This time last year, I was freaking out a little about turning 30. Luckily, I kicked off my fourth decade with two fabulous birthday parties, friends, family, and lots of fun. As my 30th birthday weekend drew to a close, I was sure that it going to be a great year. We kicked off the summer with a Jimmy Buffett concert and a Memorial Day weekend full of so many Orange Crushes, I don’t really remember much of it. June came in with Hurricanes and went out with Pina Coladas on the patio at Mahi Mah’s. It was all fun and games until July teased me with a few perfect beach days, then bowled me over with a tidal wave of stress, legal research, and difficult decisions to be made. Between a condo association in a financial mess, a leaky roof, a broken air conditioner, a bunch of foreclosures in my building, a bankrupt co-borrower, a ridiculously high interest rate, and a completely inflexible mortgage company, I really just wanted to get out of there for good. It was a lengthy, expensive trek into August, and then September came with long, hectic work days and hot, un-air-conditioned nights packing and getting ready to move.

October was supposed to be my month to relax, but RFP after RFP bombarded me work, meaning more long hours, lots of proposals, lots of meetings, lots of stress. I tried to plan a vacation in November, but the due dates for my proposals got extended and screwed it up. I tried to plan a vacation in December, but the due dates for my proposals got extended and screwed it up. I tried to take a whole week off at Christmas to spend time with my family, but the due dates for my proposals got extended and screwed it up.

January was a blur. I couldn’t even remember the last time I hung out with any of my friends because I was so stressed out, I didn’t even want to talk to anyone.  I think we finally turned in the last big proposal in the middle of the month. Then came the day I didn’t own my condo anymore. If I could have popped open a bottle of champagne that morning at work to celebrate, I would have. Instead, I purposely started my business that very same day. I laid low for awhile after that.

A few days ago, it occurred to me that all that stress is over. I caught myself smiling one morning when I woke up for no reason, and I finally gave myself some credit for making it through seven straight months of craziness without having some kind of nervous breakdown. =) Of course, it’s taken me a cool two months to really decompress — I’ve caught up on my sleep, started running again, gotten my little business off the ground, and taken some time out to relax.

So now that chapter’s ended, and here we are again. A few days before my birthday, and I’m ready for a do-over. Bring it on, 31. This is going to be fun. =)

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