02 January 2013

So 2012 Wasn't Awesome...

I'm not quite sure where to begin this post, so I'll just dive right in.  I don't typically do year-in-review posts, and this post certainly doesn't follow the model of most of those posts.  But I've been meaning to do a post looking back on our first year of marriage and in talking with my parents last week, I realized that reflecting on our first year of marriage is essentially the same as reflecting on 2012.  And 2012 was not a good one.

Not because of our relationship, but because of so many external factors that weighed us down.  We kicked off 2012 in Atlanta.  The flight home was miserable, because we were leaving a city we love and time with sweet friends and headed back to a condo we hated, in a city we hated, to job situations that were less than ideal.  It's hard for me to put into words the absolute funk that we spent the first half of 2012 in.  I think most days we were just going through the motions.  Numb might be the right word. Throw in the fact that work stress caused some {fortunately temporary} serious health issues for M, and we were about at our breaking point come spring.

At that point, we realized that things weren't going to miraculously get better.  We realized that we needed a change and stat.  So I began looking for a new job, and was fortunate enough to find one relatively quickly.  And I love my new job. LOVE. Wonderful people, wonderful work environment, doing something I'm passionate about.  M and I were discussing what our favorite memory of 2012 was and we both agreed it was the night we celebrated my new job at VOLT.  I think it was the first night in a long time when we both felt hopeful and happy and excited.

But just about the time I started my new job and got that part of my life together, the other wheels fell off.  We adopted our sweet boy, Ozzie.  And as much of a joy as he is to us now, the first 2 months were absolute hell.  He cost us so much money and time.  He caused many tears and fights.  With the help of a wonderful vet, our absurdly stubborn personalities, and a lot of patience, we are at a good place with our sweet boys.

But just about the time we started to figure things out with Ozzie, I had to go and blow the engine in my car.  Which, 3 months later, is an issue we are still dealing with and paying for.  Going from having only a year of payments left on a car to having to put in a new engine AND a new transmission is not a fun experience. Especially when you and your spouse both work for non-profits, which translates to not a lot of extra cash lying around to take care of these things.  We truly would not have made it through this fall without our parents.  They have showed us that you are never too old to need your mom and dad! We are so grateful to them.

Did I mention that in the midst of starting the new job and adopting the new dog we moved 20 miles south?  And went to five weddings? Three of which M was a groomsman in?  We were a bit busy this year.

We have made some definite improvement in the past year.  I am in a job that makes me happy.  We live in a townhouse with lots of space and potential, a big kitchen, and a fenced-in yard for our boys.  M has a new car for the first time since he was 16.  We are making progress on paying down debt.  2013 kicks off in a much better position than 2012.

But we still have a ways to go for 2013.  As much as we love our actual physical residence, we still don't like where we live.  We have no friends with no chance to meet new friends and nothing to do.  That is the reality of the tiny place we moved to so that my commute would be manageable.  We feel like we are watching our childless years blow by us, unable to do the things we want to do in this supposedly carefree time.  That's got to change.  I need gal pals.  M needs male friends.  We need couple friends so that I can fulfill my NEED to entertain.

It's impossible for me to separate my thoughts on the first year of marriage from my thoughts on 2012 because they are one and the same.  Marriage is hard.  That shouldn't be a shock to anyone.  The world threw so many obstacles at us this year that there were times when we truly struggled in our relationship.  But I married an incredible man who takes his vows as seriously as I take mine.  We absolutely meant the words we said to each other on our wedding day and we are in it for the long haul.  I don't think we expected to have so many of those vows tested so early on in our marriage, but I think we both feel that we can pretty much handle anything now.  There were times last year when I was so angry because we weren't getting that rose-colored hazy fog type of newlywed bliss that you hear about.  We got the real world and we got a hell of a lot of it.  But we also came out of it feeling fairly bulletproof, and for my money {what little of it is left after my car is finally fixed!}, I'll take bulletproof over schmaltz any day.

We've decided 2013 is going to be our year.  We may not be able to take all the trips we want this year or finally pull the trigger on buying a house, but we're going to make it an amazing year all the same.  Our little family of four plans to dominate the next 12 months in a big way.


18 comments:

MCW said...

I am making 2013 my bitch and you should too. It will be a good one! I can feel it!

ms. mindless said...

Some years and some seasons are tough. You made it through and know where you want to be. The most important part is that you know you are doing it all with the right person. Many people couldn't make it through such a tough year with their marriage intact. You did. Here's to a much better 2013! You deserve it :)

Tasha Lee said...

Wow. Are we living the same life? Seriously. I mean, down to the dog, the jobs, the house... it's kind of weird. We need friends in a big way. Couple friends, girl friends, guy friends, all of the above. The last 6 months of marriage have been full of these frustrations, and it... well, sucks. Hoping for some changes very soon. In the meantime, I can only be grateful for the hubs and our partnership. Thank goodness for that comfort, right?? Good luck in your new year!!

livingasauceylife.blogspot.com

L said...

This post reminds me of my experiences in 2009, except my marriage didn't survive (which is mostly because of years 2005-9, but moving on...). So, hey! You got that going for y'all ;) Anyway, when it rains, it pours, and then you get a break...until it rains again. Those are the odds, unfortunately. And don't ever let anyone's blog fool you otherwise! We ALL struggle in various ways. Sometimes it's financial, other times it's internal, and sometimes it's in our relationships. No one's life is perfect. I admire your strength in admitting that 2012 has been hard. Here's hoping to a better 2013, but remember that your outlook is half the battle. Keep your spirits up!

