Again, I’m not that person. If I like someone and want to be with him, I can’t wait to become his girlfriend. I was starting to think the “guard” I had convinced myself of had more to do with the fact that something was missing…chemistry, a spark….I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was. I was used to being in his position, being sure of what I wanted, ready to make a commitment. I didn’t know how I felt or even how to figure it out.

After seeing each other for a few weeks, we spent the day together at Sea World one Saturday. It was such a fun day, but several times throughout the day, my mind would drift away and next thing I knew I felt like crying. I realized I was trying to force things. I knew what a great guy he was and loved the way he treated me. I could tell he really liked me and would be a great boyfriend. Because of all these things, I had been trying to ignore the lack of passion, the spark that was missing. I have been in love before, I’ve fallen for someone so hard that when things when south I was devastated. I was so confused with everything, but I knew what I was looking for and this wasn’t it.

As I told you when I started this blog, this year I became the type of person who spoke my mind, the type of person who spoke up even when it was awkward or maybe a little mean. I couldn’t let him drop me off that night without him knowing that I was feeling confused. I should’ve ended things right there, but wasn’t ready to let a great guy walk away because I couldn’t figure out how I felt. I told him I wouldn’t be going away with him the next weekend like we had planned and that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but that I wanted him to know where my head was.

Soon after this is when I got extremely sick and with all the time I spent lying awake in bed, I had lots fot time to think and I decided it was really time to put an end to this. We both deserve someone we are crazy about and who is just as crazy about us. I didn’t want him to waste another minute thinking about me. Unfortunately, my plan of talking to him about this in person, something I think is so very important didn’t work out and I ended things via text message. I had been so sick and the day before I headed to the hospital, I was so miserable I couldn’t function. He had been texting a lot, asking how I was feeling, asking when he’d see me again…I just couldn’t take it. I feel bad now but at the time, I told him to please back off and that I would let him know when I was feeling better. He got mad and ended up asking if I wanted things to work out between us or not, and I just had to tell him and get it over with. I had told him from the get-go that I despised serious conversations on Facebook and via text. He repeatedly ignored that by trying to talk about our relationship through these avenues and I couldn’t put it off anymore.

I didn’t get to handle things the way I wanted, but I know I did the right thing by ending it. Being on this side of a breakup, it’s still disappointing, just in different ways than I’m used to. The disappointment comes from wanting to feel something, wanting to feel how they feel and just not being able to get yourself there. Lessons learned: feelings can’t be forced. Yes, it can take time for things to develop and for feelings to grow, but you have to trust your instincts and know when to fold.

I truly wish him nothing but the best.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Where I've Been...

To my 5 loyal followers:

I am so very sorry for depriving you of my random stories for the past few weeks. What started out as a sore throat quickly turned into me in the hospital for two weeks with all kinds of issues. Basically, I was diagnosed with Lemierre’s Syndrome, which is extremely rare, as in only 160 people have been diagnosed with it over the last 100 years. Crazy, I know. Top that off with a blood clot (Deep Vein Thrombosis) in my throat and you end up with a really miserable November.

I’m happy to say that I am back home and still on the mend. I have to take blood thinners for 3 months and have a nurse give me antibiotics daily for the next few weeks. The blood thinners mean no drinking for the next 3 months, which is really disappointing. This means no eggnog during the holidays, no champagne on New Year’s Eve, and on that note having to take complete responsibility for whatever shenanigans I get into on NYE. But in the grand scheme of things, this is all a small sacrifice I have to make to get better.

As usual, I have to get cheesy and talk about the wonderful people I have in my life. My beautiful, selfless, patient and kind mother has been by my side since the moment I told her I needed to go to the hospital. She has been my advocate, my nurse, my strength and I can’t even begin to imagine how I would have survived this without her by my side. Aside from coming to visit me constantly, my dad and siblings surprised me with Thanksgiving dinner in my hospital room the Sunday after Thanksgiving when it looked like I wasn’t getting out any time soon. I can’t imagine being in their shoes, seeing any of them in that situation, but they have all been so strong. My older sister, who lives in Buffalo, called my mom what seemed like every few hours for an update. When I was up for it, I would get on the phone to chat with her. She has such a cheerful voice and is always so positive and supportive. I know she would have given anything to be here, but hearing her voice with my niece and nephew playing in the background did wonders for my mood. Taryn was in town basically from the day I was admitted to the day I got released. We had so many plans, so many things we wanted to do while she was in town, but instead she spent countless hours hanging out in my hospital room. My friends Laura and Erin have been amazing, visiting me in the hospital, making me laugh and showing me how lucky I am to have friends like them. Dave reminded me once again how completely grateful I am to still have him in my life as a close friend. I have always been able to count on him to make me laugh in the worst situations and to always shed a positive light on anything. He was constantly checking in, calling to make me laugh and just being there. I truly am so lucky to have these people in my life.

I can’t begin to tell you how much of a nightmare this whole thing has been, but I am glad it will soon be a thing of the past. Spending Thanksgiving in the hospital made me really sad, but I had a lot of people to be thankful for. If I were one to make New Year’s resolutions, mine would most definitely be for a 2011 with no health issues. Anyway, I’m back and looking forward to sharing more stories with the five (wow, get me more followers) of you.