Sunday, January 3, 2016

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Looking back -

2015 was an interesting year for me.  I started the year being able to go to DisneyWorld with my daughters, a trip that luckily fell in between a ruptured appendix in December and having surgery to remove it in January.  Then kidney surgery in February.  It took me a while to rebuild my stamina but then had a pretty healthy year, including a mild but totally satisfying backpacking trip.

It was also the year that I truly felt I turned a corner in my mental health.  Although the changes have happened incrementally over many, many years, this was the first time I truly felt “normal” most of the time.  Yes, I still had some triggers and a couple of setbacks, but I no longer had the debilitating fear of them.  And I had a lot concrete evidence that all my therapy has worked and given me a pretty solid foundation to deal with whatever comes up.  

It was also my first full year of being retired but working part time.  Feeling financially secure and only working 3 half days a week gave me time for gardening and hiking and very long weekends at the lake.  It was a beautiful set up.

Last year my resolutions centered around reducing my environmental impact and I was very successful.  I drove my car less than 4,000, composted and recycled until our garbage is now less than half of what recycle, and grew more of our own food.  

We finished our kitchen remodel, Peachie graduated college, one of our beloved cats died, Beaner thankfully broke up with the boyfriend and Martha enjoyed her high school coaching job.  All in all a very good year.

Looking forward -

I am starting the year with a beach vacation with my daughters.   They are on the brink of starting their own lives so getting a week together is extra special to me. Plus it’s very important to get my Vitamin D : )

For the first time in 16 years I have a new boss.  He took over in November and he is an amazing listener and learner.  He has asked me to be the director of a larger department, which would mean working a lot more hours next year than the part-time gig I do now.  I may have to “un-retire”.  I have made no commitment to him yet but something is about to change for me employment wise.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I have to deal with whatever strange thing is now happening to my uterine lining with more tests coming in February.  I really hate all this medical stuff  but I remain hopeful that it is a side effect of cancer drugs rather than cancer itself.

I have just begun to see a new therapist.   After my amazing therapist died unexpectedly a few years ago, I idled for a while and then started seeing someone new.  As much as I like her, she is more a general practitioner.  She recently referred me to a person who specializes in sexual trauma.  I have seen her once and am already intrigued.  I know I am light years ahead of where I was just a few years ago but I also know there are more than a few rough spots that need some work.   I am excited to begin the polishing.  

The year ahead will also bring changes to my family as Beaner will finish her graduate work and hopefully start out on her own and Peachie is looking to gravitate towards Boston where her boyfriend now lives.  

And so looking forward to the joys and challenges of the new year,  I have set my intentions and resolutions with these three words:

Love - Once again my goal will be to do small things with great love in all areas of my life.

Simplify - Reduce clutter, both physical and emotional, weed out negativity, distractions and annoyances, stop multi-tasking and focus awareness on here and now.

Explore - Work on overcoming my anxiety issues to broaden my physical world and also my inner universe.

summed up by this from The StoryPeople:


  1. You are right, dear 8, it has been an interesting year. And, for someone to say that after multiple surgeries and other giant things happening, well, it shows how resilient you are. You did not spend the year curled up in your bed waiting for the world to go away. Yay for you!

    I love your intentions, your three words, and your determination to take each day as it comes and give it your attention. That really is the best that any of us can do ever.

    Fingers crossed that your new therapist resonates with you. You've made so much progress in the time that I have known you; I can only imagine how much better your life will be with more of this difficult but essential work.

    Sending you love for the new year, and always...
    your friend,

    1. Taking each day as it comes and focusing on 'now' is quite the challenge for a planner whose very career is based on looking at the future : )

      It's going to be a good year for both of us, I can just feel it.

      Sending love right back at you.

  2. Beautiful - and the quote/art at the end made me teary-eyed. Happy 2016 to you and yours.

    1. "Put me down for a lifetime of success. Give me credit, I'll find ways of paying." - Evita

      And a happy, healthy 2016 to you.

  3. Wishing you peace and love and simplicity and fruitful exploration and all good things in the New Year!

    (I am printing that graphic. Beautiful!)

    1. I am all in for the fruitful exploration. Thank you for the good wishes.

  4. Congratulations on a successful 2015. And cheers to a purposeful, peace-filled and gratifying 2016.

    Yay for determination. Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you for your always kind comments. Cheers to you!

  5. Happy New Year! Wishing you great happiness in 2016!

    1. Thank you. Wishing you a happy, healthy new year and a peaceful doggy year.

  6. one of the fine moments i had in 2015 was meeting someone at krupala who for some cosmic reason I believe will be a friend for life.

    what an awesome look back and ahead, 8. you are a free woman.

    as for that job offer, ponder wisely, yes? how much i identify with the push and pull of it.

    happy happy brand new year!

    love love

    1. Free is a great way to describe how I feel!

      And yes, krupala was a 2015 highlight for many reasons.

      As for the job, fortunately I love what I do so doing it more is not a horrible proposition. But I also love my afternoon naps and 4 day weekends. The choice becomes the greater of two loves. I have a month or two to ponder . . .

  7. Huh...I think the interwebs ate my comment. I love that you are able to notice your own progress. It's one thing to have others notice it, but to be aware of if ourselves, that's amazing. I'm happy for you that 2015 was easier in some ways and certainly, 2016 is looking promising. I can't imagine being semi-retired, sounds so luxurious and I'm not sure I'd want to go back to being fully employed after having such an opportunity, but I can imagine feeling useful and using your brain in new ways might be worth it.

    I have two words for this year: self-possession and receiving. I hope they bring good things as I am sure your intentions will do for you!

  8. I hope for you everything that the words love, simplify, and explore hold within them, and more. A very happy new year to you! (And that quote is lovely. That artist had lots of art in a store in Maryland, back when I lived there, and it always had such wonderful thoughts. Thank you for the memory jog!)