Natalia said...

I'm not sure which is harder -- marriage, moving to a new place, making new friends, or facing the realities of financial responsibilities (experienced all of these in 2011). Seriously though, being an adult really sucks sometimes. I so appreciate your honesty and want you to know that many (if not all of us) can totally relate.

Here's to a smashing 2013 with more highs than lows! Let's do this thang.

LindsB said...

You arent alone- I have put off writing a 2012 recap post because there just isnt anything to recap. Maybe its because I'm in that kind of funk right now and I'm totally hating all this New Years stuff. But I guess its also a reason to look at my life and make the changes I want to live the happy life I want. You arent alone girl, and even if we dont live in the same city we can be friends!! In fact, I think you and your husband should move up to Boston- then you can entertain me all the time :) xoxo

Lobster Meets Peach said...

While I know that things did not go the way you would have liked in 2012 you and your Hubby should be proud of making it together. Marriage is full of up's and down's and I believe taking your vows to heart makings things a little easier.

Here's to a Happy and Healthy 2013 for you and your Hubby!!!

April of A. Liz Adventures said...

I have been in your shoes - in 2010 (the year we got engaged) I moved away from Charlotte, a city I positively loved, to join my fiance (now husband). He was unhappy and stressed in his job daily. I was working from home with very few friends and I felt like I was in a prison. We fought a good bit and also had the pressure of wedding planning on us (ME). We tried to hard to make friends but it was such a challenge. Everyone was single/partying til 3am or married with three children. A move back to Charlotte completely changed our perspective and reunited us with lifelong friends. I hope your 2013 will be a lot happier with no big unexpected car expenses :)

Our French Inspired Home said...

Ditto what MCW said. Have you ever read or watched "The Secret"? Something to help you along in achieving your goals in 2013. -Tonya

Nat said...

I totally hear you!! First of all marriage is hard, real hard I don't care what people say, it is and to throw all of that on top of you at once doesn't help either. Here's to 2013 being your year! It sounds like it can only go up from here.

Lexilooo said...

I feel so similar - 2012 was such a lackluster year, I felt so dragged down much of it. I am not doing a recap either, but I'm not sure what to say, frankly.

I find DC a hard city to be in sometimes...people are always coming and going so quickly, it can be difficult to find friends who aren't planning to move away in a few years!

Brittany said...

Sorry to hear that 2012 was so rough for you. I can totally relate to moving away from family and friends and feeling so alone. Marriage is not meant to be one's only source of happiness and friends - guy friends, girl friends, couple friends - are needed to keep us well rounded...and sane. My husband and I desperately need friends as well, but with his coaching schedule and my demanding job, it seems impossible to start up a friendship and be a reliable friend.

Keep pushing through and know that your current situation won't be your forever. Push through with your hubby by your side and, in time, with a little trust and a lot of faith, you'll figure out where you should be and what you should be doing.

Jennifer said...

I have a feeling 2013 is going to be a great year for you! I would totally be your friend if I lived near you ;) But seriously, the first year of marriage is such an adjustment especially when we have expectations, but you got through it and your marriage is probably infinitely stronger for it. Don't worry about wasting away your childless years. We didn't get to do any fun things our first year of marriage, instead we poured all of our money into a house that needed way more work than we anticipated, and then we had Edward and made new friends and things went better at work and we did more fun things than we were ever able to do before. Not saying having a baby is the answer, but you can still do lots of fun things after you start a family so don't panic ;) hugs to you! xo

The enchanted home said...

Bravo to you. I applaud your candid post....as you said this is life, the real world. We all have our "stuff" TRUST ME. I am so sorry it was such a bad year....thank goodness you can close the door to 2012. Some great things happened but it was a rollercoaster year for me in some ways too..so I am quite happy to begin anew. I think the most important thing here is your solid foundation and your commitment to each other. THAT will take you where you need to go and be your light even on the darkest of paths. Two is a heck of a lot more powerful than one:)
I hope 2013 brings you lots of happiness, new friends, jobs that bring fulfillment and peace.....cheers to a fabulous 2013!~

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog, your recipes, your posts, honestly think you are pretty fab. But as a healthy dose of perspective: my husband spent 7 of our first 12 months of marriage this year on two back-to-back deployments to Afghanistan, flying helicopters, being shot at on a regular basis. This after moving me to Japan 1 month after getting married. He missed my birthday, his birthday, the fourth of july, labor day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and will miss Valentine's day as well. Be sooooo thankful that you have the stability to even have a dog and that at the end of every day, though you may not have the social life you dream of, you are able to kiss your husband goodnight and know he is safe and sound. Happy New Year and hoping things look up for you!

paper{whites} said...

thank you for sharing so candidly. marriage is hard. dare i say: exhausting, because just when one thing is going right, something else can go wrong. or at least, not in the direction you'd like it to. we all have our own challenges in all sorts of ways, and it helps to hear your stories. we are here for you and support a happier year in 2013! x

Rianna O'Brien said...

New follower here! Isn't VOLT just fabulous? Born in raised in the area, now living in the suburbs of Baltimore. You're 2013 will be better! A new year is here and the possibilities are endless!

LPC said...

I can tell you are the kind of person who perseveres, who lives by a code of conduct. Congratulations on making it through 2012 and here's to many more things going your way in 2013.