(Megan at Princess Lasertron has put together a wonderful series of journal prompts for the month of December. Each day will have a theme word, as well as a prompt, to reflect on and think about. This is Day 1.)
Prompt: What were you doing five years ago today? As the holiday season began? Where were you? Who were you with? What did you want? What did you have?
Five years ago...it was cold. Probably snowy--at the very least, icy. The beginning of December meant we were both counting down the days to winter break. For me, I was at the end of my first semester as a working adult. I had a real, grown-up job (speech-language pathologist in a public school preschool), and the responsibilities that came along with a caseload of 70 students had definitely taken their toll on me (mentally and physically!). I had just recovered from a case of "the death" (probably the sickest I'd ever been...I missed 7 days of work, had to have IV fluids, and broke 2 ribs from coughing) and had been told by the doctor to expect to be sick every 3 months for the first 3 years of my career in the schools. Lucas was finishing up his first semester as a grad student at CU Boulder. We were living in Colorado; specifically, just north of Denver in the suburb of Westminster. We were on our own--by virtue of distance from our families. We lived on my salary alone, but never felt like we were in need. (OK, maybe we had a few lean months until my paychecks kicked in...we actually managed to not eat out AT ALL from August until December. Could probably benefit from doing that again...).
Winter in Denver was beautiful. My drive home from work each day was westward, meaning I faced the snowcapped mountains. The mountain view is one of the things I miss the most about Colorado. We lived in a postcard year round, but especially when the snow topped those mountains. Lucas and I put up our Christmas decorations the week after Thanksgiving--the tree took away a good chunk of space in our living room, but it made it so festive! I baked way too many Christmas cookies, we listened to "Maybe This Christmas" on repeat, and we shopped on a $50 budget for each other for Christmas.
At the time, I wanted to move back to the Midwest to be closer to family. It was a hard adjustment for me, even being in such a perfectly beautiful place. I wanted a dog. I wanted a baby. But, what I had was probably just what I needed: a chance to grow closer to and lean on my husband, since it was just the 2 of us; the chance to start my career and learn what I wanted that to become in the future; the chance to surround myself with amazing outdoors experiences like snowshoeing that I wouldn't have ever done otherwise; the chance to learn more about ME.
Today, things are pretty different from then. We now live in hot and humid Texas. Lucas works full time, and I stay home with our amazing son and (not so amazing) dog. We are expecting our second baby in April! We still live far from family, but we take advantage of cheap airline fares on Southwest as well as the nifty invention of Skype (thanks, interwebs!). We are starting this holiday season off with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. But, Lucas and I are still here, leaning on each other. I still plan on making way too many cookies and already have "Maybe This Christmas" on repeat. And we'll still spend the holidays visiting our families. The more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?