Another birthday over. Another year older. All things considered, I am content with the way my life is going thus far.
1. I’m probably the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.
I was heavy-ish until age 22. Through a combination of Trimspa (“It’s Trimspa Baby!”), the South Beach diet, and exercise, over the next 5 years I lost and kept off almost 50 pounds. Although I looked the best I’ve ever looked, I wasn’t healthy. Cigarettes, alcohol, pot and other recreational drugs, birth control pills, and chemically loaded Splenda and other fat- and sugar-free products were staples in my life. Then, when my life got REALLY stressful (sick dog, marital problems, money problems), I said “Screw it” to the diet and started eating poorly again. Fast food, pizza and Chinese takeout were DAILY occurrences. I regained about 30 pounds.
Today, things are different. No cigarettes, weed, or other drugs, and no birth control pills. I exercise almost daily, and I don’t eat anything processed or laced with chemicals. I’ve lost almost 20 pounds, and in the process I’ve learned how to cook for myself in a healthy way, which is something I know will last a lifetime.
2. I’m getting better looking every day.
I know I’ll never look as good as I did when I was 25. But I still look young for my age, and I’m still pretty, and the fact that I’m still losing weight means that over the next few months my appearance will only improve. And that makes me happy. Yes, I know it’s vain, but it’s reality. Deal with it.
3. I’m close with my family.
I’m very close to my mom and her side of the family. Every other Sunday my mom and I drive to NJ to visit with my grandmother, aunt, and cousins. We go to the diner for brunch, go shopping, or just hang out and talk. I don’t feel any obligation to do this – these are people that I actually LIKE and enjoy spending time with…which, apparently, is not that common in some families. My grandmother is 92 years old and is still going strong. She’s relatively healthy and has her wits about her. I feel grateful for every day I get to spend with her.
4. I have a lot of friends, old and new.
Old friends: These are the ones who have known me forever. They were there through the major events in my life, including my parents’ divorce, losing my virginity, my first love, going away to college, getting married, etc. No matter how far apart we are or how long we go without speaking, we can pick up where we left off without skipping a beat. And I know without question that if I ever need anything from them, all I have to do is ask.
New friends: In the past two years I have developed the most amazing friendships with a group of people at work. What started out as occasionally hanging out at work happy hours has since developed into “real” friendships where we eat together every day, hang out on weekends, celebrate birthdays, and even go on vacations. We discuss just about every aspect of our lives with each other. I don’t believe in God but I do feel “blessed” to have them in my life.
And the most important item on this list:
5. I don’t have any drama in my life AT ALL.
For a long time, my life was filled with with arguments, tears, uncertainty, sadness, anger, stress, and grief. My marriage was ending. All of our money was tied up in these apartments we had started building, and we owed A LOT of money to A LOT of people. I was quite miserable.
Today things are better. My ex and I are on ridiculously good terms. The houses have been built, and all of the apartments are rented. We are slowly in the process of paying people back and fixing up our credit. All of the issues that weighed so heavily on my shoulders for SIX YEARS are gone. Granted, every now and then something comes up that’s not so pleasant for me to deal with, but it’s nothing compared to the hell that my life was before, and now that I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel I have a much easier time not letting things get me down.