Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Final Countdown

In the grand tradition that is year-end countdowns, I'll enter my own into the arena.

Top 5 Things in 2009:
1. Getting engaged in January: Obviously this was a life changing event that was thrilling and exciting...but also terrifying and full of anxiety. My first 24 hours as a bride-to-be were spent in panic attacks over the thought of planning a wedding and being a bridezilla.

2. Adopting Angie in June: I knew I wanted a dog, but I didn't know how much I needed one until Angie arrived in our home on the 20th. Since then she's become my constant companion and one of my favorite topics to talk about.

3. Bahamas Trip in July: It wasn't any important milestone in my life, but it was a wonderful vacation for us...we really enjoyed being able to relax on the beach and not worry about anything. It was also my first time being away from Angie and I do remember having a huge phone bill the month after due to my frequent phone calls to check up on my furry daughter.

4. Becoming a head coach (but more importantly...beating my old school): Winning against MMS during volleyball season (with BOTH my 7th and 8th grade teams) was a huge personal victory because my team was definitely the underdogs but with my careful and strategic coaching, I was able to pull out the win. Even more so than the win for myself, seeing the pride and satisfaction in my players (especially my wonderful 8th graders) was so fulfilling...I was proud to give them confidence in themselves.

5. Hosting Thanksgiving at our house: Because our immediate families attending Thanksgiving this year was so small, we combined our Thanksgiving celebration and my parents, Craig's mom, Mema and sister all came over to our house around noon on Turkey Day. I was proud to have a beautiful house with plenty of room and space to accomodate all the food and beverages. It was my first time hosting an important family get-together and pulling things off without a hitch was a personal milestone.

A Few Not So Great Things in 2009:
1. Changing schools: Due to the fact that Craig and I are getting married, one of us had to leave the school that we both taught at and unfortunately, I drew the short end of the stick. Although the prospect of becoming a head coach and running my own program was exciting, leaving all my wonderful friends at my previous school was not. The first semester of school was difficult because of this...especially on those days when I just needed to hang out with people who knew me and understood me and didn't mind if I vented a bit to them.

2. Wedding planning: I know...this should probably be one of the five top things, right? As much as I am looking forward to being Craig's wife for the rest of my life, weddings in general do not excite me. I have never particulary enjoyed throwing parties because I'm always worried if people are going to get along and enjoy themselves...multiple that feeling by one thousand and that's how I feel planning the biggest party of them all. I also have a hard time asking things from people (like my bridesmaids or my parents) because I don't like people doing things for me and neither do I want to be the dreaded "bridezilla."

3. Volleyball season: It was my first volleyball season as head coach, my first season without my fearless coaching leader Beri and my first season with a losing record. As much as I enjoy the sport and the kids it was very draining on my physically and emotionally. There were many nights spent sitting at the dining room table discussing the philosophy of middle school coaching and how exactly to rebuild the volleyball program at my new school. It was a humbling experience to walk away from loss after loss wondering what I could do better and trying to keep spirits high and motivated for my players.

4. General frustration the mid-20s angst: Over the past couple of years I have seen myself change from the perpetual party girl to the settled suburbanite and there are several emotions tied to that change. Sometimes I still feel a loss of a part of my personality...I picture a girl that was the life of the party in my head. I was skinny, fashionable and what I thought to be fabulous. I had a flashy and sporty car and had a pair of heels for every occasion. But then just when I'm getting a little misty-eyed missing that girl and that lifestyle, I remember that this same fabulous girl struggled with an eating disorder and slight drinking problem and frequently made poor choices in men and in life. After putting together the full picture of my post college experience, my mood quickly shifts from wistfullness to regret and shame. Looking around at my suburban life with my 3 bedroom house complete with pool, dog and SUV... I often wonder how did I get here? And how do I reconcile who I was and what I did with who I am and what I want to be...

Looking Ahead to 2010:
1. Duh...I'm getting married in March: But more importantly than that, I am looking forward to being Craig's wife. Just the other day I was telling him how next summer at his big basketball tournament, he won't introduce me as his fiance...but instead as his wife. We both got big grins on our faces.

2. Europe in August: At his families Christmas celebration, the last present was for me and inside of this yhuge box were different numbered packages that I had to open in a certain order. The first three packages were travel guides to Paris, Italy and Germany. The second two packages were concert tickets to see U2 in Frankfurt, Germany and Torino, Italy. The third was an envelope containing an itinerary for us to travel through Italy, Germany and France next summer during the first two weeks of August. I cried. A lot.

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