I was originally planning to write this blog post on January 1st 2012.  As my posts have become so infrequent and sporatic over the past few months, I decided now was the best time to share with my friends, contest buddies and readers about the changes in my life as they are so large.

For the past seven years I have written about the joy, excitment and all round fun of the hobby of contesting in both my newsletters and this blog.  Occassionally, I blogged about other aspects of my life, but always in relation to the hobby (eg. A Brief History of ContestQueen.com).  I never shared my problems, challenges, obsticales or the dark side of my life, as I did not want to taint the hobby in any manner.

However, I think it’s time…

January 1st 2011, I wrote the following blog and posted it on my Lucky Yogini website.

Who Knew a Human Could Produce so Much Water?

I have not blogged in months. Why not? I’ve had this topic idea floating around since early December.

I was having Christmas tea with a good friend, CowboyYogi, and discussing the previous year. During our conversation I stated, “Who knew a human could produce so much water?” His reply was, “That would make a great blog post.”

So the idea swirled, and swirled, and swirled.

What took me so long to put pen to paper (so to speak)? Many reasons.

The Internet is a very very public place. Anything put here is here forever. (I think of the scene in Notting Hill where Julia Roberts, as Anna Scott says to Hugh Grant, as William Thacker, “You really don’t get it. This story gets filed. Every time anyone writes anything about me — they’ll dig up these photos. Newspapers last forever. I’ll regret this forever.”)

Speaking one’s truth isn’t easy. Fear is a very powerful and motivating emotion. (At the 2008 Annual National Sweepstakes Convention, after the big banquet luncheon, I was table hopping visiting friends. I always carry gemstones when I am in big crowds. At one particular table someone asked if I had any stones with me. I pulled them out of my pocket to reveal a piece of: smokey quartz, green aventurine, blue lace agate and kunzite. As the stones were passed around the table I was asked about the properties of each one. I said to the woman next to me, “The blue lace agate helps you speak your truth.” She promptly handed the stone back and said, “I could never do that.” WOW!)

Who cares? To test the waters before I wrote this post, I turned the topic into a speech and presented it at my local chapter of Toastmasters. I titled it “How Do You Do?” because everyone answers fine, even when it’s not and if you answered terrible, does the person who asked the question really care? I asked, “Why are we afraid to speak our truth?” I believe it’s because we are afraid of being judged, or worse, looking weak.

So, here’s my truth…

In everyone’s life a little rain must fall.

2010 was the worst year of my life. I had many challenges to overcome and they affected every aspect of my life: love, wealth and health.

Love: my marriage failed.
Wealth: our business failed and we declared bankruptcy.
Health: I was diagnosed as anaemic and borderline glucose intolerant.

I cried everyday for a year. Hence the title, who knew a human could produce so much water?

Thankfully, through the tears, taking one step at a time, each challenge was faced.

Love: due to the bankruptcy, we are still living in our home (thankfully!) giving us time to remain good parents and maintain our friendship. Once the finances have settled, I will be moving into a new home.

Wealth: the business is limping along as I liquidate inventory and figure out how to continue to follow my passion of teaching others how to find, organize, enter and win sweepstakes. I am in the process of finding full-time employment. (Can you help?)

Health: I began a vitamin regiment for the anaemia and began a daily yoga practice for the glucose intolerance. I have also improved my diet.

Some days are good, some days are bad and most are in between. I think that pretty much sums up most people’s lives.

New Year’s Eve, as I reflected on 2010 I found myself crying, once again, thinking about how much I had lost over the past year. Then I had a profound thought, “If I lost all of ‘this’, what have I just made room for?” I was suddenly excited at the prospect of what may come in,

& flowers don‘t grow without rain.