When life gets tough

Whoever said life isn’t easy is so right. The last couple of weeks have been a challenge for me to not get in my head to derail the progress I’ve been making. I’ve been trying not to get in my head and not let things bother me, but it’s been hard. There have been a couple of things that have happened over the course of the last week that make me question why they happened, but I know that those things were not meant to be and it only means there is something better out there for me. It can be frustrating, but I’m doing my best to roll with the punches. I’ve got a great support group and I’m so grateful that I can turn to them when I need to.

Now onto something a bit more exciting. I’m taking my first vacation in almost 8 years in April. I’m heading to NYC for six days and five nights. I feel so at home and alive in NYC, so I can’t even being to explain how happy I am that this trip is happening so soon. One of the things I am doing while I am there is the Shape Women Run The World Half Marathon. I’ve never done a half marathon in my life and it scares the shit out of me, but it’s time for me to go on adventures and this will definitely be an adventure.

While I’m there I also plan on seeing my friends Natalie and Kevin. While I’m there I’m also going to go to the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum and try to take in a show on Broadway. This time last year I couldn’t have done any of this. Travel was next to impossible for my dad and while there is some feeling of guilt about going, my dad wouldn’t want me to not take advantage of things that life has to offer. I’m doing this for me and I’m doing this for him.

 

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10 weeks…

Tomorrow marks 10 weeks since I lost my dad. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since he left me. It still feels like it happened yesterday, but I’m coping so much better than I did when I lost my mom. I owe a lot of that to my dad because he wasn’t afraid to have the hard conversations with me about end of life. The bereavement class that I have been attending has also been a huge help. It is a place where it’s okay to grieve and mourn. So many of us share things that we don’t feel like we can share elsewhere and it’s a great atmosphere. I’m grateful for this safe haven.

Now to get you caught up a little bit on me and what’s been happening the last few weeks. I finished the ShapeGoal40 challenge on the 3rd. I’m sad that it has ended, but the support of the wonderful women I’ve met continues on in the group. I’m also happy to say that I was named the goal crusher for the last week of the challenge. I will come back later and share the video here. It’s a great feeling to see how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time.

Another plus is that I saw my doctor yesterday and she’s proud of the progress I’ve been making. Last year before dad died she wanted me to focus on losing weight because I had been putting on weight and pretty quickly. Then my dad died and I turned to food as a comfort, but knew that I couldn’t continue down that path. At my appointment yesterday she told me I was so close to being out of the morbid obesity range. I told her I didn’t even know I had hit that range and she said she didn’t tell me because she didn’t want that to be in my head and make things worse. She wanted to encourage me to move more and to work on eating better. We also talked about things that I’m doing coming up, like my first half marathon in April in NYC. I’m lucky to have a doctor who encourages me. It’s one more person on my team who I know I can turn to if I need support.

I hope you all have a great Tuesday!

2010

I figure the best place to start my journey is in 2010, the year before I lost my mom. The new year started out as any new year does; resolutions, a new beginning, and another 365 days to conquer whatever you want to.

This particular year started out a little differently for me. I had been planning a trip to New York City for months with my friends Natalie and Ilana. It was about a week into the new year that my parents and I drove to Chicago to stay at a hotel for me to fly out of O’Hare. The night before my flight I barely slept due to excitement and nervousness, as I had never flown before. The other thing that kept me up all night was that practically the entire state of Illinois was under a winter storm warning and I was so worried that I wasn’t going to get out of Chicago.

The next morning we get to O’Hare a couple of hours before my flight. It had already begun snowing pretty good. Thankfully my flight was one of the few that was able to get out of Chicago before they started delaying and cancelling flights. I had a blast on the trip with my friends. We saw Broadway shows, met up with my friend Kevin, who is a now retired member of the FDNY, and just enjoyed the sights of the city including the Statue of Liberty.

statueofliberty

The next several months were pretty uneventful. My parents and I continued to work and enjoy our weekends at home. We celebrated my dad’s birthday in March, celebrated Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. We had begun planning a family vacation to Upstate NY for the week after my birthday in July. Needless to say I was super excited for this trip. I’d get to see my cousins Doug and Cynthia, and Doug’s wife Gail.

July came around pretty quickly and we were on the road to NY. I loved the drive because once you got out of the Midwest, the terrain got so much more beautiful. Seeing hills, mountains, and so much more. The week of vacation went by fast, but we celebrated my birthday at Doug’s house and we even spent a day in NYC. My dad got annoyed with me on the drive to NYC because Law and Order SVU was filming on location the day we went and I wanted to meet Mariska Hargitay. It wasn’t until we got into the city that my dad said we could go to where they were filming. Below are some of the pictures from our family vacation.

The rest of 2010 remained pretty uneventful. When we got back from vacation we settled back into our normal routine of work and relaxing on the weekends. The rest of the year seemed to fly by and little did I know that 2010 would be the last year I’d get to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom, the 4th of July, her birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and NYE. In 2011 my life would change in ways that I had yet to know.