Well, it is 2017. At this point everyone else in the world is totally over the holidays ambitious for their new year, new me work out regimen, and I am over here grieving the breaking down of my beautiful Christmas tree and holiday throw pillows earlier today, while still sporting my gingerbread leggings. Our holiday getaway to see my family was more than anything I could have asked for; the only thing that could have topped it would’ve been having our kittyson, Mosley, with us and also me not getting the stomach and cold flu all at once the evening after Christmas. Other than those two minor setbacks, time with my family often does not feel like enough. It is seldom I get to visit, so when I do I really try my best to be present and savor those sweet moments. Some of my favorites were seeing my five little turkeys, aka my nephews, rip open their new gifts, watching my nephews Kaleb and Spiderman (his name is Adonis, but prefers Spiderman) turn Thomas in to their new BFF, helping Mom and Sissy with cooking and cleaning, tamales on Christmas Eve at my grandparents, watching my siblings ooh and ahh over the DIY gifts I made them, and this year was the first in many to see my dad. These moments are ones I would not trade for the world. As my family may be dysfunctional, they are mine and that is why they are special.
As much as I love the holidays, at heart I truly have been ready to say “au revoir, 2016!“. The last year was truly one of the worst ever in my immediate recollection. I think what made it so hard was that for first time in my life I had to deal with issues that were all mine. There was no third party person or outside force to displace my discomfort on. The circumstances in which I found myself unable to get out of bed/off the couch or panicking my days away were nobody’s hurdle but my own. I learned a lot about myself and what I am made of. I learned that this nagging, gnawing, hurtful, mean, torturous, uncomfortable, trickster of a voice in my head I have had to entertain and listen to since I was five years old is not just a cork of being Delanie, it has a name… Anxiety. It was something I was very familiar with, but did not know exactly what to call it because it never occurred to me that I had it; others did, but I swore I didn’t… It was a relief to know that many people in my immediate circle, too, suffer and deal with anxiety and various forms of mental illness. It was comforting to know I was not the only one; that this is a real thing. This past summer my anxiety and depression became so much of a chronic issue that I had to put myself as number one on the priority list and take time off from life. That was a really hard, but brave step for me to take. Imagine leaving your partner, furchild, work, and life as you know it for a couple months? It was a hard pill for me to swallow, but I am glad I took such necessary measures. I went on medical leave at work and did not re-enroll in school, which I am now happy to be back at work, doing well, and will continue school again this coming fall at a new university (one that I can afford, that is).
Despite it all, my solace lies in knowing that there are lessons of learning in those tough seasons. Now instead of mourning those painful times, I choose to look at them as an opportunity; an opportunity for eudaimonia. I know that good things come from hard things. I understand the notion that to appreciate pleasure, we must experience pain. I understand that not every season is that of harvesting. This particular season of my life merely meant I was given an opportunity to be a better gardener and uproot any seeds that were not fit or authentic for myself so I could sow new seeds that were. I view my anxiety now as a blessing in disguise- it may make me insecure and cause me to over analyze every last detail, it may cause me to entertain irrational thoughts and “what ifs”, but recently a friend told me “…it makes you a beautiful and caring person. It makes you a thoughtful partner. It makes you a passionate friend and lover. It gives you heart.” People do not obviously have to have anxiety to be these wonderful things, but who knows who I would be if I didn’t. I love thinking about the late and great Carrie Fisher’s quote “Better me than you.” in regards to her battle with mental illness. I have become a better human through my journey through these rough seasons and I know that this year will be abundant filled with God’s provision, healing, restoration, love, grace, and protection.
Now, I have never been a fan of these alleged New Year’s resolutions. Call me Negative Nancy, if you want, but I have always found them to be silly because at any given point in your life, at any given point of the year, you have the choice to be better. No one needs to start a new year to finally accomplish goals that were not completed years before that. I do understand the great relief in the opening of a new chapter, and letting certain things close within the previous ones. I get this concept because I, too, find grace and tranquility in that concept. I just don’t fancy the excuse to reach goals just because the calendar turns January 1st. I think June 12th, October 21st, December 23rd all would have been just fine days to stop a bad habit or start a good one. Of course, I fully support anyone’s decision to start their endeavors to near their personal goals, whether it is called a New Year’s Resolution or not… who could knock that?
So far the only thing New Year New “blank” I have been at all interested in is purchasing this adorable pair of new heels, which I am overjoyed to find out I am still shorter than my boyfriend in. Not that it truly matters, but I like my men tall. I fully intend on making sure cute shoes, good lipstick, and great wine are still on the 2017 agenda. Furthermore, I plan on continuing to work on all of the goals I set for myself long ago such as- stop eating all of the dang cookies, continue running even when you feel like a sloth, keep drinking your nutri-bullet shakes even when you mess up the ratio and it tastes heinous, wear less make-up because you don’t need to contour like the Jenners and Kardashians– your face is beautiful the way it is, take care of your skin, you are allowed to listen to the stop button in your brain when you are eating, you and Thomas keep working on communication, keep mastering all of the culinary knowledge possible, don’t compare yourself to others, and keep praying. I wish you all the best of luck on your 2017 journeys to obtain a life of eudaimonia and whatever that means for you.
Below are pictures of the bracelets, sugar scrubs, and beery cold reinbeers I made for my family for Christmas.
For my sugar scrubs I made sure to use all of the best possible organic ingredients.. For the Lavender Citrus scrub I used 2 cups of raw pure cane sugar, 1 cup of triple filtered coconut oil, and then about 20 drops of vanilla essential oil, 15 drops of lavender spike essential oil, and 10 drops sweet orange essential oil. For the coffee scrub, I used 1 cup of a fair-trade finely ground medium blend from Trader Joe’s (any coffee will do), 1 cup of turbinado sugar, 1 cup of the same coconut oil mentioned above, and about 30 drops of vanilla and 10 drops of Doterra’s grounding blend essential oil. They both smelled AMAZING. These are awesome gifts for any time of the year, just dress up your mason jars accordingly for whatever the occasion at hand! As for the Beery Cold Reinbeers, I only was able to snap one photo, but they all ended up looking like the one I did capture, just different beers and different scarves (ribbon). If you have any further questions about my DIY projects, please leave a comment or email me!