"It is important that you recognize your progress and take pride in your accomplishments. Share your achievements with others. Brag a little. The recognition and support of those around you is nurturing.”---Rosemarie Rossetti
A friend of mine pointed out, that while she liked my "One Year Later" blog post, that I focused too much on how my life has changed and what I can't do and not on what I had accomplished. Sure she was wrong (because I'm usually such a positive person), I went back and read the post. She was right!!!
She even began listing some things that I should mention and be proud of!!!! "Thank you Amy...I intend to fix that now."
"Wow, where do I begin..."
I guess the first accomplishment was returning to work 2 weeks after having my arm amputated. That was pretty big. I had asked the surgeon when I could return to work...figuring he'd say the customary 6-8 weeks. He asked "what do you do?" I replied "loan officer". He said "two weeks" (seeing the shock on my face he followed with) "I'll write you a note for whatever you want but the sooner you go back the better you'll be". I hesitated but agreed...I had no vacation or sick time and couldn't afford to be out of work anyhow.
Next accomplishment...driving. I was pretty traumatized after the accident and not very eager to get back behind the wheel. I kept having mini flashbacks of going off the road. My first 3 days of work, friends drove me...but being the independent control freak I am...3 days was about all I could handle. On the 4th day I rented a car. Looking back it was pretty funny. When the rental agent got the information from my auto insurance company (who was paying for the rental) he gave me this sad look and asked if I would like the additional rental coverage (sure that he had me)...I declined..."Nah, already made my deductible", I smiled. I acted all confident while I was there but drove about 10-15 miles under the speed limit for about a month. I was scared but determined.
Next big step for me was dating again...good thing I don't get discouraged too easily. The first date never called again and the second stood me up on New Years Eve. I wouldn't have been so ticked about the second if he would have had the decency to just cancel. I drove 60 miles round trip in snow and ice to meet him half way (still scared to death of driving) to get stood up...ass! Lol. The third person I went out with (technically second since real second was a no-show) restored my faith in men. He was a gentleman. No kiss until the 3rd date, flowers at work, a weekend getaway, met his family, and drove me to and from the airport when I went to Chicago for work. (When I returned home I was greeted by him standing in the airport holding a sign with my name on it, lol, dork!) It was a great couple of months, ultimately the timing was off, but at the time we were both what the other needed. He also gave me the confidence to continue and, for that, I will always be grateful.
When I moved to Wyoming, 3 weeks before my accident, the plan was to live at my friend's ranch, have a home built on my land, and move out the following spring. The accident, a disorganized builder, and finances finally put the house on hold. I was welcome to stay at the ranch but I was itching to get back out on my own. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it without any help. I looked at it as "if I can't do it on my own, living in a small house, in town...how the hell did I think I could do it on my own, on 40 acres, in the middle of nowhere". I'm proud to say it's been almost 7 months, I have a beautiful little house, I'm happy, the dogs are happy, and we're all still alive :) It's not the ranch but it's a wonderful stop-over...and now I'll be much better equipped to handle whatever the ranch throws my way when that time comes.
That brings me to my final two, ranch related, accomplishments (I'm sure there are more but these are the biggies).
The first one was buying a sturdy, wooden, 10' x 12' shed to put out on the property. I was looking for a "base camp" for the time I spent out there. I hate using the term "shed" because it brings to mind a flimsy, unattractive, catch all, used for storage. I chose a 10' x 12' because it was the largest I could have without getting a building permit. "Little House", as I call it, has 2 working windows with screens and flower boxes, a shingled roof, and high ceilings. At first I just outfitted it with a card table, an air mattress, and a barbeque grill. I'm in the process, now, of refinishing a real bed to put out there, a cafe table, a fire pit and patio for more upscale camping. I spent two nights out there this past summer and loved it!!!! I can't wait until spring when it's all finished. Building may be on hold for a while but I can still enjoy the ranch while I'm waiting.
My final accomplishment was finishing a cookbook I planned to do a year ago. Why now? I needed to feel like the financial setbacks with the ranch could be turned around. I also felt the need for another creative outlet (this blog is a HUGE one for me) that could earn me extra money. Before, I had made soaps, bath products and went to craft shows. The soaps and bath fizzies are a little hard to make one handed but typing, writing, and taking photographs I can do. I returned to the cookbook idea in July. The problem? I needed everything done by the end of August in order to have the completed books, in hand, and in time for the ever important holiday sales and craft shows. We did it , and it has been a bigger success than I imagined. So much so, that I'm considering another one for next year. I've only done one craft show so far but have 2 more planned. I wasn't sure how a cookbook would go over at a craft show but was pleasantly surprised. I noticed there were two types of people that came up to my booth.
The first type, picked up the book, looked at the cover, said "how much?" , set it down, and walked away.
The second type, looked inside, saw Sara's picture, read "The Dream", looked at the layout and the pictures, some teared up, said "how much?", and "I'll take three!"
Many thanks to the second type! :)
The last year has flown by and, to be honest, it hasn't all been easy and I've gone to bed EXHAUSTED almost every night but most nights before I fall asleep...I take a moment and "I recognise my progress and take pride in my accomplishments."
Thank you again, Amy, for reminding me to brag about it more often! :)
OK, just pretend that lady only has one arm ;)