Back at the beginning of 2015 I started a project that would last the year. I took a bowl I had in my house and some scraps of paper and started to keep a record of all the good things, big and small, that happened over the course of the year. I chose to do this because, let’s face it, the previous few years had been pretty hard to get through sometimes and when I got to the end of the year I just felt so bummed because all I focused on was the shitty stuff that happened. So, I set out to change that.
I wasn’t 100% successful. I stopped putting notes in the jar around the beginning of August. Things got busy; I forgot. Then school started and Liam got a concussion and my fall turned inside out.
But even those first 8 months of good things reminded me that hey! Lots of good and fun things happened this year and so, for the end of 2015, I’d like to share the big and the small – the joy in our lives.
- In January, a lot of my scraps of paper talked about weight loss. I did lose some weight but as of right now, I’m right back where at I was on 1/1/15 so that’s something to work on.
- “Today Jamie had a tantrum over getting dressed. But I managed to work with him enough that he calmed down and worked with me, ending up happy with his outfit.” (1/1/15) This used to be a daily occurrence. Getting him to calm down in the midst of this was HUGE. And now? A year later, he’s dressing himself without complaint.
- “Big bear hugs from Liam” (1/20/15) Sometimes all you need to make your day brighter is a big, squishy hug from your kid.
- I continued to be in school in 2015 and I earned A’s the two classes I completed. I should have done more schoolwork but with Liam’s concussion care, I had to put off the planned fall work. That’s ok. Back at it in 2016!
- “I GOT A JOB!” (2/8/2015) Booyah. “Great first day at work!” (2/20/2015)
- I got my piano tuned for the first time in 15 years and I could play again. She needs another tune up but it’s so nice to have that creative outlet again.
- In April, I went to Texas to visit my best friend and her husband. I was away for three days and it was so! much! fun! It was just what I needed to relax and rejuvenate. I was so grateful to Scot for making it happen.
- “Jamie: buckle, car, coat, cup. All correct! No prompting! IT’S CLICKING!!” (4/15/2015) Jamie’s speech improved so much over 2015. He finally started getting ‘K’ and ‘G’ sounds correctly – something he’d been working on since he was two – and I am so proud of him for how hard he’s worked.
- We carried a fair bit of debt with us into 2015. In April we finally paid off all the medical AND credit card debt. It was SUCH a load off our minds and budget.
- I was kind of a social butterfly in 2015, much more so than in years past. I went to see Indigo Girls with the PSO (4/30/2015), I took in the inaugural Pittsburgh Listen To Your Mother show which my friend Dawn performed in (5/8/2015), Scot and I went to the symphony (5/9/2015), We hosted Cards Against Humanity game night (7/18/15), I enjoyed having a beer to celebrate Jenda’s birthday (8/4/15), and I saw Eileen Ivers perform at Hartwood Acres with Jenda and Eric. I also remember great dinners out with girlfriends and just hanging out at Dawn’s house. It seems I didn’t write these down as I should but they remain bright in my memory.
- In June, I worked hard to restore some semblance of order to my landscaping. The job was huge and I didn’t finish all of it but I put a lot of time and effort in and it showed. Here’s hoping the wildflowers I planted this year come back next year!
- “Dr. Stewart appointment with Jamie. So good to have a pediatrician who cares.” (6/16/15) When the school told me that Jamie was still struggling and might have greater issues than just a stubborn personality, I was crushed for him. It was hard. And navigating any kind of process to help him was bewildering. In the end, we asked to talk to our pediatrician for guidance and what did he do? Slotted us in at the end of his day and stayed LATE to talk with us for an hour. He helped set us on the right path to helping Jamie and I’m so happy to report that Jamie is doing SO WELL right now that we’ve closed out therapy for him for the time being.
- Also in June, we got to visit with Scot’s best friend, Anna, and her kids for the first time in a very long time. I love Anna and her whole family and we’ve known the kids since they were born. She and Casey are raising truly fantastic people and I’m glad to know them.
- We FINALLY got new garage doors on the house! (7/1/15)
- In July, the boys and I went to Michigan for several days for our yearly visit to the homestead. This was the first year that my Dad has been fully retired for the visit and it was such a great time as a result. We could be more leisurely and flexible about our plans. Everyone had a great time – from zoo visits to a day at the beach – best visit yet.
- The last big set of things I have written for 2015 is Scot’s new job. In 2015 he left BNYM to join IBM Watson and the move has been so great for him and for all of us. He’s so much happier with what he’s doing and who he’s working with. Also, their flexibility allowed us to navigate two work schedules and an intense schedule of doctor’s appointments this fall as we treated Liam’s concussion.
- One last thing: in mid-December we were finally released from all concussion care and Liam was given permission to attend school on a normal, full time, gym-included schedule. It might have been the best Christmas present I got this year.
Thanks to my little project, it turns out that 2015 was a pretty great year. We had some bumps and lumps to take but I think the joy and happiness we had throughout the year far outweighs the bad. Here’s to an equally joyous 2016!