Monday, July 18, 2016

The Never Ending......Sentence?

So many times I've thought about logging in and having a little blog vent, update or inspire. I never really know what is going to come out of my fingertips once I log in. It just happens. I often come here with a thought in mind, but the final result is not always consistent. This time of year is usually my prime. I am certainly one of the many individuals affected by the cruel winters we often face. The early darkness, the climate, the weather...I become a little...introverted, let's say. The time has come to feel good again - but my body is not there yet and is dragging my spirit down with it.

My 48 hour sentence turned into 48 days and continues on...In case you missed it or forgot, the end of April I had a freak incident where my knee locked at an angle and would not extend. This incident of course came along with a series of Rice-like events. If you did miss this you should most certainly return to my previous blog and check it out.

But, for now...let's recap:
April 28 - 10pm - Twisted funny in bed and locked knee.
April 29 - 6am - Can't take it anymore, decided to take myself to the ER.
*Insert Rice-Like events here*
April 29 - 10am - Sent home from ER to ice and elevate and told to return in 48 hours.
May 3 - 12pm - Decided to give it a few extra days and see my local provider instead.

Many moons ago (13 years to be exact) I dislocated my knee cap. Over the years, my knee deteriorated and my condition worsened. I first met my surgeon two years ago when I was referred to him to check on the state of my knee. It was determined I needed a replacement but am much too young - so I've been left in misery until I'm "old enough". Okay, fine, whatever. Until now...

My NP (Nurse Practitioner) decided to send me back to my surgeon to determine the source of the locking and a plan of action.

*Insert long wait for appointment here*

I had a terrible visit/experience with my surgeon who claimed my knee is not locked. My surgeon completely disregarded what I had to say, what both my NP and the ER doctor reported and said it was pain related and a few weeks of physiotherapy would sort it out. I understand this is his specialized area and with all due respect, I do believe in order to diagnosis it may be valuable to take some of patients information into account.

While I didn't personally agree with him, I went to the physiotherapy appointments. However, after only two appointments I was discharged with a letter stating that after a full assessment a source could not be determined that physiotherapy could assist with. Also, the exercises caused great pain - which the physiotherapist said should not happen and he felt determined that physiotherapy was indeed not helpful but possibly even hindering my condition and would not continue at this time.

I received a letter asking me to return for a follow-up with my surgeon. In the mean time, my NP also wanted to follow-up. Thankfully my NP - who knows me, who knows I'm not a complainer decided to order a MRI (which was a bit risky as my surgeon said it was not necessary and this may aggravate him - rightfully so).

The day before I returned to see my surgeon I came home from work to find a message on my machine "You've been exonerated!" it exclaimed. I felt so relieved I could have cried. The pain, the discomfort - it might all come to an end! The MRI detected several large loose bodies in the knee cap of which is lodged at the top of my knee cap causing it to lock according to the radiologist. The radiologist reported that my scans showed the most severe advanced arthritis he had witnessed in someone of my age. This is something I was already aware of from my MRI two years ago - the same was reported then.

Now I'm waiting on my third surgeon appointment. It has been a long, uncomfortable, miserable 3 months of not being able to walk from one room to another without pain, to be able to comfortably drive myself beyond Whiting Corner, to complete simple tasks or to do anything remotely enjoyable. But I get up each day and remind myself that there are people out there hurting far more than I am and I can do some things. This is merely a speed bump. My pain and suffering can eventually come to an end, and that's not the case for many.

I vow to never take my abilities for granted again. I can't wait to get back on my feet. I can't wait to be without the constant, sharp pain, to be able to do anything I need make it through the day comfortably.

Most of all, I can't wait to stop uttering phrases like:
"Sure, I'll go with you...just let me get my cane."
"I'd love to, could you please get me my walker?"
"I think I'll need my wheelchair for that."

