Year in Review 2012 pt. 1

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Hello All! Hope all is well during this holiday season. I can’t believe it’s already Christmas, the years really fly by as I get older. That being said it’s time again for my year in review! I know Facebook does a cute little year in review but I think it’s more fun to write about it!  This year was not nearly as exiting as last year, but I’m very thankful for that.   I’ll try and keep it as interesting as possible though because I learned a lot and made some marked lifestyle changes and it all started last January.

I didn’t necessarily have a new year’s resolution to get more fit and active this year, but starting Danceaton kind of set off the whole thing! I actually started having a great time working out and, maybe more importantly, it gave me a reason to get up in the morning.  Dance was something I always looked forward to, even if there were only 12 hours between the class I just finished and the next one starting.

My confidence grew, and eventually I danced in the front of the class. It probably would’ve taken me a lot longer to do that had I not met my amazing friends in that class.  They were so encouraging and supportive and accepting, not only of me, but of each other!

brunch with the fun bunch!

before we danced on a morning show and became wildly famous…or was it infamous?

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after my first 5k the rave run!

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t-shirt cutting partaaay! it’s exactly what it sounds like.

They were the ones who encouraged me to get on the stage at dance, invited me to coffee after, shared their fitness goals with me and let me into their lives. Life has been a lot less lonely ever since! I can’t say for sure what my year would’ve been like without them but I know for certain it was better with my new friends in it!

Overall my lifestyle has gotten more active, healthier and I have actually grown to love a hard workout.  I never, ever thought I’d hear myself say that and  I don’t think I ever would have said that even a year ago.  I think I’m growing.

strong arms! and, is that a dog barking in the background?

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by the end of the year I took on boxing, of all things. and love it!

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll recall that I made a decision at the beginning of this year to find a new job.  I decided that I wanted to nanny, because I really am happiest when I’m around kids.  By March, I was hired on at Mom’s Best Friend and I’ve been happily employed by them ever since. It accounts for half of my income, I choose my own jobs/hours for the most part, and I have had the fortune of being requested time and time again watching some great kids! I’m lucky because when I need extra money I can pick up extra jobs and when I need time off I can take it. What I really love about my job though, are, of course, the kids.

It’s so funny, the consistencies between children. I take jobs with toddlers, mostly. I feel like we understand each other. And even more so than I previously thought just because of what I’ve learned about myself this year. I’ve learned and accepted that I like to know what to expect and I need consistency in my schedule to stay sane and mentally prepared. I have a hard time with change and it takes me a while to adjust.

Now, I’ve pretty much just described every 2-4 year old I’ve ever met. Every time I go over to watch a kid that I’ve watched before, they want me to do EXACTLY the same thing with them as the first time I went over there. I find it hilarious. Every Monday at lunch, the three year old wants me to arrange his lunch in a smiley face.  He always reminds me.

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“Ms. Kasey, I want a smile with my lunch because I love smiles.”

Every time I watch the two year old little girl she wants me to find her hiding in the exact same spot she hid in all the previous times, over and over. Even a six year old wanted to play the exact same, weird, cat figurine game. I had no idea she had so much fun until her mom and dad told me that’s all she talked about for days. While I have to admit, sometimes I get bored with doing the same things over and over and over with these kids, I always do it because I can understand why they like it. That’s what they associate with Ms. Kasey. I like to make associations too, it makes the world much less scary when you have a reference point to base a new experience on.

It’s little realizations like those that make me feel just a little more connected to the kids I take care of.   I spent so much of this year getting to know myself, trying to find out who I really am and why I feel the way I feel and make the decisions that I do.  I can’t imagine putting together the unconscious  similarities between myself and the kids I watch if I didn’t know myself so well.  It’s been really eye-opening.  Moving forward has been a big theme of my year and will continue to be a big theme in my life.

In the next installment, I’ll write about my second quarter of 2012.  I’ll discuss how I dealt with the first anniversary of my mom’s death, celebrating her birthday for the first time without her, graduating from therapy, welcoming new life, and more!  Until then, Merry Christmas!

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