I Became the Person I Judged

Love is not always the easiest choice. When someone cuts in front of us dangerously on the freeway, or races us to the last available parking spot on a Black Friday, or takes forever in line at the self-check out stand, the furthest thing from our minds is to say, “God bless you!”

At least, it’s not for me. My initial reaction is always, “What the fark?? Butt wipe!!” And then God reminds me how I’ve been the “butt wipe” before.

Someone I love is knocking on death’s door? You bet I’m driving like a maniac to the nearest Emergency Room. (I did the day my mom died in 1997, by the way. Sorry, random cars and pedestrians for my stuntwoman moves driving that night!)

That last slot at the mall on Black Friday? You bet I’m taking it so I’m not late for my shift and getting penalized for it.

The woman at the self-checkout stand taking forever? You bet I’m taking my time when my knee is acting up.

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How I Became My Own Hero

I became my own hero last Christmas. It was a far cry from the Me I was the Christmas before when I lost my job at the full-service digital agency startup where I wasn’t a good fit.

I spent Christmas 2015 up to my eyeballs in Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu; coloring my adult coloring books; and neglecting my hygiene. I fell into the deep dark valley known as Depression. I was paralyzed with fear. I had three months of rent to get me to spring and that was it.

You’d think that someone in my situation would take those circumstances as a kick in the pants to get off their butt and hustle.

It wasn’t.

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Thanks for Everything, 2016

What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

Bullet Journaling! I’ve gone through three iterations since June: A standard hardcover Moleskine, a large softcover Moleskine, and a Michaels Boho Collection Travelers Notebook style setup with inserts. I even added a second Field Notes setup for throwing in my purse.

I have a large Leuchtturm1917 ready to go for 2017 and an Ink and Volt Planner for my goals.

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Didn’t make any. I don’t believe in them.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not in my immediate family but a couple friends did.

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Closed Doors

I will remember 2016 as the year that doors were shut in my face. I say this without anger, sadness, bitterness, or regret.

I didn’t live through my apartment complex burning down like my friend did. My beloved fur babies didn’t cross the rainbow bridge like other friends’ did. And I didn’t lose a husband to murder like another friend did.

I didn’t increase my income to six figures like another friend. I didn’t spend summer in Hawaii like another friend. I didn’t star in or direct movies like other friends did.

My year was average compared to my friends’ 2016. (Or at least, the lives they share on social networking.) I lost my job a year ago this December and I’m still trying to figure out what’s next for me.

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Almost Christmas Thoughts

My mom would’ve turned 86 on November 22. She died five days after her 67th birthday. That Christmas was one of the worst for me and my daughter. It felt like we were numb with sadness.

I say it was one of my saddest because my first brush with Christmas sadness happened the year my dad died. It was 1978 on a cold February night when he took his last breath in our living room. (Such an ironic place to die. The living room.)

My mom did her best to make Christmas that year as happy as it was when my dad was alive. She decorated the house and put up the tree and the lights by herself. But Sadness had moved in with us and hung around like an unwanted guest overstaying its welcome. I wanted to punch it in the face but it was too strong for my eight-year-old self.

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