Soon the day will come when I can pack up all these items, bid adieu and finally finish up what seems like the never ending sentence. I'm going to keep on keeping on until I get there.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

48 Hour Sentence

I have been thinking a lot lately that I really need to get it together and get back to blogging. I've been making a lot of empty blogging promises. It's been a very busy 8 months - studying, testing, learning and everything else that comes with completely changing your profession. My last exam that I am able to take at this time is just around the corner and I'm thrilled to be done with that part and be able to get back to life and not thinking about it non-stop.

However, at this point I'm not sure what's going on with my exam and it might be a little longer before I am able to celebrate the end, which led to this post. Let me back track a little bit...

Things are busy. I have been preparing for another broker exam, I'm working and I'm trying to train for a temporary part-time job...and then there's life in general. This week coming up especially was going to be very chaotic and I have been trying my best to prepare and organize for all its events.

Thursday I had to go to a training. It only took place a couple of hours away, but the trainer offered  to provide me an accommodation. Normally, this drive would not bother me. Really, it was only two days of travel. It occurred to me that with my exam sneaking up having to travel home and then back the following day would steal several hours I could use to study. So, I decided to take her up on the offer.

It was perfect...after training I went to the local grocery store and stocked up on some items to hold me over, went and checked into my hotel and hunkered down. I spent the whole evening studying and it was great. Somewhere around 10:30pm I decided to call it a night and put away the books. I got ready for bed and decided to get my Ipad and pull up an episode of Shameless to end the evening.

My Ipad was low on juice, so earlier I had plugged it in to charge. A few minutes into the show, I decided I best take the charger out of the wall while I was thinking of it - since it was on the opposite side of the night stand and a little out of the way I knew it was likely I would forget it the next morning. I roll to the right, grabbed my charger and then rolled back. I realized my knee has locked up - this is common with the condition of my knee. I usually play with my knee cap a little, get it moving around a bit and it is fine. It never lasts more than a few minutes.

So, I go through my little routine and nothing is happening. Crud. My knee is bent at a 90 degree angle and locked. Awesome.

I got some hot towels and wrapped it around my knee, hoping the heat might loosen it up and everything would function properly again. I tried anything/everything I could think of. It was so painful when I tried to extend it, but as long as it was bent, it was fine. I decide I just need to put a pillow under it, try to go to bed and hope that it works itself out by morning.

I hardly slept at all. At first, I think it was more the anxiety of the situation. I think deep down I knew something was wrong. As the night went on, even in the bent position, it started to ache a bit. By 4am I was over it.

I got up and tried putting hot towels on it again, I tried putting some ice on it, I tried moving it around. Nothing. I decide at this point I have to go to the ER. I was thinking about it all night, but really hoped to avoid it as I worried they might have to snap it back into place. Personally, I think that's something someone should only have to experience once in their life as it is a bit traumatizing...and I've already experienced this twice, twice in one day! Hence the reason I sat all night trying to pretend this wasn't happening...

I can't extend my leg, let alone reach the floor or put pressure on it. I pull the chair from the hotel room desk over and I use that to help me hop around. I brush my teeth, wash my face, deodorize and get changed - all with great difficulty. I continue to use my chair to help me gather all of my items and pack up my bags.

Now what? I really have no choice but to call the front desk for help. So, I do. A young lady answers my cry for help.

Me: Hi, my name is Brittany. I'm in Room 110 and I have hurt myself.
Me: I think I need to get to the ER. I was just wondering if there is someone available to carry my bags to my car.
Me: Hello?
Her: Yea...Sure...I can come help you.

Poor thing. She did not know what to think. But, she arrived to help me. She grabs all of my bags. She even fetched me a cane. Unfortunately since I can't touch down on the ground - it wasn't very helpful. I still had to hop along. I used the cane and the wall and manage to get to the lobby.

It is now that I realize that I have no idea how I'm going to get ME to my car. I ask the lovely lady if she is able to drive a standard, which thankfully she is and thankfully is also willing to bring my car up to the door. So, off she goes and I think "Okay...You've done it...You're almost there, you just need to drive yourself to the hospital."

