One Word ..A reflection on 2010

#Reverb10 December 1st
Ok so I joined #Reverb10 a little late and I have some catching up to do, but here is Dec. 1st topic

Fin: French for “finished” or “the end”

This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Winston Churchill

My word for 2010 is Fin. I am choosing Fin instead of finished or end because, well it is prettier. The end does not always have to be a bad thing and it often signals the start of a new beginning as well.

2010 had lots of endings for me but the most life altering was the loss of my father, but lets start at the beginning.

At the end of 2009 I heard this quiet little voice talking to me saying lets make some changes. It kinda hid in the background lingering but not being too pushy. This little voice said hey what about if we take a fitness class next semester at school, that would be fun right, lets see what they are offering. This led to me signing up for a swimming for fitness class spring semester of 2010. Crazy right who wants to swim in January in the freezing cold! Thankfully the pool was inside Winking smile. This class was so much fun and because it was for credit and a grade I couldn’t just not show up. When I started this class, although a good swimmer(read I knew how to swim well) It was a struggle to swim one length of the pool and not feel like I needed an oxygen tank. I was also still smoking at this point around a pack a day, which im sure was NOT helping. I progressed though and got up to swimming between half a mile to a FULL mile 2 to 3 times a week. A FULL Mile! I was so proud I did this. If you have never tried swimming laps for exercise or distance a mile swimming seems like a whole lot further than walking or running a mile. I also lost about 25 pounds during all this and realized for the first time ever doing regular exercise in my life that it DOES actually make you feel better. Who knew right?

This also led to another end…that little voice was whispering to me again. It said “Hey if we quit smoking this would be so much easier and it would be good for us”. I played around with this the first few months. I would cut back, run out and say I wasn’t going to get more and make it a few days. Inevitably I would end up over at my Dad’s, he was a chain smoker, and end up smoking again. Was this his fault, no, but it did not make it easy. Sometime in April I got serious and talked to my Doctor about it and started on chantex. Now although I was taking chantex I still had not really picked a quit date.  I did get back to the point where I said ok after this pack that’s it! Well the day said pack was going to run out I also had an appointment with my Endo and for whatever reason when he started fussing at me about smoking instead of just telling him I was trying I told him that was actually my quit date, and it was. May 17th I officially became a non-smoker. (except for 10 cigarettes I choose not to count that I had a month later)

So far 2010 was going pretty well for me. I had lost 25 lbs., quit smoking and now had 2 successful semesters under my belt at school. I also found out I had just gotten accepted at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is when my world fell apart.

On June 5th I went to pick my father up to attend a family event, little did I know this would be the last time I saw him alive. When I arrived to get him he did not look good at all, but with him it was sometimes hard to tell if this was him really not doing well or if he had just been up all night drinking(he was an alcoholic). I remember being so so very angry with him and his failing health and refusal to take care of himself I just kinda lost it. My last words to him, although coming from love, were yelling at him. I basically told him that I was tired of it and if he didn’t start taking care of himself I was going to come in there one day and find him dead in the floor. Looking back I recognize the look I had seen in his face that night and think I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I had seen that look to many times before when I lost both my Grandmother’s and my Mother and this look scared the hell out of me. If you have ever been around anyone who is about to pass away you know this look they get in their eyes. Little did I know that is exactly what would happen the next day, except that instead of me my aunt would find him.
I was completely unprepared to deal with this emotionally(not that anyone is prepared when it comes to death). Until about 2 years ago I basically had no relationship with my father.  He was not a constant in my life and until 2 years ago had never been. The reason this changed is because I moved about 5 minuets from where he lived and we began repairing the relationship we had never really had before. I say I was unprepared because I was not used to caring about him and this gave me allot of anger over the fact that I had finally gotten a relationship with him only to loose him forever. For the year or so prior to his death I had not only become his daughter and friend but also his home health care provider. I did more for him that last year than I did for myself. I cooked, cleaned, paid his bills, took care of all his medication, doctors appointments, shopping…everything. Most of my time when I was not in class or at home sleeping I was taking care of or doing something for him. It was a very hard adjustment after he was gone having all this time I didn’t know what to do with.

Although I miss him, his passing was also a blessing in disguise. More obviously it meant that he did not have to suffer any longer and be in pain. But it also meant that I had all that time I spent on him to focus on school. Being at a community college compared to  a university is a whole other beast. My grades had already slipped some that last semester before he passed and I honestly do not know that I would be able to care for him and keep up with the work load required at University level. This still does not make it any easier or me miss him any less.

On to brighter things…

2010 was also an end to not being accountable, to not reaching my goals. I was going to start holding myself accountable and keep my goals in sight! One of my biggest goals that happened that I never thought I was capable of in the past and I had let go of almost 10 years ago was actually attending a University. I was accepted and started at UNCG in August. I also decided to take control of my life and my health. I decided I was going to utilize my resources at school and get my but in the gym. I was going to quit hidding behind food…and so became Life Off the D List and that little voice that was a whisper turning into a loud roar!

Oh, I almost forgot..2011! What do I want my word for 2011 to be: Runner! June 14, 2011 I will be turning 30 and my goal is to run a half marathon before then. I would also like to run a full marathon before the end of 2011.

Peace, Love and Happy Blogging
ps..sorry im a bit long winded lately and thank you if you made it to the end


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