Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 205 ~ Out With the Old * A Look Back At 2011

SO here we are... at the end of another year.  As I sit here and look back at the entire year, only one word comes to mind... PHEW!

Seriously now, I am going to say that this year has definitely ended on a great note!!  It may have started out as a continuation of prior years, but at about half way through I made a decision that ended up changing my life forever!  Come with me and take a look see at my "condensed" life in 2011.

As I look back my January started a little rough.  I was still working at my daughter's school and had been put in several uncomfortable situations there.  The staff at the school was awesome, a couple of wrinkles here and there, but all in all I worked with some pretty great people.  Our boss on the other hand... how do they say it in the south with that naughty southern twang... God Bless her.  That is all I will say.

Our February here in El Paso started off in a cold freeze.  Our city shut down, lost power and water due to freezing temperatures.  We were in the teens for several days.  That was a real experience.  Pipes were frozen all over the city causing mayhem at local hardware stores.  Bottle water was no where to be found.  We were lucky there... when it first was starting to dip in temperature, I ran out and bought around six or seven cases.  We were set.

March, April and May went by fast being that I was buried at school.  I was extremely busy with putting out the year book, along with other presentations I had to put together for end of year activities.  And it did not help any that my year at school ended on a sour note due to issues there.  I had made it a rule of thumb not to work for another woman in prior years, what made me think this would end any different. 

Low and behold June came around.  By the time June arrived I was at a very low point, and was looking forward to our trip to Los Angeles at the end of July.  The only thing that had kept my spirits up for the past year when I was down was popping in Julie & Julia in my dvd player. 

The movie had some sort of pull on me.  I think it was the slight connection to Julie, being that I wanted to write a book (for nearly 20 years now) and she wanted to be published.  I know that wanting to write a book and wanting to be published are not exactly alike, however I felt a similarity and a pull.  

This is where unbeknownst to me at the time, I would make a decision that would turn my life around!  I decided to blog.  Although very intimidating at first, I was soothed at the thought that I would commit to doing it for a year as Julie did in the movie.

I had issues.  Unresolved issues.  Many of them.  About forty-eight years worth to be exact.  Not only that but the lack of both my sons' presence in my life has affected me as well.  I thought that by writing my blog I could somehow show my sons (Calley, other family members, and friends too) who I was.  Tell them of our past, my past, explaining who I was so they would know me one day.  At first, as I look back, I started angry.  I was hurt.  

As time went on I started to notice that there started to be a difference in how I was feeling all the way around.  I was getting all this garbage off of my chest, being fair and honest to everyone involved, but I was getting it off my chest!  It was like going to therapy everyday.  There would be a day or two I would unload and then I would feel for elated for the next few days afterwards.

in July I challenged myself to prepare for my 30 year high school reunion by writing My wii Fit Plus 21 Day Challenge where I "extreme" dieted for 21 days. I exercised my butt off and ate healthy for three weeks and blogged about it.  I only wish I would have started it earlier.  Why?  The last week of my diet was the first week of my vacation.  Not a great ending.  I only met half of my goal.

Returning from Los Angeles in August, left me expressing my feelings about where we live, wanting to leave the area within a year.  Yet, through blogging I have also learned to communicate with my husband better.  Don't ask me how, but yes it happen.  In doing so I discovered that my husband loves it here in El Paso.  You see he did not grow up with his father or brothers... and to live here now, a handful of miles away from them... he's happy.  It's a wonderful thing to have a great family.

Following the death of our Nana August 28th, I have grown even more closer to my mom (mother in law) and dad (father in law), let alone my brother in laws... Let's just say that we are not thinking of moving any time soon. (big smile)  I have decided to permanently shelf the idea.  Having a wonderful family can be a negative, just as much as it can be a positive.  I wish I could move and take care of us all!  

This past fall has been a whirlwind.  Our family has undertaken the responsibility of getting Nana's estate taken care of, including the sale of her house and all it's contents.  This in itself was a learning experience.  Let's just say that when it comes to shopping, I always ask myself "Want or Need?"  If it's a need, we will buy the best to be able to pass it down to our children.

Since July, I had not been feeling satisfied about not reaching my goal on My wii Fit Plus 21 Day Challenge.  It prompted me to rethink the whole dieting thing and the fact that I was not in my 20s, let alone 30's and was almost done with my 40s.  I do not have a need for being completely skinny minny, but I do want to feel and look good.  SOOooo, on the first of December I started My LifeStyle ReDesign.  A healthier approach to dieting.  Actually, it's not a diet in itself.  I have to modify the way I live a bit, get on the right track, to be the person I want to be.  Eat and live how I want and look good too.  Body, mind, soul and spirit.  

For the first time in my life, I have gotten to know who I am... and I like myself.  I have forgiven myself for mistakes I have made in my life, as I have even forgiven others as well.  This has been an enriching and enlightening experience.  I am looking forward to see what the next six months has in store for me.

Dean and Grandma Betty ~ March 2004
*** At approximately 3:15 mountain standard time on Saturday December 31st our family's matriarch, Dean's grandmother Betty Karam, became on of Jesus' angels and was reunited with our dear grandfather, her beloved Ted Karam.  God Bless you Grandma.  We will always carry you in our hearts.

2011 is the year I took back my life and am making it my own!  

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.

Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.
~  Dale Evans Rogers

Blessings to all!!

160 days to go...

PS... Sons, I love and miss you.  To the moon and stars above and back.  You are my sunshines.

All contents herein are protected under Copyright laws and can not be used, altered or copied.  All accounts herein are written by Carla B Karam and are true accounts of her life.  Some names may be changed to protect the innocent or protect me from the guilty.  (just kidding...wink, wink)

Picture credits... first two images are property of Bing images, third property of Sony Pictures and last four are property of Carla Barila Karam, Taking Back My Life - Making It my own, My wii Fit Plus 21 Day Challenge, My LifeStyle ReDesign.  All Copyright Laws apply.


Shanan, The Book Addict said...

I will have to go back and read your Wii challenge because I have been thinking about getting a wii (and my excuse/justification was going to be the fit program). :)

Do you think you will continue past 365 since you have felt so much better after blogging?

I liked the Julie/Julia movie--but I was really disappointed when I saw the book at the bookstore and took a peak. I did not like Julie very much in the little bit that I read of the book. She comes off much more endearing in the movie. Did you read the book?

mamawolfe said...

So great to use self reflection to make's not always easy to look at the negative parts of our lives, but that's where we learn.

Chris said...

What a lovely article, following you all over the place now. TFS your thoughts. Enjoying you blog 'cause I'm hopping from Katherine's Corner Cheers

Katherines Corner said...

I am sorry for your loss. Hoping your sadness is soon replaced with fond memories. I missed your 21 day challenge. I'll have to look that one up :-). Thank you for participating in the Thursday Favorite things hop. I hope you made some new bloggy friends. Hoping your weekend is a sweet one xo P.S. did you enter the pink poodle giveaway?