I'm standing in the door and the car isn't moving. It is frosted over, so I think she's probably just giving it a minute. Then, it starts to move forward...FORWARD! It need to be moving backwards. The reverse lights are not on and I realize she's having trouble getting it in reverse. She starts moving forward again...and again...she's still not getting it in reverse. At this point, the front of the car is no longer in the parking has moved off of the pavement and is now starting to inch its way down over the grassy hill. Oh dear.

She gives it another try and this time takes a giant leap....forward! The car is literally off of the parking lot and moving down the bank. A bit further and we may be at a point of no return. But I can't move. I am standing there watching my almost paid for car head down over the hill and I cannot do a damn thing about it.

I look for help and there is this poor man trying to enjoy his continental breakfast...which came to an end. Thankfully he could also drive a standard and I sent him out to give her a hand. He goes out and I can see him talking to her through the window. He goes over to the passenger side and gets in with her. Then he gets out and walks to a baby barn and comes back with some 2x4's. He places them under the tires, the girl gets out, he gets in and slowly is able to reverse my car back up over the hill, onto the parking lot and brings it up to the front door. Phew.

That poor girl. I cannot imagine how panicked she felt. In the grand scheme of things, it's a bunch of connected metal and it is what it is. Although, I probably only feel that way now that Mr. Continental Breakfast has rectified the situation. He even helped me hop out to my car.

I take a breather and lean waaaaaay down in my seat. Since my knee is bent, reaching the gas and break is quite difficult. Somehow I manage to get out of St. George and onto the highway which made for much easier travel. I didn't face much more difficulty until I got to St. Stephen and had to shift, break and gas my way through town. Thankfully the hospital is not from the highway.

Finally, I arrive. I am in the parking lot...but how do I get into the ER?

Ah ha...I google the hospital and call the front desk.

Me: My name is Brittany and I am in the parking lot and I have hurt myself. I can't walk and am wondering if there is someone available to come help me in?
Her: Sure, I'll send a LPN right out.
Me: Thank you.
Her: What are you driving?
Me: A silver Volkswagen, but there is another one a few cars down so I'll get out so they can find me.

I get out of the car. It is very cold out...and I wait and I wait and I wait...and I eventually sit back down into the car. A decent amount of time goes by and I know people are busy but...did they forget about me?

Finally, this young lad comes out. He has come on his own and soon realizes he needs a wheelchair (I apparently needed to be more specific). He returns with a wheelchair and kindly escorts me in. No LPN apparently was available and no one in the ER wanted to come get me. How nice. But Ed came to my rescue, that's all that matters. He hung out with me and wheeled me everywhere I needed to go until I reached my final destination. Thank you, Security Guy Ed...If not I may still be in the silver Volkswagen at the CCH parking lot.

Finally. I did it. I'm at the ER. All is well. Except, if they even suggest snapping it back, I'm not so sure I would be able to flee the scene in this wheelchair.

I had Ms. Skeptical as my triage nurse, who took all of my information with a little scowl, raised eyebrows and an eye roll here and there. I also think my x-ray technicians might dabble in a little S&M by night. If so, I believe their business to be very successful as they managed to cause me great pain while they seemed to get a bit of pleasure out of it.

I have a good tolerance for pain. But, they had to try to straighten my leg as much as possible for one of the x-rays and the pain was indescribable. It was so excruciating that I instantly thought I was going to throw up. A wash of sweat came over, I gasped to breath and came very close to losing my cookies on the x-ray table..only to hear..."I NEED YOU TO BREATH". 

Thankfully, the slide turned out...or maybe it didn't...I have no idea. But they didn't make me do it again and the last slide was at a more preferable angle.

The poor nurse assigned to bring me my meds was trying so hard to be patient as I took all four pills individually and with great difficulty. I am almost 31 and still can't swallow pills without several attempts and a few gags. Yet another Rice deficiency. She did have a smile on her face while she gave me a few impatient toe taps. Not sure if they were supposed to cancel each other out or compensate for the other.

