2019: I'm Still Standing/Love Me Again


The end of December and beginning of January is used by a lot of people as a time of reflection, to pause and think about the year behind and the new year that is starting. Many people set resolutions for themselves, pick a "word" for the year, or make a list of goals they want to achieve.

When I look back at the beginning of 2019 (and honestly the beginning of 2018 as well) and I read my thoughts from those times, I see a woman who was confused, drifting, and feeling a bit lost at sea. She was trying to express a lot without actually coming out and putting it all into words. This year feels very different.

I'm reminded of Elton John's "I'm Still Standing." I suppose it seems like a stretch since the song deals with a difficult breakup and how the person singing is doing since moving on...but I think I could still apply it to the past year. 2019? It's me, Shay. Things aren't working out, you've been way too hard on me, and I'm moving on. How am I doing? "I'm still standing, better than I ever did."

I've been writing this post for several weeks now - deleting stuff, changing it, fretting about whether to post it or not...and I got a little more wordy than I intended SO I put this all behind a jump break. That way it wouldn't take up pages and pages. Enjoy.

2019 was honestly, without a doubt, the hardest year of my life. It was also the most amazing. I know that probably sounds ridiculous. But it's true. There were a lot of good, exciting, and fun things that happened in 2019:


I got my first tattoo in January. We took an amazing vacation to Tennessee in February - we stayed in a huge cabin and we visited Ripley's Aquarium. I made lots of new YouTube videos. I developed a renewed interest in makeup. We celebrated a lot of birthdays (Betsy and Ellie, Zac, Hezzy, Hannah, Jazmyne, Zeke, and mine) and our 14th anniversary. We went multiple times to the library, the play place, and the Children's Museum. We had the 4H fair - Ellie's horse and pony shows, the kids projects, the rides, and lots of different kids activities. I started going to the gym. We were on the news! Hubby and I spent a lot more time together as a couple - we tried to do a once a week date night. We also got to meet Marc Martel and we took an overnight trip to Indianapolis - our first in years! I spent lots of time with my bestie singing karaoke, going to the beach, and making runs to Taco Bell. We homeschooled, homeschooled, and homeschooled some more in our new setup (and at co-op) - we've moved the homeschool stuff to the basement and have a big table down there now. I found out I was expecting a baby girl. Zeke and I went to Harry Potter Wizards Unite Fan Festival in Indianapolis. Hezzy and Ellie played soccer. I did something different with my hair. Halloween was a lot of fun and Christmas had a lot of great moments too. So much good stuff and lots of little things that I'm forgetting.

And there were some not so great things as well.

The hardest thing as I'm sure you know if you're a blog reader of mine was my miscarriage and molar pregnancy. I won't go through all the details again because you either experienced them with me, or you can read about them or watch the videos I made in the previous links. There have been lots of hard and sad moments. But my husband was my rock and I will forever be grateful for my friends/family who stepped up when I was feeling terrible with condolences, food, and other help.

I have been coming to terms with my habit of "stuffing" - emotions, feelings, thoughts....I stuff them down when things are challenging, when I'm upset, when I don't want to make people mad, etc. I bury things down so I can keep going on and doing the things I need to do - and meanwhile all those repressed thoughts/feelings are festering and bubbling under the surface and then end up coming out in other ways like anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and anger. I've always had trouble with people pleasing and wanting to work through my problems on my own, without bothering others. This became super evident during my period of depression early last year. I felt worse than I ever had in my entire life and it took me awhile to face it. My husband pulled me out of the depths of my despair.

Speaking of my husband, I don't want to overstep my bounds on sharing about our marriage...but I will say this: We went to some deep, dark places within the past year and a half, but I feel more comfortable now than I have in all the (almost) 15 years of our marriage. Everyone has issues and everyone fights/bickers...if they tell you otherwise, they're lying. But I'm proud to say that even after everything we've been through, we're still standing and thriving.

This newest pregnancy has been a joy for us of course but also so challenging in that while I'm excited, I'm also incredibly cautious and nervous. I've experienced a *lot* of anxiety and fear. We just have a little while longer until we get to see this precious new little one Earth-side.

Another change for me as we enter this new year, is that I'm working on embracing all the parts of me - even the ones I don't like or that I was scared of. I'm trying to accept myself, letting go of stuff I felt like I *had* to hold onto, and trying to only engage in things that are positive or good for me. I'd love to share more about that some day in the future but for now I'll just say that I used to worry so much about people's perceptions and throw so much of myself into one-sided friendships and relationships. Now I'm just trying to focus on enjoying time spent with people who truly love me, open and honest communication, and loving who I am.

I'm doing my best to not engage with people or things who aren't good for my mental health. I still use Instagram but I deactivated my old Facebook account. I have a "dummy" account now, for lack of a better word - I use it to check into a few groups and to manage the blog's Facebook page. It's very freeing. I've debated deleting the old account but it holds a lot of memories. (Update: I've since logged back into the old one and am trying my best to moderate my use of it.)

I know I haven't been writing as much on here or even making as many YouTube videos as I had planned but that's because I was debating what I wanted to do. I started this blog in 2009 and I feel like I've grown and changed so much since then. Sometimes I look back and I cringe at my naivete but I try to keep in mind that we were all that way at one point in time. And this blog also holds so many memories of parenting and marriage and family life. I'm a different person now but that doesn't mean that I can't keep the old memories. Writing, blogging, and making videos are things I enjoy doing so I am going to try and continue on with them as time allows.

In conclusion: 2019 was a challenging, exciting, horrible, fun, and interesting year. And we're still standing.
I'll wrap up by sharing another lovely Elton John song that I feel will start this year nicely:


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