Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!

I hope all of you have a fantastic New Year's Eve!!!! And that 2009 is your best year yet!

If you are making resolutions, I just read Leann's at Lake Champlain Chocolates and I think her list is great - check it out for inspiration:

I don't know about the whole eat local thing, but I like the rest of them. Of course, if I worked at a chocolate factory I might eat locally until I exploded.

When I think about about 2008, I'm proud of a few things - I got my CSP (a certification that's kind of a big deal in the speaking biz), I paid off my mortgage, I altered my client base so I might have a life. But most of my accomplishments have been in the professional and financial realms. I did take some cool trips - the Chocolate Show in NYC, the ChocoTour in PA starting with the visit to Fallingwater, the visit to Kentucky to see my friend Heidi and the bourbon balls. (Heidi - that sounds like a good name for a swing band.) There were some disasters - the Improv Debacle comes to mind. There have been scary health issues.

And there's been something that I have no idea how it will turn out. Early this year I met a great guy and we dated for a month. (Now to put this in perspective, for me to find a guy I want to hang out with for more than one date is a pretty big deal.) We had a blast and then he was deployed to Afghanistan. The deployment was for seven months (which has turned into nine). The question was - do I wait for him and see what happens when he gets back or do I move on?

My friends were divided on this issue - with the majority telling me I was insane to even consider waiting, that life was short, that I didn't really know this guy, etc. etc. But I liked him and if you have any idea of how many bad dates I've been on, you would know this is very rare. He told me he would understand whatever decision I made. (You have to appreciate that, but it was no help. Of course, if he were weeping and saying, "Don't leave me!" I would have left. Immediately.)

I, of course, could have dated and if no one better showed up, maybe could have kept him as my backup. But I thought, how would I feel about that if I were the one deployed? I knew I would feel terrible and I would decide to let the other person go. Why put myself through that pain? Why be the backup? I didn't want to do that to him. And I didn't think it would be fair to do to someone else. Presenting yourself as available when you really aren't is BS. Too many people do it and I hope Karma will kick their butts for it.

I could have dated in secret - hey, the chances of him finding out were probably zero. But that is not the way I roll. I am either in a relationship or I am out. I am not going to lie to someone and I consider omission in this case a lie. I have been lied to in the past (as I'm sure many of you have) and I will not do that to someone else. Not when it comes to his heart.

So I decided to wait. Of course this could turn out to be a bad decision. He might come back and decide he doesn't like me that much after all. Or we might not get along as well as we did. Or 100 other things might happen. But relationships are risky, and if you don't take the risk, you'll never know. And I think if I didn't play it this way I might have always wondered, "What if I had waited?"

Of course, he might come back and we hit it off great and it turns out to be the relationship I've been waiting for. I have no way to know. Right now, I just hope he makes it back safe.

So, just like you, I have no idea what 2009 will hold. All I can do is my best. So here are my resolutions:

1.) Every year I hope FireStar will do better than the year before. I measure that with income. I don't care if we are in a recession, I'm still setting the goal to do better than last year.

2.) I want to maintain my health and I measure this with my weight and my exercise program. Maintenance may not seem like a lofty goal, but any of you who are over 40, know that maintenance ain't child's play!

3.) I want this to be the year I have an intimate, committed relationship. And the best things I can do here are stay open, communicate, and not run away. When Leann said she was going to resurrect old dreams, it made me think of this old dream of mine - love.

4.) I want to take three exciting, fun trips. I'm already thinking about going to the National Confectioners Conference this spring. And I'm so hoping I can go to Candy EXPO in Chicago! I know that if I don't get these on the calendar soon, they may not happen. (But I'm hoping I'll have someone to travel with this year and I don't want to lock down too much. Keep your fingers crossed for me!)

Take a few minutes sometime today to review your 2008. What are you most proud of? I bet you did some great things and never really patted yourself on the back. What were your disasters? What did you learn? (I learned to ask way more questions. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.) I also learned how hard it is for me to handle things I can't control. Having a long distance relationship with someone at war brought up every insecurity I have. But after so many months, I realize all that insecurity exists in one place only - my own head.
Your life lessons don't count unless you take a few minutes to sit back and learn them.

And, most importantly write down what you want for 2009. I know we have control over very little, but I am convinced that charting your own course makes a difference. Deciding what you want doesn't guarantee that it will happen, but I promise you, it increases the chances a hundredfold.

My wish for you in 2009? You get everything you want and you enjoy the journey to getting it. And don't forget to eat some chocolate along the way!


Heidi said...

This is a wonderful blog entry, and great points to ponder! I am going to sit down and figure out my own 2008 accomplishments and 2009 goals, too! Thanks for this!

And on your friend ... even if it doesn't work out, the one thing you know in your heart is that you selflessly did an honorable thing and can go to bed at night knowing you were an honest and true soul. If he's not the right guy, this is still a wonderful thing to know about yourself. If he IS the right guy, you have built a rock-hard foundation for a future relationship by being true and noble.
This is a gift to both yourself and to him. That is a wonderful thing in and of itself, and few people have this precious gift.

Denise Ryan said...

Heidi - thanks for the good thoughts!! And thanks for all the help during the deployment. You are a gift to me!!