It’s the Final Countdown!…sing it with me.

I grew up in Kent, Ohio listening to Pat Benatar (shout to Ms. Pam, Fawn’s Mom!!), LL Cool J, Miles Davis, Steely Dan, and gospel music. And, yes, Europe got some play too. So what? It’s my lead in to this post, roll with me!

It’s the Final Countdown for many things in my life, and from what I’m hearing from friends they are counting down as well. There’s some thing about this time of year. The holidays are creeping  up on us, in some places there’s no Thanksgiving decorations, but plenty of Christmas cheer being tossed about. We recognize that here we are in November with limited time until the year ends. What to do? I know! Anxiety kicks in because there is a tendency to look back at the past 11 months and wonder “What in tarnation have I accomplished this year?” Yes, I said tarnation!

For me, looking back over the past 11 months I can see where I have made strides and where there are places to improve. Let’s focus on the strides, believe me I know about the places where I have challenges all too well. But, I’ll address those in a minute, onto the strides. This time last year, I was knee deep in being annoyed by my life, no car, no job, riding a bike everywhere, depressed and anxious (terrible combination), 50 pounds heavier, and only had determination that things would get better to go on. In January, I was at my whits end (whatever a whit is) and decided I would have to take drastic measure to make a difference in my life.

Before and After.

Before and After.

My first move was to find a doctor to have a check-up and ladygram done (*ladygram: examination of lady parts). Just prior to that decision I was miserable with my weight, uncomfortable in my clothes, and wanted to impact that and my health quickly. “A fast!” was came to mind, and so I researched a water only fast, the benefits, dangers, issues, and things to watch out for during the fast. On my bike or by walking (my brisk walk) I purchased distilled water for each week, and drank only water. Within the first week or so I had lost 15 lbs., gone to he doctor’s office, and shocked myself. My reasoning for taking such a drastic step was that I wanted something different. Someone asked me why, and I responded, “To get something I’ve never had, I have to do something I’ve never done.” I fasted on water only for 40 days. Yes, 40 days of only water, did a few videos to share and posted them on Youtube, and was delighted when I completed it. I still didn’t have a car, but knew it was coming too.

The car came in the form of a Ford F-150, I finished up my last quarters of graduate school in which I had to take “book courses”, and started Practicum and Internship. With all of that, the light at the end of the tunnel has been getting brighter and brighter. I’m almost done with graduate school! The official date of my last class for graduation? February 23! 109 days…but I count it in weeks, days are too long!

The Riverwalk at Christmas.

The Riverwalk at Christmas.

Next up? My birthday! This is celebratory counting down. Each year I go to Arlington, Texas to celebrate the birthday of my bestie and her daughter. But, I can’t remember the last time I celebrated my birthday with friends. Well, at their urging this year is that year. We’re going to San Antonio for the weekend. A hotel at the Riverwalk, The Galleria, tortillas, chips and salsa, and salsa dancing await. And for me, it a new way to celebrate me and my friends. I have forgotten what it was like to celebrate me, and so, the countdown begins….16 days and it’s going down in The Alamo City!

Needs no caption, right!?

Needs no caption, right!?

And now we come to the New Year thing. It happens every 365 days, the calendar changes. This year my countdowns are reliefs and doors to new opportunities. In 16 days, I’ll be one year older, be 40 days closer to the end of the year, and have 15 weeks left before I complete graduate school. The Final Countdown(s) have begun. The countdowns are the endings of different journeys, symbols of determination, and amazing accomplishments, and also the beginning of new opportunities. With 56 days left in this year I’m taking it full steam ahead, jumping in, and taking steps even when I don’t see the next step because I believe it will appear. I’m sure that the anxiety will creep in…”have fear and act anyhow” is how I am facing these last days. …and making it an adventure!

(cue Europe music)

I’m leaving ground
Will things ever be the same again?
It’s the final countdown
The final countdown

Next: In the Kitchen – Learn to Make My Curry Chicken and Rice

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 12.33.11 AM

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