Reverb16 | December 15 | Unexpected

Unexpected. During the year, we all have had unexpected surprises that have thrown a wrench into our plans. What was one of yours and how did you get through it?

Oh my god, if this hasn’t been the year of unexpected. And I don’t always do unexpected very well, so that means this has also been a year of growth and self-love to just get my battered carcass from one unexpected dumpster fire to the next (okay, it hasn’t been all bad).

Let’s see, if we reach a little bit back into last year, there was the time in December where our dog went from seeming totally healthy to diagnosed with cancer and then 6 days later he died.

Then there was the time my husband was let go from his job with zero warning.

And the time we canceled a bike trip we’ve been planning for three years.

And after we started to recover from all that a little bit, a good friend essentially broke up with us for being “too happy.”

Then there was the time I experienced no less than two mechanical failures on a 100 mile bike ride that I had been able to complete the year before.

Then there was the time my face stopped working.

And then the time I decided to train for and run a marathon as a way to “get back” at 2016 for being so rotten and as soon as my training really got good and I had an epically awesome 16 mile training run, I got hurt and couldn’t run the marathon after all.

And then my face nearly stopped working again.

So. Um. “Bye, Felicia” to this year.

Like I said, “unexpected” is really hard for me. Many times this year I thought maybe I couldn’t really go on. I have felt like this year was full of failures and false starts.

In my dream world, I would cope with this by actually preventing any of it from happening. But that’s not always possible (hence the idea of things being unexpected).

My big lesson through this year (and coping mechanism) has been exercising radical self-love and truly meaning it. And exercising it in all areas of my life and my self, not just the areas with “problems.” In some cases, radical self-love has been the result of the unexpected event. After dealing with my Bell’s Palsy, I pick on myself about my appearance a lot less than I used to. In my letter to my future self I told myself to let go of the crow’s feet around my eyes: “Do not put face cream on your crow’s feet. The wrinkles your face makes when it moves are beautiful and will always be there to remind you that you have laughed and it was good.” Because for months, half of my face didn’t wrinkle because it didn’t move. I will never take my laugh lines for granted again.

A side effect of radical self-love has been that I am more fully myself at most times. Because I am more forgiving of myself, accepting of the things that aren’t perfect, and honest about my limitations and failings. It has been awesome. And also unexpected.

Image may contain: people smiling, one or more people and closeup

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