Saturday, January 9, 2010

2009 Was - well . . .

. . . let's just say, I am GLAD it's 2010!

We lost some dear friends to age, accident, and disease.

We had tragedies in families from our ward.

But through it all, I know that we will see our loved ones again. And our ward family will pull together and help those in need.

But today I want to purge out the annoying and bothersome things that happened in 2009.

I also want to count my blessings. So for every rotten thing that happened, I WILL find the silver lining in it all. And part of the blessings, the main part, I've noticed lately, is the lessons that we learn in the process.

Early in the morning, on the first day of school, I was running and pulled a muscle on the backside of my groin area.
Yeah. Ouch.

A few days earlier, I had been doing some stretching that was beyond what my 45-year-old body could and should be able to handle. I felt just a tiny pop in "that" spot, but it didn't hurt, and I didn't think anything of it. Just kept up my normal routine for the next few days, jogging and stretching and Tae Bo. But on that Tuesday after Labor Day, about 2.5 miles into my planned long-run of 8 miles, I felt IT. I pushed on to the end of my lap, then called it a day.
I was limping around in pain that morning, trying to get Tanner ready for his first day of Kindergarten,

(did you notice that I didn't post any pictures about that!!!?)

and by the time we got back from the 2ish-hour-long orientation, I was done.

I had Mark go and get some crutches for me.

I knew that I needed to just go easy on it so that it would heal quicker.

And a couple of weeks later, just as I was thinking I could go out and run again, my naked big toe had an encounter with the razor-sharp edge of a step-stone just outside our back door. Didn't do any real damage, just sliced through the thick skin on the end, but it did stop me from trying to run.

And a few weeks after that, I kicked the bench at the kitchen table, my littlest toe taking all the impact. Again, just an annoying injury, but enough to keep me from my workouts.

In the meantime, I was reversing all the physical progress I had made over the previous six months or so. By the end of September, I had gained back 8 pounds. I started working out again, doing Tae Bo barefoot in my basement, because the pressure of my athletic shoe hurt my baby toe. So the weight gain slowed. I "only" gained 2 more over Halloween, and another 2 over Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years. What was I blessed to learn through this experience?

That if you consume more calories that you burn, you gain.

That's a "duh" lesson, I know, but it was vastly proven by my quick weight gain. It also showed me that I have not been eating properly.

So, I am starting another blog, a kind of kick-in-the-pants to get myself motivated to eat right. I am going to record everything that I eat, how I exercise, and maybe a few tips and recipes that I learn along the way. I am calling it A Little Self-Motivation...(with a Big Dose of Self-Humiliation!) . I've had a version of this on my sidebar since March that one or two of you may have seen. So check it out if you want to cheer me on,
or jeer at me and kick me back into business if I go off track!

I have also learned that Heavenly Father knows how He can slow me down. I could have just used common sense, waiting a reasonable amount of time before attemping to dash out for a jog. But He knows me too well, that I have a high pain tolerance, and those other little injuries were thrown in my way to prevent me from doing more damage to a sensitive muscle.

That was the blessing in this trial.

We've had several auto-related challenges. Mark's brakes went out on his truck. On the car, the underneath part of the bumper came loose and I had to buy duct-tape to pull it up so it wouldn't drag. The side panel by the front windshield came off. And one day I was driving the kids to Seminary, and all of a sudden there was this nasty noise in the back wheel well. I stopped to see if there was something in there, and so I felt around in that nasty, dirty area in the cold, slushy snow, with no luck. I got back in and started driving slowly, but the noise was still there. I got out and checked again, still nothing, except for the sound of air rushing out. So I called my hubby and he came and picked us up, and changed the tire. Guess what he found? A little tiny screwdriver had been kicked up into that wheel well and lodged into the tire. What are the chances of that?

Lesson learned? I'm not sure, except that my hubby will run to my rescue when I have a flat tire. Maybe I would've been involved in an accident if I'd driven all the way to Spirit Lake that day. Who knows. The roads were bad that day. I just know that I am watched over and cared for.

We have also had appliance challenges.

First this summer, our microwave quit on us. Not a clue as to why, and it is only about 3 years old. Then our dishwasher quit. The repairman came out add charged us $75 to tell us that the heating element was out, and the motherboard needed to be replaced, all to a tune of $389 to get fixed . We thought - it's not worth it to get it fixed - until we went out and priced a new dishwasher. The space that it's located in our cabinets requires that it be a zero-clearance, meaning the controls are all in the inside top of the door, not on the front. Those babies START at $600 for a cheap-o. Rats.

Lesson learned? That we have two perfectly good dishwashers, named Rachel and Noelle. And that it's good bonding time for them to wash the dishes together.

