This is a bit of a tough one, because I grew up with a mother who would smack the pride right out of me, so I have a deeply ingrained habit of downplaying successes, finding the tiniest of faults in my achievements, and generally minimizing my accomplishments. But, let's see what I have.
1. I started experimenting with different ways to make chili. This was a necessity thing, as we had snowmaggedon and sometimes I had to get creative making something hot and spicy to keep us warm without being able to get to the grocery store to buy exactly the right ingredients. Adding a bottle of beer to the chili pot was a new idea.
2. I became a foster mother. Sure, our first foster dog became a permanent member of the family, but the second foster dog isn't staying.
3. I kind of sort of figured out the rules for American football. I don't understand it all, but I am getting better at it, after all these years of just not caring. It certainly made it more fun to go see a high school football game with my dad, which is a lot different from watching the NFL on tv, where they tell you everything.
4. I completed my first Whole30. I'm going to try it again in January. I really think I need to do it, to get myself back on track with eating right and feeling better.
5. I went to my first ComicCon. That's something I would do again.
6. I saw all the new Lay's potato chip flavors and I did NOT try any of them.
7. I did try Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. I also had my first cup of coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Never again. But at least now I know what everyone else on the planet has been talking about.
8. I made Thanksgiving dinner all by myself for the first time ever.
9. I went to a family funeral all by myself, and talked to people I haven't seen in years. I have to admit, I almost chickened out before I went in, but then I thought how stupid it would be to drive 150 miles and turn around because I was anxious. Once I went in, I got over my anxiety. It wasn't as scary as I thought. However, I found it quite perplexing that people kept asking me how I was and, when I responded that I was fine, kept asking, "Are you sure?" and looking at me as though they weren't sure I was okay. At first, I wondered what about me was making them doubt my verbal assurances that I was quite good. About halfway through the funeral service, I figured it out. These are my mom's relatives, and clearly she has been filling them with nonsense about how I am not doing well in some respect. I don't know what she said, but I decided that my best and only line of defense was to tell the truth.
This is in some ways, a good way of illustrating why this particular Ten on Tuesday was difficult for me. A few years ago, El Esposo told me that he caught my mother begging her friend's daughter to tell her if there were any jobs for me at her company, because, "My daughter is so desperate, she will take any work that you have." Now, at that time, I actually had two jobs, both of which required a college degree. I was not desperate for a job, didn't want to work at that woman's company, and had no idea my mother was telling people such nonsense. What my mom's actions said to me was that she didn't think much of my work, she was disappointed in me, and she felt that she had to denigrate me to people whose opinions matter to her. And that's pretty much the way things have worked with her my entire life.
So, as much anxiety as I had walking into the visitation and funeral all by myself, feeling that I was really pushing myself as an introvert, the reality when I got in there was much worse, and it had nothing to do with me and nothing to do with my relatives. It was about my mom. And I sucked it up for two and a half hours, and then had another two and a half hours in the car to decompress. I'm proud of myself for not crumbling under the pressure. My mom is going to denigrate me until the day she dies, and that is her problem, not mine.
10. Finally, I ran the First Annual Book & Chocolate Swap, and it was great! I had a lot of fun picking things for the person I gifted, and I was really surprised and pleased when I opened my package from Vicki. I loved seeing the books and chocolate that other swappers received, and I added to my Goodreads list - there were a lot of books given that I had never heard of, but that merit my attention. I'm doing it again next year, so get ready!
This year there were lots of small victories, and that's just fine. Most of them had an impact that lasted beyond the actual event, especially the ones related to eating right, and they are part of the many small changes that will eventually be one big change - a healthier and happier life. That's kind of a work in progress, a goal that I will always be reaching for, but there's always progress to be made.