Beyond that point - all was well. The Doctor was great, I felt like he listened to me and didn't disregard anything I was saying. I felt like he believed the pain I was in and how trying this has all been. He is adamant I go back to my orthopedic surgeon as "you can't live like this". Right? That's what I've been saying!

I don't have a problem with my surgeon. I actually like him. He explains things thoroughly and has always wanted to ensure I understand, which I appreciate. I just find it frustrating to live this way at 30. It really limits my abilities and activities. I do hope to have children, but worry about how I would be able to get down and play with them, keep up with them and actively engage with them. But, I also understand his decision. I am very thankful that just about a year ago he decided against removing my knee cap altogether. Since deciding the only option is a knee cap replacement,  he also decided I am too young. It would only last me 10 years, maybe less and he said he would like to wait until I am at least 40. In moments like this, 10 years seems very, very far away. Especially considering that I am in quite a predicament after merely leaning over in my bed.

My ER doctor said the degeneration is substantial from my 2015 x-ray to the x-ray I just had and thinks it definitely needs to be revisited. Otherwise, nothing was determined. My knee cap is not out of place. After discussing the situation with the orthopedic surgeon on call in Saint John, they both agreed not to manipulate my leg. I was so happy to hear this! I was so anxious...having to snap something back into place is traumatizing. It is locked, but if they try to straighten it, it'll still be locked, but just in a different position. So they both agreed it had no benefit. Their opinion is that a piece of arthritic fragment has come loose and is lodged somewhere it does not belong, ceasing my mobility. So, I'm resting, elevating, icing and medicating for the next 48 hours. The plan is to get the swelling to go down, see if there is any movement and if things begin to function properly again. If not, well...I don't actually know what happens in 48 hours if that doesn't happen...except that I need to return to the ER. I really hope if that happens that I get yet another doctor who will disagree with manipulation.

Since they had me hopped up I was told I could not drive. I sent out a help text for a ride home. Good ole Rebecca was already on her way. I had texted her from the hotel that I was hurt and was going to try to get myself to the ER. When she texted me and didn't hear back, she immediately came after me. It was perfect timing...she arrived as I was being discharged, hooked me up with some crutches, a Tim's breakfast and took me poor VW is still sleeping over (I hope!)

Since I'm now on a 48 hour couch sentence - I bring you this post. I'm still choosing joy these days...even though I'm in pain, annoyed, tired and sometimes bored. I am looking at the bright side, which is that I finally followed my own advice...I landed in the ER but I had on an excellent choice in underwear and shaved legs! Those of you who know me, know this has not been the case in the past...Success!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Minor Alterations

We are in the midst of doing some alterations to the kitchen. As I've expressed before I can not handle being out of my schedule or things being out of place. I do not do well in an unorganized environment. So, even though I'm supposed to be studying for my next insurance broker exam - I can't sit and study because my mind is listing off all of the other things that need to be done. I can't even settle myself in this environment. I decided I need to try to sort through some of it before I can be productive.

Now, most often when I seek out to do something like this I actually end up doing something totally different...that doesn't actually help meet my goal. Like the time I was supposed to be tidying up before we went away for the weekend because I had a dog sitter coming and ultimately ended up rearranging the silverware drawer. Much like that, instead of sorting through the items we took out of the kitchen cupboards we cut out (long story) and placed in my dining room and actually need to permanently relocate - I find myself in the laundry room. I try to tell myself that if I could go through the shelves and cupboards there, I might be able to create some additional space for the homeless items in my dining room. Even though I know I'm taking on a bigger project than I really have time for and will probably create a larger mess than I started with...I drag a chair into the laundry room and I begin in the top of the cupboards.

Everything is going nicely. I had actually re-organized these cupboards following a hurricane not long ago that left us without power for 8 days. I accomplished a lot of organizing that week.  Thankfully, this helped my project today. I took down one of the baskets and peaked to see if there was anything I could clean out of it. I set it down and reached back my eyes moved upward they came into contact with the beady eyes of a very petrified mouse.