Then my washing machine suddenly didn't spin out the rinsewater anymore, and we discovered that the belt had stretched out and come off. New belt, $30 later, plus the kindness of friend and neighbor Missy who let me borrow her washer, a week later we were back in biz. Or so we thought.
Turns out that the pulley needed to be replaced, too. $79.95 this time for that diagnosis, and $120 more to replace said pulley, parts and labor.

But I went online and ordered the part that we can put on ourselves, for only $55.00. Waiting on the part now - should be here any day.

Lesson learned? Go online to find the part you think needs to be replaced. Unless it has to do with electronics, it's not rocket science. Quit doubting ourselves.

Oh, and the dryer. It quit drying properly.

Meaning, it took HOURS to dry a single load. And I ALWAYS clean the lint screen after every single load. We opened it up, and discovered that there was lint blowing everywhere inside, because the last repairman hadn't put it back together property. and there was lint ON the heating element, just about to catch fire! So we cleaned it out, and it has been running smoothly ever since.

Lesson learned? To always check the insides of the dryer when dryer times get longer and longer! (And we were blessed that the house didn't burn down!)

And then, A few nights before Christmas, not a creature was stirring, except for the toilet.

We were all dead asleep, when the smoke alarms all started going off in our house.

What does this have to do with the toilet, you ask?

Well, turns out that the last person to go potty before bed clogged up the toilet, and when he/she (most likely Littlest He) flushed it, the flapper inside didn't go all the way down, and so the toilet ran and ran for several hours, and since it was clogged, it overflowed. Since we have the valve set to fill it slowly, it didn't flood quickly, but seeped down the sides and underneath and down into the ceiling of the room below, and filled the ceiling until it got over the the smoke alarm, got it wet, and set it off. Who knew that the smoke alarm would go off when the toilet overflowed? I sure didn't! (And I guess that was the lesson learned in that little incident!)

I'll bet that there is more stuff I could list here, but I won't go on and on.

But just remember -

whenever you have a challenge,

there is a lesson to be learned

and blessings to be gained from that knowledge.

Cuz, why else be here in this wonderful world but to learn, and to love our families? (Or is it to learn to love our families?)

Either way, I am just trying to make the best of it and muddle through this life without too many mishaps!


Mrs. Organic said...

I swear this was the year of the appliance poop-out. I'm hoping things are less exciting for you next year.

Debbie said...

It's a bummer about all your repair issues, but it'a a good thing you have a good, clear head on your shoulders and can see the good in every bad lining. We've had our challenges also, but I am seeing the good in everything and I refuse to look in the past. 2010 here we come!

Coupon Clippin' Mommy said...

sounds like 2009 was full of adventures for you. Here's to 2010...I hope it's a great one.

I'm following from MBC. Come check me out here:

Pedaling said...

littlest toe taking all the impact -
is one of the most painful,
cuss provoking things that can happen.

Cynthia said...

Your poor feet! I've regained about 8 lbs. of the 35 I lost last year but I'm ready to hit it hard again.

Sorry about all the appliance issues. We had many of those same problems except it was in 2008. It's always SOMETHING!

JustMEtheMOM said...

Wow! What a year! No wonder you are eager for 2010. It's sure to be better! Good luck with the diet and exercise, it's constantly on my agenda also. So far so good this year, December put me into a hole I have to dig myself out of - but we're getting there :)


M-Cat said...

Oh my, what a year! Crap-a-doodle!

Here's to a better 2010! It has to be better right?

JoeyRes said...

I just wish we could have that knowledge just BEFORE we need it rather than right AFTER.

The toilet would have put me over the edge!

I hope you have a better 2010 for appliances and baby toes and family health and well being!

wendy said...

Oh my, I surely hope in 2010 you have no more "breakdowns" of your stuff. I hate it when things breakdown and the money that needs to be spent on them.

Weight gain --don't even get me started on that one. YUP, gotta work on that one now.

I heard a saying once that said "it would be a shame to have the experience, and not learn the lesson".
sounds like you have learned many lessons.

Emma said...

So true, life gives us plenty and it is up to use on how we deal.

I too had my own washing machine drama, dish washer and disposile problems and much more!

Michelle said...

Just remember that song on Hee-Haw. . . If it wernt for bad luck I'd have no luck at all. . . gloom, despair and agony on me! I feel your pain. We just spent approximately $1200 on one of our cars and I could tell you stories too so I understand completely! Hope 2010 is better. I'm seeing alot of people saying that so it must have been one heck of a year for everyone!

Tammy said...

Oh my! I hope 2010 is better to your health and your appliances than 2009 was!

tammy said...

It's good you see the lessons learned and the blessings from each. Here's to a better year!