Every January, my slightly-above-average whining abilities grow to superhuman, x-men mutant power strength.
This year’s self-pity key messages include: “Christmas is over,” “I’m exhausted,” “that wasn’t a real vacation,” “I’m sick,” “I’m overweight,” “our 113-year-old house is draughty,” “my arms aches from shovelling,” and the classic “there are three long months of winter to go.” Blurgh. Cough. Sigh.
When I was 12, my mom rarely let me spend more than 10 minutes being surly and grumbly. As soon as she heard a complaint or sniffle, she started singing this song:
So, with the grouch anthem bouncing around in my skull, I’ve decided that instead of feeling sorry for myself, I’m going to:
- Focus on the positive. Like my friend Kristin, who keeps reminding me of life’s gifts.
- Cleanse. JF and I are officially off wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and booze for two weeks.
- Clean the house. I’m obsessively tidy, but the place hasn’t been scrubbed down since early December.
- Exercise. I’ve bought some purple shoes. Now I have to use them.
To start thinking positively, I’m emulating a former colleague. On her birthday, she makes a list of highlights from the year gone by – with one bullet for every year she’s been in the world. Here’s my new year take on her tradition.
In 2013 I…
- Finally achieved my dearest wish: slowing down and moving back to Simcoe County
- Discovered that for good friends, the road from Elmvale to Toronto (and vice-versa) isn’t so long
- Celebrated eight years with a handsome, kind and smart man
- Bought a big, beautiful, draughty house
- Cleared said house of wallpaper
- Watched the sun rise over the north rim of the Grand Canyon
- Accompanied one of my dearest friends down the aisle
- Gained a “new” car and travel buddy
- Celebrated my sister’s engagement to an amazing person
- Hiked to the highest point in Zion National Park in excellent company
- Had a great time making ugly clay bowls at the Gardiner Museum
- Joined a book club
- Performed with two great choirs – I even did a small solo
- Grew my hair long
- Explored Ontario on weekend trips with JF
- Planted a lilac tree in my own garden, to honour mémère
- Went on a wine and pizza-fuelled road trip with college friends
- Took a graphic design course at OCAD
- Took on some exciting new volunteer roles
- Found a great (and local!) job
- Started a blog
- Had my avo over for dinner for the first time ever
- Saw my dad finally find true love
- Rode the barf-inducing Polar Express at the Elmvale Fall Fair
- Hosted a few good parties
- Flew to New York with some great people
- Discovered lululemon tights
- Had the Rebelo cousins (age 8 to 25) over for the weekend
- Got and decorated my first Christmas tree
Reading this list banishes all of that whiny goop from my heart and reminds me that I really am tremendously, astoundingly lucky.
If you’ve got the early winter blues, I recommend blessing-counting. It works just as well as your granny promised.
Love this! And what a great idea to make an annual review for positive reinforcement! PS – love love your purple running shoes! 🙂
❤ thanks for sharing!
Wait…does this mean you’re only 29!?!?
Your blog is my favourite thing to read. I look forward to it every week You truly are an amazing person mik! Xo
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 21:08:33 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
This just made me smile from beginning to end. I LOVE that your mom used to sing that song to you. How funny. Big hugs and kisses to a positively perky person xoxo
Luv, Mi-kay. When one reflects, you realized how truly luck you are. Here’s to an even awesome’r 2014!!!
Thanks for the positive reinforcement, friends! Xo
You and JF might want to try adding Kombucha to your two week health starter!
Is that you, Bradley? This goop looks really creepy, but I am intrigued! Where did you get the S.C.O.B.Y bag you bought for Christmas?
SCOBY bag? Say what now? I can give you a “mother” next time you’re in Toronto or that I’m in Midland.
Sounds good, I’ll pay you back! (P.s. Mother? Extra creepy)
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