I actually screamed. I think if the mouse could make any signifigant level of noise, it would have screamed, too. I think we definitely scared each other. I'm not normally scared of mice. I spent an entire weekend underneath my mini home this Fall cleaning it out, putting up new insulation and new skirting...which never bothered me a bit. However, I guess I was expecting a possible visit then and today...I was not. 

I panicked and slammed the cupboard door...but really, I couldn't keep him in there. So, I'm thinking. We can't exactly cohabitate. But if I catch him and let him go outside he may have a hard time finding a new home and freeze to death. I then realize that I don't know even where he is at this point. The cupboard is pretty big and he could have gone anywhere. Becca, who I bellowed to for help, has found a box for us to try to catch him in. But, I can't make myself open the door. If I open the door and he scambles away there is a 90% chance one of the cats will get him.

Her: Open the door and we'll get him in this box.
Me: I can't.
Her: *reaches for the cupboard door*
Me: NO!!
Her: We need to.
Me: But I can't.
Her: Why?
Me: Because if he gets away the cats will get him.
Her: So?
Me: So, I've already formed a special bond with him, I can't watch them tortute and kill him.
Her: You, my friend...have never formed a special bond with anything.
Me: I've formed one with this mouse.
Her: I'm pretty sure the cats would bat around, torture and kill any of us in this house and you'd just carry on reading a book.
Me: Not true...
Her: Right, you'd probably save Piper.
Me: I would.

Becca luckily got the box over the mouse and and slid a piece of cardboard over the opening so we could carry him. She passed the box off to me and I went to the door...and...just stood there.

Her: What?
Me: Where is he going to go?
Her: Outside.
Me: Yes, but where will he live?
Her: Outside.
Me: But he'll freeze.
Her: Just give it to me.
Me: Put him in the garbage box - he'll love it in there. He can be warm and have lots of food.
Her: Yes...and nibble holes in the bags and make a mess...Excellent idea. 

She set him free in the woods. I'm pretending that he's happy in a burrow of some sort. He's probably made a home in the shed. I hope.

After my mouse friend is taken care of, I buckle down and got what I could done. Since the kitchen business isn't entirely complete, there are some things that just do not have a place and I need to try to deal with the mounds of cook books, baking tools and accessories piled on my table for now.

Thankfully, there is a bit more order and I feel I can successfully function. Which means I may even be able to meet some goals this week as well. Step 1 was to cut out unnecessary calories wasted on things like drinks, condiments, etc. Step 2 is going to be to find a time slot to incorporate some exercise. That's always the difficult part for me. No excuses, though. If I have to get up again at 5:30am in order to squeeze it in, I will. I'll also be happy while I'm doing it, dammit!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fasten Your Seatbelts...

Well, winter has arrived! I truly try not to complain during the winter because I am not a fan of the heat. But my winter is not off to a great start. I have been stuck twice and we've technically only had one significant snowfall. Most of the issues involved are due to my car being really low to the ground and the fact that I need winter tires...badly. I could get into all of the circumstances surrounding this topic, but I will just sum it up to #Adulting.

The other part of getting back on track with healthy living, I am trying to return to the four basics that were so effective for me last Winter: water, exercise, sleep and healthy eating. Baby steps, right? I, of course, decided as usual my first step is to cut back on ridiculous waste of calories. Which means I need to reduce or eliminate things such as Pepsi, condiments and...dun, dun,

That's right. Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seat belts...I am coming off the coffee (again)!! You'd think I would only want to do this once. But, it keeps coming to this.

I love coffee. I could drink 2-4 cups/day. While I would like to cut back on caffeine, the problem does not lie in the coffee itself as much as how I like to dress up my coffee. I have a real problem with flavoured creamers. So, my first order of business was to unfortunately cut back on coffee. From here on, coffee is for Saturday and Sundays only.

To say I've been cranky this week would be quite an understatement. But what I most definitely do not understand is how chaos knows you are coming off coffee. Why? How? cutting back coffee is not bad enough...but why does shit have to go awry when you are already going through the emotions?

