#reverb10 Day 17 – Lessons Learned

What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year?  And how will you apply that lesson going forward? – Tara Weaver

I think all of the lessons I’ve learned this year speak to my resilience.  I’ve always considered myself a strong, independent woman, capable of taking care of myself and roughing through the tough patches in my life.  I’ve joked in the past about being the breadwinner of the family, but this year I really assumed that role.  It hasn’t been fun and it hasn’t been easy, surprise, surprise.  We’ve struggled with prioritizing our bills, having to make minimum payments on credit cards, and eliminate “fun” spending all together.  We’ve been uninsured and just relied on the grace of God to keep us healthy and safe.  Most recently, FIL and I had to clean out our pantry in order to eat.  It’s been a very humbling, very disheartening change in our lives, but we’re getting through it, slowly but surely.  Things are looking up in DH’s job situation, and with things looking promising with the USAR (a bonus…soon, maybe?  WLC and AD pay!), I am hopefully that we won’t have to resort to last-ditch efforts to stay afloat (e.g. selling DH’s bike, selling our motorcycle trailer).  I’ve also started up my Etsy shop, which has given me some money for more fun classes and some dinners out with FIL.

My grandma passed on a family heirloom to me after my Aunt Trish died.  It’s a music box she was given by a neighbor when she returned home from her leg amputation surgery, at the age of 12.  My grandma is in her late 80s, to put things in perspective.  The music box is shaped like a beehive, done up in all silver, with a decorative piece of enamel (?) on the top that has a picture of a dancing couple on it.  The box itself doesn’t hold much, but the music box still plays.  As cheesy/cliche as it sounds, it really does symbolize the strength of the women in our family for me.  My grandma lost her leg (up to mid-thigh) at so young of an age, yet has always been an active go-getter.  The music box has been around all of these years, but it still plays.  Women in our family were built strong, and I consider myself one of them, and not just by blood.

I plan to take this lesson into 2011 as a reminder to myself that whatever the new year throws at us, we can get through it.  I can and will continue to carry our family and keep our lives as stable as possible as we continue to progress through this transition.  I pray and hope that good things await us.