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How 1 Word Can Shape A Year

2014 has been a rough year so far.

(I know, great way to start a post after an almost year and half – 2 year absence.)

The Italian and I are still living in the little house we bought. I am still working as a receptionist for a lobbying firm. The Italian is working for the state part time.

Rufus-monster is still around. In and out and in and out again. Meowing loudly when he feels ignored. (Which I hate to admit is probably more often than either of us would like.)

Towards the end of 2013 I came across One Word 365. A lot of bloggers and other social media-type people were discussing it. So I jumped on the bandwagon in my own quiet way and picked a word.

STRENGTH

At the time I was thinking more physical strength. I wanted to build muscle and get stronger so I could help my Italian more. While I was deciding on this the thought the biggest part of strength is embracing weakness slipped into my head and hung out for a while waiting to be noticed.

I did notice it, but filed it away to explore later.

I also gave lip service to developing mental and emotional strength, but I was focused on physical strength.

Why? Because of the three, it’s the easiest to develop. Said from someone who is over halfway through the year.

Fast forward to July 15, 2014.

This year has brought me to my knees and in times pushed me flat on my face.

My Italian is not doing so hot. In the past year he’s gone from being able to be on his own overnight to if I want to take an overnight trip, I need to make sure someone is there with him to help him into bed at night and back up in the morning.

The decline has been rapid and startling.

But through this (and it’s by no means over!) I have learned and come to appreciate our local church and the support and prayers that they have given us. Encouragement, prayers, hugs (it’s amazing what healing hugs have) and listening ears have been poured out over us. If it weren’t for our support network at church and our families, I’d probably be a blubbering mess at this point.

I have been tested in my emotional and mental strength and though I’m found wanting, my greatest strength is wrapped up in my weakest moments. Those points where I find I can’t do it anymore and allow others to come along side and walk this road with my Italian and I.

We have no answers as to why he’s declining so quickly, but I’m confident we’ll find something soon.

My Italian and I at VA Beach for our Valentine's Day Weekend.

My Italian and I at VA Beach for our Valentine’s Day Weekend.

In the meantime, I am still working on my physical strength. And seeing fantastic gains in it.

I’m back over 200lbs. At last weigh in I’m at 213. However, my clothes are fitting between a 14-16. As opposed to a 16-18 last time I was at this weight. So I’m getting smaller, my clothes are fitting better and I can deadlift 60lbs at this point. (And picking up my Italian has gotten easier, only marginally, but still. Easier.)

I’m working out at a new gym, Victory Lady. It’s an all women’s gym. I do believe I’ve found my gym home. They have a significant focus on strength training, which I appreciate.

I’m 4 days into a 3 week bootcamp with them and it’s kicking my butt. At the same time it’s helping to re-establish my gym habit.

I am looking forward to Friday though, I’ve given myself that as a rest day!

A late mid-year check in on how my word for the year is shaping me. It’s been brutal, but I am finding that there are so many other words packed into the simple word strength. It’s not been fun so far, but it’s been enlightening, encouraging, frustrating, and tear filled.

How are you doing? How’s your year been?

Have you missed me? I’ve missed you! Believe it or not.

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