WOW! It is so hard to believe that in just over 2 weeks, 2016 is going to come to an end. Holy COW!
What a YEAR!!!!
WHAT AN AMAZING YEAR!!!!!!
There is so much I accomplished this year, it’s almost too much to recap, but of course, I will!
I rang in January with starting the build of my all new Predator costume – this coming after I purchased ticket & made hotel arrangements for my beloved Dragon*Con in September. After 12 years of being unable to go, I was super hyped up to go once again! In the process of starting my suit, I realized I had a major need to lose weight, so by the end of January, I was beginning into that journey.
On February 26, I finalized my divorce! Yay me! I also had lost so much weight by the end of the month, that many of my clothes were getting loose.
March brought more weeks of working on my Predator suit, and by the beginning of April, it was done, and I attended my first comic convention in 10 years! I had lost around 20 pounds by the end of March, and was happy with how I looked, but I was determined to reach a major goal-weight by Dragon*Con. I was walking 3 miles a day, and pushing to get to 652 miles walked by the time D*C arrived.
May, June and July all brought me to more conventions around the Midwest, in Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. I also took Luke out for some drives, although I did sort of back down considerably on the horse-work in pursuit of other goals. I also started learning to sculpt, mold, and cast, in addition to learning airbrushing. I continued losing weight and exercising and by July two major things happened — I had to purchase a completely new wardrobe because I had lost 50 pounds in 5 months, and I had my first experience with vertigo which put me in the E.R and brought my exercising to a screeching halt as I tried to get better before Dragon*Con.
August included 2 major conventions – Wizard World Chicago 2016 (the last convention I ever did was Wizard World Chicago 2006 – amazing!) and then of course, Dragon*Con. OK, technically that’s September, but I left for it in August and included an additional 4 days just to travel throughout the country to see places I had not been to in 12 or more years. I finally felt the vertigo alleviate about 2 weeks before Wizard World, and I took no chances through the rest of the month. I held off on exercising because I needed to be able to do the road trip driving to Dragon*Con, and wanted to be healthy for D*C. My weight loss had slowed down, and I did not reach my goal weight by D*C, nor did I hit my 650 mile goal due to taking nearly 6 full weeks off from exercising. However – I had lost 56 pounds by the time I got to Dragon*Con, so I can’t honestly complain. I had also gotten to 590 miles, so I was not terribly short.
I visited the Kentucky Horse Park, a good friend in Kentucky, and drove through 8 states, touring various parks and seeing the sights — finally a road trip the way I wanted! It was amazing!!! Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri were all on my list of places to go, and in the end, I was gone for 9 days and 2250 miles. What an amazing Journey! I visited everything from the Shawnee National Forest to the Titanic Museum in Branson, MO – with beautiful weather every day and the sunroof open. It was perfect.
That little tour of the U.S. was of course surrounding my return to my beloved Dragon*Con -the biggest and best science fiction/ fantasy/costuming convention in the U.S. September could not have started out any better!
In October, I attended my last convention of 2016, also in Michigan, which means including MI and WI, I actually visited a total of 10 states this year alone. Only 40 more to go! LOL! (goals….) I worried over Chewbacca as I watched his legs get a little worse and his weight drop, but after a few months of struggling to manage him, things slowly began to look better.
As I came into November, Chewie started to put on more weight, which made me happy. I took Luke to the annual corn maze and had a great time! I also celebrated FIVE YEARS CANCER FREE as of “cyber Monday” -now that’s something to be thankful for…and yet, that was not the end of what I had to be thankful for surrounding that particular Thanksgiving… because something incredible happened. I took a chance, and stepped out of my comfort zone. (Well, that was something I had done all year, really wasn’t it?) And it paid off. Big time.
This entire year, I made so many changes – mentally, spiritually, physically. So, here it is the middle of December, I have lost over 70 pounds in about 10 1/2 months’ time, I have dropped 12 sizes of jeans, and 4 “letter” sizes of shirts. I’m back down to (almost) what I weighed the last time I attended Dragon*Con in 2004 – still have 15 pounds to go to get there, but it’s a goal I will realize in 2017, and I’d like to lose 30 more if I can.
I have made an incredible amount of new friends brought together by the mutual love of costuming, and I’ve put myself – my flaws – and my unusual personality – all out there for the world to see. I struggled with severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD, and I made great strides in battling all of those things and finding myself once again. And once I did – once I decided I was finally ready for something more – I did something I had spent the better part of the year convincing myself I could not do – and did not deserve. I met someone.
I met a man who just came into my life out of the blue like a gift from God, and he is the living, breathing, walking, talking incarnation of every dream I ever had of what a man should be. This most incredible person is a new, blazing beautiful, shining light in my life, and as November came to a close
Now, I end the year and look forward to spending a very special first (of many, I do hope) Christmas with someone incredibly amazing, I can sit back, reflect on this year’s many accomplishments and count every one of my blessings, starting with him!
Chewbacca is holding out, doing OK, though his weight is still not where I would personally like it to be, he is much better. His legs are having more bad days than good, and remaining quite swollen, so I am wary and watchful, trying to do what I can and see what happens. Regardless of what happens, I am blessed to have him in my life. I got him 6 years ago, and he’s been nothing but the perfect horse since; equally as perfect as Luke, and between them and Dixie, I am lucky to have them. And of course, Jesse who is “mine in spirit”, and has been an amazing horse for also the last 6 years for me. I look forward to doing a little toboggan riding with Luke and Jesse when it isn’t bitterly cold outside.
We have an incredible 2017 planned, with many goals. Some may prove more do-able than others, of course (I didn’t even get all my 2016 goals accomplished, despite as much as I actually did). But that’s just the nature of things. Unless that winning lottery ticket finds its way into my hands – lol!!!
I can honestly say that I’ve tackled 2016 like I have never done anything before, and God works in wonderful ways! Who would have thought that Predator could be such a blessing in my life – spurring me to be creative, outgoing, and giving me joy and happiness enough that I could be confident enough to put myself out there, which in the end brought about meeting the most amazing man I never thought existed.
2016 has been an amazing year, and I look so forward to 2017. Whatever it is going to bring – good, amazing, or rather shitty..- I am ready for you. 17 days to go and counting!