Monday, January 10, 2011

Light as a feather

Dear Stevie,
Two summers ago, Dad and I spent a week backpacking through the Beartooth Mountains in Montana. It was my first "real" camping experience, and while it was a ton of fun, it was also a lot of work. Every morning, we would get up, eat breakfast, pack up our stuff, and hike anywhere from 5-10 miles to the next campsite. 5-10 miles might not sound like that far to walk, but when you are carrying 40+ pounds on your shoulders while doing it (or closer to 90 if you're Dad!), it's quite the challenge.

There were times on that trip I honestly thought I was going to pass out and die. It was hot. There were bugs. My scalp itched from not washing my hair in days. We'd be going up-hill and I would just stop in the middle of the trail and refuse to go any further. "You're going to have to hike out by yourself and come back for me with a stretcher," I'd yell up to Dad. The heavy backpack was the worst. It made me feel so weighed down. So trapped. Each step a challenge.

This is my 'I'm attempting to look happy when I really want to die' smile

But every afternoon, somehow, we'd make it to camp. And when I finally got to unstrap my backpack and let the weight fall off my shoulders, that was one of the best feelings I've ever felt. Strangely...light. Walking felt about a thousand times easier, effortless. Like I was floating on air.

That is how I've felt since January 1st. Light as a feather.

The awful weight of the last eight months was starting to drag me down, almost to the point where I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get back up again. I was trying to make it up this huge hill with pound upon pound of sadness, disapointment, anger, jealously, and bitterness on my shoulders, weighing me down, and it just wasn't working. I felt like I was back in Montana, sitting on a rock, swatting horseflies away from my face, crying out that I just couldn't go any further.

No more. I've made a conscious effort to unload a lot of the dead weight I've been hauling around. I've decided to throw it off my back, and I've left it in back in 2010. This new year, this fresh start, it's like arriving at camp.

Since January 1st, I've been focusing on me. I've been eating incredibly healthy (I haven't eaten any processed foods or a can of soda in over a week!). I've been doing Zumba every day (it's this super fun, super intense booty-shaking latin dance workout I do on our Playstation3, see embarrassing pic below). I've been making more of an effort to get out of the house and do the things I love (like taking pictures and spending time with my friends). I've even been waking up early enough to actually blow-dry and straighten my hair.

The controller in the belt around my waist tells the Zumba game how much I've moving my hips ('Nice Hip-Action!'), pretty cool!

I feel so much lighter (and that's not just thanks to the four pounds I've lost since the new year, which wasn't the point of all this, but I'll gladly take!) I feel renewed. Refreshed. Ready to take on the world again.

My 'America's Next Top Model' pose, to show off my straightened hair :)

This is gonna be a good year, I can feel it. Bring it on, 2011, this time I'm not stopping mid-hike for anything.

I miss you, Baby, and love you even more.

Xoxo,
Mom

26 comments:

Tiffany said...

such an uplifting post. ((hugs)) definitely nice hip action! ;)

Jus and Kat said...

That "Top Model" picture is beautiful! Congrats on 4 pounds already, that's amazing!

rebecca said...

You look fantastic, glad to hear you're feeling so positive and hopeful as well! Definitely thinking 2011 is going to be a fabulous year ((hugs))

Leanne said...

Your joy and "lightness" is quite evident in this post! It was wonderful to read! And congrats on the 4 pounds! Nice added bonus to being healthier!

Michaela said...

HIGH FIVE!!! I've gotta try that Zumba game!

Rhiannon said...

I hope that 2011 is a great year for you! You are certainly off to a great start!!

butterflymom said...

This is an awesome post....glad to hear it, Kristin. You deserve it...and so glad you are taking care of yourself. Keep the good times coming, 2011!! ((Hugs))

noah's mommy + daddy said...

Hi Kristin-
I came across your blog from other blogs I follow and coincidentally i live in MPLS too! Well maple grove to be exact but i work in uptown. Anyways, I'm so sorry to hear about your sweet baby girl. I too lost my son but to SIDS at 11 months old in october. You can read Noahs blog if you want
noahs-dream.blogspot.com
Here's hoping for a better 2011 for the both of us!
Jenna

The Great Elephant Symposium said...

Wow this is a great post! I feel the exact same way about feeling lighter this year after losing Olivia. After being sad, angry, jealous, and the feeling of giving up that anything would ever make me feel happy again I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I couldn't have said it any better way as you did in this post. I just love your camping picture. It made me giggle a little. I don't think I would ever do the one week of camping. Maybe one day but not a week ;) Cheers to a better and happier 2011!!

Angie said...

Awesome post! This makes me happy. I've been feeling a bit "lighter" and optimistic myself so far this year. Cheers to a wonderful 2011!!

Future Mama said...

I love Zumba!! Happy New Year!!!

Much love,
Future Mama
http://expectingablessing.blogspot.com/

Jessica said...

Great post! Happy happy New Year! I have xbox with Kinect and I SO want to try Zumba - I have Dance Central and Sports though which are SO much fun!!

Brooke said...

Thanks for this post. At six weeks out, I'm still reeling. But I forced myself to do yoga this morning and I was stunned at how good it felt after. Then I felt guilty and good and sad all the same time. Obviously I have a long way to go, but I hope that I will also find a way to feel light again. And maybe even try Zumba...

Lisette said...

I LOVE this post!!!! So proud of you. I spent 2010 grieving and I am just tired. So I am like you, looking forward to a better 2011.
You look amazing!!! Wishing you all the best.

Melissa said...

I couldn't have said it better. I definitely feel much the same since Jan started...like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Hope that 2011 brings great things to you!

Kelly Jean said...

So pretty! Love the "embarrassing" pic! And glad that you're feeling slighter lighter. It's a one-day-at-a-time thing, I'm sure, and you're doing all you can. Day by day. Keep your chin up beautiful! <3

Deanna said...

I am new to following your personal blog and I am looking forward to getting to know you. I am sorry that it is under these circumstances, but glad we have a community where we all understand each other. I also have you a blog award, because you are an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to come back and thank you for this post. I've also been feeling brighter and lighter and happier, and I want to hold on to this feeling.

xoxo
M

Melissa said...

do your pups zumba too? :-)

Jessica said...

Check out my blog - I gave you an award!

Erin said...

So glad to hear that 2011 is looking up for you!

LetterstoClaire said...

I'm new to your blog and I'm glad that I stumbled upon it-- I have the Xbox Kinect and have been trying to work up the energy to try and get myself back into better shape after losing Claire. Everytime I imagine myself working out alongside the TV I push the thought aside and think, "later, later." Your picture made me think, "Okay, Syd. You can do this- it doesn't look embarrassing!" So hopefully this weekend you'll be the inspiration for me to get off my butt and get my work out on. People keep telling me the endorphins of exercise may make me feel a little better, I figure it's worth a shot!

ALo said...

thank you for blogging! i am kinda new to the blogging thing, but have found so much comfort in hear how other people get through their day after losing a baby. i lost my sweet charlotte jean 1/8/11...just over a week ago. so, thank you for sharing your journey!

aimee loeser www.alosplace.blogspot.com

Holly said...

Yay to a good year! I need to focus a little more on me too!

Nlvaden said...

Hi there! I am a new reader. I think you look great! I just read your entire blog (I am not a creepy stalker.) Wanted to tell you how beautiful the name Stevie Joy is.

amourningmom said...

I hope that 2011 brings you peace. Thank you for sharing Stevie's story. Take care.

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