Have you ever come off caffeine? It's not pretty. First of all, the headaches...For me, it's a terrible struggle to come alive in the mornings. It's like you're taking a drowsy medication 24/7. This is also not a good combination when you're at a new job and trying to learn 1 million things at once.  Then, in're a crank ass.

We all know that chaos tends to follow me. But, things have been good. The Fall was really busy, but I haven't had any major fiasco in a little while. I am almost getting used to the norm. However, I should have guessed chaos would find me after starting off on my caffeine-less adventure. It's as if a radar has gone off somewhere to let chaos know....You can come out now, she's caffeine-free!!

The first day I was stuck was definitely the most interesting. My day started off fabulous. I had a productive morning at work and after lunch I received word that I obtained my Class 1 Insurance Broker License. I was off doing some errands for work when I received word of a family emergency. I checked in with my family and had some time to spare before we would receive an update, so I set off to finish my errands so I could be back to the office or at least home in time to hear from them.

I'm traveling along and decide I need to turn around. I try to turn and realize that it doesn't look good...the road clearly hasn't been tended, as it's not typically used this time of year. I try to completely turn in the main road but I don't quite make single tire fetches up on the edge of the road I'm trying to avoid. I try everything, but I'm not moving at all. I peak down the road, but I know if I go down, I will probably not get up. However, I'm not getting anywhere this way either. Either way I'm it's worth taking the risk.

Except it's not. Now I'm stuck at the bottom of the unclear road as well as off the beaten path from where someone might see me.  You can only imagine how my head felt by this point. Caffeine-Free Me Day 1 is not going very well...I have a headache, I'm groggy, I'm grouchy...and I'm stuck.

I bang my head on the steering wheel - this is my go to move. I have no idea why I think this is going to help me. But, in the moment it seems to. So, here I am - head to the steering wheel...the conversation (with myself, mind you) went a little something like this:
wth am I going to do?
WTH am I going to do?
Choose joy, Brittany...
I am so screwed.
Just running a quick errand, no need to bring your phone...
Now I'm just stuck on this road. just need to walk to the nearest house.
And call who?...Who is going to do...what?
I will just need to get a ride home.
I just need to go home.
I can figure out the car.
This is the best I have.
It could be worse.
Ok...let's go...
Choose joy!

I lift my head up to find some man running out of the woods with a dog close behind. The best part of this story is that in my state (not sure which state that is...the I'm in a pickle state or the I'm coffee free state) I could have swore he was yelling..."Boris...Boris...!!" At the time, I had no idea what this meant.  I in fact realize later, the poor dogs name is Forest. Boris, Forest...either way I was so happy to see that dog and his owner. He could be buck ass naked and shouting absolutely anything, I was just so happy to see someone who might be able to lend a hand...and lend a hand he did.

It took 45 minutes and 3 attempts...
Attempt A: Towed the car with a ratchet strap (only thing either of us had on hand) - Unsuccessful.
Attempt B: Left to find rope, towed the car with rope, got truck stuck - Unsuccessful.
Attempt C: Left to get his tractor, brought several loads of sand from the beach to cover the road until we could drive out - Ding, Ding, Ding - we have a winner!!

Of all the men hanging out in all the woods, I'm awfully glad he was hanging out in those woods. He was actually doing something, hence the reason he had a tractor handy...not just creepily hanging out in the woods. It did suck and there was a moment of WTH, but I was pretty damn lucky he was there. 

Now, today for the second time I got stuck. However, it was far less stressful. I was stuck at the end of my own driveway. Thankfully, with a little help I was able to get out and just decided to reverse back into my spot and call a co-worker to come get me. Clearly, driving was not a good idea today. 

I'm now looking at snow tires and will be pimping out my services to help purchase said tires. CHOOSE JOY,'s not always easy - but it's doable.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Leading the Pack

I'm sure most of you realize this by now, but it's 2016. My 2016 sure had an interesting beginning. I provide local dog sitting services. I got up this morning and went to do my rounds. I arrived at a clients home who happen to have a surveillance system, which they can check from their phone. I was playing ball with one of their pooches and when she went in for her landing, her paw caught my pants and took them down with her. So, 2016 started off with me...ass to the wind - literally. Awesome. I hope this is no indication of how the remainder of the year will go.

