Sunday, January 29, 2017

Remembering 2016 on Stephanie's Birthday

It has become a tradition for me to reflect on the previous year on Stephanie's birthday.  It seems to be getting tougher every year for me to sit down and type.  I spend a lot of time reflecting, but not too much time putting it all into words.  I'm always glad I did it, though, because it helps me reflect on what I've accomplished over the years.  This year I am starting this post just two days before her birthday with the intention, as always in the past few years, of publishing it on her birthday.  Here are some highlights.
1.  Zumba Instructing No More - The one and only resolution I made at the beginning of 2016 was to follow my heart.  I made a promise to myself that I would remain open to change even if it's totally off course from what I had planned. 
And so it went for Zumba instructing.  I had the time, but my heart was not completely invested in it.  I struggled to learn the choreography.  It wasn't coming easy to me, so if I was going to follow through with my goal of instructing I knew I had to invest more time than I was.  It got to the point where I wasn't enjoying it anymore.  That was when I realized I had to take a step back and make a change.  I had a great deal of support, but I eventually decided not to pursue it.  I pondered it the entire year and in December I finally canceled my membership.  I have no regrets about going as far as I did with it.  I tried something new, met new people, and up until I got tired of it, I had fun.  I have a new appreciation for Zumba instructors.  They have the kind of passion for it that I simply did not have.  I wholeheartedly believe that when you're truly passionate about something you will find the time and a way to make it happen.  With regards to Zumba, that wasn't me.
Now that I'm not analyzing every piece of music I hear (that's what I was doing when I was trying to learn the choreography) I am once again enjoying taking classes.  I still go twice a week and I have no intention of giving that up.  I even had the opportunity to take a Master Class and dance with an amazing instructor who came all the way from Lithuania! 
2.  Spina Bifida Association of the National Capital Area - 2016 was the first full year I was a member of the board.  I am the only one on the board who has Spina Bifida.  With them, I went bowling for the first time in I don't know how long.  I couldn't help feeling even more "important" that is was on a military base.  My main goal as a member of the board is to organize activities for adults with SB.  Last year I planned two activities - game day where we played board games and a day in October when we went for a stroll in the park.  With the exception of January, events such as these will be planned once a month in 2017.  On the date that Stephanie passed away (six years later in 2016) I donated to this all-volunteer organization.   

3.  Painting - For the first time, in 2016 I participated in Paint Nite and I did something similar at a different local place.  I did spring and summer paintings and I hope to eventually complete the set with fall and winter works of art!
Just three weeks after one Paint Nite, there was a rare and devestating flood in that area.  I'm grateful to have played a small role in restoration efforts.  I participated in a couple of benefit opportunities.
4. Photography - in 2016 I continued taking walks almost daily and this year I developed an strong interest in photography, especially of nature.  I started taking an online photography class that I'm still enjoying.  Knowing how and having the confidence to use the manual settings on my camera have opened up a whole new world of photography for me! 
5.  Diabetes Medication No More - 2016 was the year I was given the okay to stop taking my blood sugar medication!  I went for a three month period without it to see how I would do and I continued to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.  I tried to eliminate my cholesterol medication, but my LDL went back up.  So, I'm back on my cholesterol medication, but continue to do well without the diabetes medication.  This was a goal I had almost from the time I found out I had Type II Diabetes in 2009 (after I got over the initial "feel sorry for myself" phase).
So, 2016 was both a year of letting go as well as exploring new experiences.  I am excited about the possibilities for 2017 as I continue to live in the present, but look toward the future!