In review: 2019

“No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.”
― Randy Pausch

If I had to describe my year in one word, it would have to be brutal.

Defined as “punishingly hard or uncomfortable,” I would say that is an apt description.

When I began the new year, I had no idea how empty I felt. Reeling from the death of my mother, I wasn’t aware of what was going on inside of me. I was in a lot of pain. Depression had taken hold, and I was absolutely lost. I didn’t write much this year, but my posts in February, March,  and October give a little bit of my mindset from the past year. Of course, those posts were tinted with my own writing style, while masking a deeper truth that I was not well for a good part of the year.

Looking back, I was probably more hell bent on self destruction than healing. I’m thankful to say that things are a lot better now, and I mean that with all sincerity.

At the end of 2018, I wrote that I had three goals: take the family to Disney World, buy a house, be healthy, and be selfish.

Accomplishments

Home Ownership: 😃

The Gruber house.

After months of searching and three years of being renters, we found a house to buy in September. Located in Gladstone, MO, it had most of what we were looking for. The yard is big enough for kids to play in. The garage can fit our vehicles. Each child has a room.

I wanted something that needed a little work, and our house doesn’t disappoint. It’s not exactly a run-down fixer upper, but it certainly has plenty of areas for improvement. It’s more of a “stuck in the 90s fixer upper.” Since moving it, I’ve tackled projects as I can, and have found the process to be very therapeutic. When I’m working on a house project, my mind wanders and I process quite a bit. I have found this to be very helpful in the grieving process, and I’m thankful for the outlet.

Disney World: 😃

The Gruber family at Disney World in from of Cinderella's Castle.

We took our family vacation to Disney World in September. We drove from Gladstone, MO to Orlando, FL over three days, stayed for five nights, then took the first family plane trip back home.

The trip was a lot of fun. I love a good road trip, and we made many good memories along the way.

Health: 😬

I’m mentally more healthy, and I’m down in weight about 20 lbs. since my peak in February. I’m overall happy with this progress, although I’m far from what I would consider “mission accomplished.”

Be selfish: 😬

I have started taking more ownership in my life. I’ve went to some concerts, stepped away from some things I needed to walk away from (for awhile anyway), and have added some things into my life that have been lacking. I’ve been a little more “selfish,” although not as much as I had expected. I’m forming my own rules for life now. The jury is still out on how well that’s going, but I’m feeling confident that I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago. There’s a lot of work to be done in this area.

But now I’m thinking about next year, and even the next decade. Normally in my end-of-the-year posts, this is where I would lay out what I plan on doing in the coming year.

As the great Bob Dylan once sang, “Things have changed.” I’ve been thinking hard about my future plans, and that is going to require a separate post altogether.

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