Some people put a lot of thought into reflecting on the previous year and preparing for the new year. Some feel that setting resolutions is foolishness. I am indifferent. I think if you need that "reset" for yourself - go ahead - set goals, think about how you want to change/improve or things you would like to experience. If you personally feel it's hogwash and you shouldn't feel the need to change or things are just great the way that they are...that's cool, too. Some years I didn't give it a thought. I don't feel that not participating left me without accomplishments. In more recent years, I have paid more attention to how things went and how I want them to go. Mainly because I'm a goal setter by nature. I've come to realize I need goals to keep me in line. I even set goals at get this done by 10am, that done by 3:30pm. It's just the way I function. I agree with the can't go back and make a brand new start, but you can start and make a brand new ending. To me, that's what the new year is about. How do I feel about where I'm heading? Do I need to make any changes before I get to my ending? If life is to end do I feel about that?

It is not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. So naturally, 2015 had highs and lows. That's life. It definitely provided some unexpected turns. Ya know, I don't even know if I could call them turns - I pretty much jumped the track. But, I did good.

I wanted to give 100% to my classes, but didn't get to return to school.
I wanted to lose 50lbs and lost 30.
I finished 2 big projects for the house.
I had certain tasks for work, and I ultimately selected a different career.
I did slow down but still need to work on aspects of that one because I really just like staying home now.
I surprised myself on several occasions.

Not too shabby.

I'm definitely not the same person I was when this year started. In 2014, I felt I was living a life that wasn't realistic. I was experiencing life at several WTFs per hour. Instead of continuing to deplete myself, make poor choices and conceal my plethora of emotions - I faced the chaos. I still have some things to tend to...but overall I squeezed a lot into my year. I made some big changes and took charge of my life. I want more of that in 2016.

I said 30 was going to be The Year of Brittany, and I was going to do what I needed to do for me. Technically, I'm still 30..and I have until August to finish this shit up. However, I can't be disappointed at all with what I have accomplished since last January. Over 2015, I realized...

- A bad day is just a bad day - not a bad life.
- Who you were doesn't matter - just who you are.
- No matter what happens at the end of the day, every morning the sun still comes up.
- Wearing lipstick gives you confidence. 
- Honor the body you've been given and take care of it.
- Stop reading books you don't like - there is no point to this. There are so many books out there you will like and will never get to...don't waste time on ones you don't like. Needing to finish is a stupid rule. 
- Produce feelings, it's okay.
- You will always find an excuse to not exercise after work - so do it before.
- Laugh at yourself.
- Stop worrying. The bad things you worry over are not the bad things that actually end up happening. You will never be prepared, so just stop worrying.
- Be money wise.
- Find a hobby.
- If you don't want to go, don't go. It's okay to go out...but it's okay to stay home, too.
- Take risks, bet on yourself.
- Dancing can fix any mood. So can singing. Sing when you're sad, sing when you're happy.
- Make people work for your affection, you deserve to be swooned.
- Don't give up...good things are out there, pretty great things can happen if you give it a chance.
- Caring for yourself is not self-indulgent.
- Life is tough, darling...but so are you.

Going into 2016 my goals are pretty similar - get back on track with blogging, get back on track with living a healthier life style for my body and mind and complete my little projects, of course. In addition, I want to continue to do more for me and the people important to me...stop giving so much of myself to things that do not serve a purpose or are not appreciated. I want to read more books, take more photos and focus on work. My 2016 motto is going to be...choose joy! I think the last major change that needs to be made is to filter out the negatives. Things are good for me, right now and I need to feel that...I need to choose joy.

I feel good about 2016, I feel good about these goals - they're with purpose, they're tangible. I am looking forward to completing The Year of Brittany. Whether you decide to think about the new year or decide to let it be - I hope you find much happiness in 2016.