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First of all, I’m hoping everyone had a fulfilling, joyful and restorative holiday.  The end of the year and the beginning of another is always a reflective time for most people.  As I reflect, I’m thinking that this has absolutely been the best year ever!

So many positive things have happened to me this year and I am so grateful.  I’ve found the love of my life and am living an enviable life with him.  I’ve been in miserable relationships and I’ve had a couple of great ones too, but I have truly lucked up with My Love.  Anyway, the best one is usually the last one, right?  I’ve also discovered and am cultivating my love of writing by starting this blog and working on The Great American Novel (at an almost non-existent pace, of course, but nonetheless).  2011 was a banner year for me in furthering my quest for self awareness.  I’ve learned that I can move on after a broken heart.  It took me a while and lots of nights watching movies on the couch with my very good friend Misery.  Do any of y’all know her?  She’s a cold-hearted bitch but don’t tell her I said that.  I’ve also learned that I can forgive and give second chances and learn to trust again (the trust part is definitely a work in progress, but I’m coming along … baby steps).  My tolerance unconditional acceptance of other people in my life is growing.  One lesson I continue to learn and relearn is that you cannot change people and that everyone doesn’t do what you want them to.  This is difficult for me because I feel I have all the answers.  I’m working on my self-delusion as well.

Another thing to which I have committed to do this year is to begin my French lessons on a consistent basis for our upcoming trip to Paris in the summer.  Je suis déterminé!  Yet another thing I have taken on is playing Assassin’s Creed.  I am not by any means a gamer and have at this point very poor hand-to-eye coordination — if you would have seen the way I had poor Ezio running around looking like he was either intoxicated or fucked up on some powerful amphetamine, you would know this to be true — but I am sure My Love will at some point grow weary of my running (but amusing) commentary/backseat (or other side of the couch) controlling of his game, and honestly, I just want to wield a big sword while kicking some Templar ass!

I completed a 30-day yoga challenge, one yoga class everyday for 30 days, in February.  Completing this challenge obviously was physically beneficial, but it also gave me self-confidence, self awareness, an acceptance of what the world has in store for me, and taught me to be more grateful for the things in my life already.  And yes, I was pretty goddamn proud of myself.  As a result, I committed to another one this month which began yesterday.  It wasn’t a premeditated decision; it was really a spur-of-the-moment realization that I needed to do this.  I was about to delete the email from the yoga studio, but something told me to read it.  I opened it, saw that they were doing another challenge, and just felt like it was what I needed to do.  I’m not going to say that I heard this voice say, “Paige, get your lazy ass in gear and do this challenge!”  I did have a strong and determined feeling that I needed to do it, though.

Lately, I’ve had several sinus infections (I guess that’s what they were; however, I have a sneaking suspicion that they are allergy episodes and that I need to make a visit to my ENT and have some allergy tests done, but I’m not giving up my cats, milk or white bread) and have had a general sense of malaise that I attributed to stress.  I’m still adjusting to my new address and sharing a life and a home with someone.  After living alone for the last seven years, some things seem so strange and different, but most things are blissful, comforting and satisfying.  I also attributed some of the stress to plain ol’ holiday stress (even though they were surprisingly not stressful).  I had a full checkup in September and everything was normal, so I’m confident I’m in relatively good health.  During the challenge in February, I felt better mentally and physically.  A positive outlook does not come natural to me, but because of the lessons I learned in my yoga practice, I definitely looked at the world as being half full instead of half empty (even if there was still a residual hint of cynicism sometimes … baby steps).  My hope for this challenge is 1) that I’ll finish it and 2) … well, I have no other hopes.  In true yoga form, I am not placing any expectations on this endeavor (other than completing it).  It will be what it needs to be and it will serve me in whatever way it is supposed to serve me.

So I am going to try keeping a daily journal of this challenge, but I wanted you all to know where I am, physically and mentally, as I begin this month-long commitment.  I’m definitely not going to try to title the daily posts after songs as I do with my regular posts.  That would just be too difficult.  Although, yesterday’s might have been “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” by Culture Club.  I’ll just make the title the date.  That’s boring, but deal with it.  I’ll be the one pretzelling (not a word, I know, but should be) my 42-year-old body everyday for the next 30 days.