“out with the old, in with spicy chili” or “Top Five Moments of 2011”

What a year. No, really. One for the books. T’was one of the most difficult for me, yet quite possibly the most rewarding. Sort of makes me view 2011 as perhaps my favorite.year.so.far. Talk to me five months ago and I would have been singing a different tune, though…most certainly.

#5. Anxiety

2011 came in with a whisper. Lizz and I were in bed sleeping moments before the CST Ball Drop on repeat hit the local airwaves. We awoke long enough to kiss, flash each other a smile, and cozy back up with our respective pillows. How was I to know that this whisper would build to a scream; my old friend anxiety working it’s way into every morning shower and every dinner, every ride in the car and trip to the store? My panic attacks have come and gone throughout the years but 2011 saw them move all their shit right onto my front lawn. This petulant friend would bring me to my knees and make me wonder if I’d even be able to maintain as a functioning member of society or if I’d simply devolve into some crazy old shut-in cat-lady. All this shit peaked in August and i.was.a.fucking.mess.

I call this a top moment because this was the year I decided to accept my panic disorder and welcome the anxiety into my life. One of the best decisions I have EVER made. No more self medication, no more hiding, no more denial. It’s as much a part of me as my addiction to the internet. To anxiety, I saw WELCOME.

#4: Auf Wiedersehen to Binge Drinking

Over the past 15 years my friends and I have spent the better half of our sociable waking hours buried in some type of well lubricated ecstasy; this sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Upon reflection I typically tend to focus on the not.

Hangovers. Regret. Stupidity. Stagnancy. I am done.

In any other non-birth year this move might have taken top-spot on this list. This decision excites me more than when I quit smoking cigarettes. It tastes better than the BEST after-bar mac-n-cheese I ever had. It feels like I’ve found Jesus, but without all the guilt, Bible-study circles or bumper stickers.

#3: I’m alright, ‘Cause I got a degree!

You know, a lot of successful people go to college for seven years.

Can’t believe I’m actually done (for now). My plans and program may have changed a few times over the years, but I finally settled in with something that I’ll enjoy for a while. I’m working in my chosen field and LOVING it thanks to MATC and years of hard work that culminated with a cap & gown ceremony in May that I did not attend. I’m sure it was nice.

#2: We Bought a Home
Yep, we finally did it. In between panic attacks at the first showing, first offer signing AND the closing, we filed enough paper-work and gathered enough dough to lock into 30 years of debt and maintenance expense. Pretty fuckin awesome, really.

#1: Henry Benjamin Wisniewski

My THREE sons. Awesome³. On December 10th we welcomed another beautiful baby boy into the Wisniewski family and Lizz, Oliver, Elliot and I could NOT be more thrilled. He’s adorable and funny, typically cranky and always sleeping, pooping, crying or sucking on a boob. Reminds me of church camp.

And so, here’s to another great year behind us and all of the unknowns that lie ahead in 2012. Tonight Lizz and I’ll put the boys to bed and settle in with big bowls of spicy chili, a Modern Family marathon and a glass of wine toasted as late as we can make it. To the two or three people that might read this…I hope 2011 was a great one and from the all of the Wisniewski’s to you…Happy New Year!

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