Time flies when you're… well… living life.

And that's perhaps the best summary of this past month or so that I can easily come up with, really. It has been a month of self-reflection, reflecting on the whole past year of emotional ups and downs, of realizing just where I am now, and just how much I needed a mental break from certain aspects for a bit. It's been a month of seeking out caring minds to speak to, to rekindling lost relationships with friends. It's been a month of deaths of acquaintances and friends of friends, it's been a month of volunteerism (yay for the free market's great success!), and it's been a month of regaining the balance that had been tipped too far in one direction or another. The whole year's been filled with learning experiences and this month is one where I've really come to realize a bunch of things about myself. The books I've been reading, the media I've been watching, and the people I've spent time with, some of whom I hadn't truly connected with in months and months, have all contributed to my feeling that yes, I can move forward and grow and change into a more lovely person than I was before. But it sure hasn't been an easy month, or year for that matter.

I have to choose my battles, choose the people I want to spend my time with, and choose the events and activities I will spend my time and efforts upon. And you know what, I'm darn happy for those choices, even if I'm not always enamored with those choices that certain others might make, life is a learning experience for them too, and realizing this, conceptually and more is important to me. To put it mildly, I'm not perfect. I'm very much flawed in many ways, but I've spent the last decade moving away from certain aspects of myself and toward others… towards greater self confidence… towards better friends… toward a better understanding of myself and my values. And you know what, I'm pretty darn thankful for these changes.

In 2012 I've embraced my geekiness, my nerdiness, my approach to social media and the Internet, and board games. I've become more happy with my roles within the Kiwanis family, and I've become more satisfied with some (but clearly not all) aspects of my social life. In the past month I've come to realize that the friends that I can count on, the ones who can help me the most are also the ones for whom I am perhaps the most helpful. This doesn't make life easy, but it makes it profoundly valuable, both to those other folks and to myself. I appreciate the fact that I can be a listening ear for some of my friends, that I can provide a hug when they need one on short notice, and that people feel comfortable venting to me whether in person or online or otherwise. Because this means that I can often do the same. And you know what? Some of the things that have been offered to me lately have been unexpected but yet wonderful whether or not I'll ever accept whatever they might be.

So that's where I am right now. Growing and changing. Trying to notice things I haven't noticed before. Trying to live more in the moment, rather than hiding out online. Trying to be the best ME that I can muster. Realizing that sometimes it's okay to be less than superhuman. And you know what? Today, while dealing with stuff that made my stomach go *ugh stressful*, I was able to accomplish things at a reasonable speed. I didn't ignore that feeling however, and I think I'm doing to do my utmost to work on de-stressing before it gets to the point where I am less than the marvelous that I need to/want to be. Because you know what? I'm the best me that I can be, and others, as well as myself, will just have to deal with that. Because I AM growing and changing, I am becoming the best I can and I'm getting better at saying 'yes' or saying 'no' to things that are the right ones for me and my needs.