For the better. Immeasurably. :-) It was one of the best (perhaps *THE* best?) years of my life.
Stability-wise, it was literally the first year we didn't move since 2008(!!!), and the first year we weren't being threatened with a move or trying to since 2005. Almost a solid decade of not feeling safe to settle in a "home" area took a serious toll on my heart, but one that I couldn't allow myself (self-preservation) to realize the magnitude of until 2013 - the first whole year we had no fear of transfer and no desire for it! We are so happy here, and we really *can* stay - I can't explain how full this makes my heart.
Physically, I became dedicated to Yin/restorative yoga twice a week; it fixes everything I tweak out of kilter in Zumba! ;-) I also began taking a strength class using dumbbells for the first time in my life in March this year. I told the instructor (a friend :-)) that I needed her help to get rid of my "T-rex arms." (I have powerful legs and a booming personality...but I had these tiny, weak T-rex arms! :-D) It completely transformed my body. I've been Zumba-ing for over 3 years, but *THIS* was the kick my body needed to get fit. I would have never worn leggings to work out before; if I had bike shorts on, I'd have another baggy pair of shorts over top. I never was personally ok with myself for that...until the 2nd half of this year. I feel so confident and am really happy with the way I look. [I've actually been happy with myself for the last +20 lbs., to tell you the honest truth. I think it's an epidemic of awfulness that women don't love the way they look!!! But I've just been more & more surprised and happier with results I never banked on!]
Me teaching Zumba this Monday:
Speaking of Zumba, professionally I also grew by leaps & bounds. God carried me through a horrifically-handled management situation with poise & grace (even when I wanted to scream! ;-)) and I definitely came out stronger for it. I am excelling in a location that makes me SO HAPPY! Every single class leaves me uplifted and spiritually fed. What a blessing that I get paid to change lives while they enrich mine so!?!
Friendships were...interesting this year. We fell victim to the craziness of someone we had been drawing close to, so getting over that hurt was painful for a bit. And a powerful growth experience ...but yeah. Still not fun. I was also suddenly & completely cut off by an old friend with no explanation whatsoever this spring, which was extremely...bizarre. I prayed about it A TON, whether I should reach out & ask what happened or just give her time to work through whatever she needed. It's...odd. But I kept praying, and I know if God wants full restoration, He'll prompt it. This was a big point of growth/change for me, too: I really felt like God was trying to teach me to wait on Him, trust Him, & not jump in ASAP on my own to get her approval back. I am an approval addict. (Not a "can't say no" person, but definitely a "can't let anyone be mad at me!" girl.) On a much happier note, we finally have multiple "whole family friends" - where husbands, wives, & kids all actually enjoy hanging out together! I'm not kidding when I tell you we haven't had that most places we've lived. This is *such* a blessing!!!
Football on a united team gave us the gift of quality family time off the couch the end of March - May and July - the first of December. Singing in church filled my heart. Disney was a long-awaited dream come true!!!
2013 was spectacular! I am so very thankful!!!
Excited to see what 2014 has in store: hopefully solid steps toward permanent home ownership, again, in 2015; perhaps the provision of more reliable vehicles (requesting prayer that God makes it clear when the right time is & that they won't negatively interfere with buying a home!) Already excited for next football season ;-) and really hoping for a lot of BEACH opportunities!!!
What are you excited for in 2014? How did 2013 change you?