Happy New Year 2017!!

street art, mural, downtown, Phoenix Arizona

In preparation for tomorrow’s post announcing my “word” for 2017, I was looking back over similar posts from previous years. In doing so, I was struck by an interesting commonality – each was positively focused on the year ahead, but also quite dismissive of the previous year as “not great” or “uneventful” or (worst of all) “unfulfilling.” I love the fact that I could manage the positivity for the new year, but I’m also a bit distressed by my lack of appreciation of growth, no matter how spectacular the previous year may or may not have been. This observation was particularly poignant given that I had every intention of repeating the pattern again this year.

I believe I’m not alone in saying that 2016 was not a banner year – personally or globally. I did not accomplish all of the goals I set for myself and somewhere along the way I lost sight of my wordy reminders I’d so cheerfully set in January. But taking a deeper look at 2016, I can see a lot of personal growth that makes me proud.

I learned a lot this year. I took classes that taught me new skills, but more importantly, exponentially increased my awareness of the world around me. I faced physical, mental, and emotional challenges and lived to tell the tales. I persevered in activities that, in my youth, I would have tossed aside in favor of a new distraction the second they lost their shine. I find, in truth, that overall I’m much less inclined to seek out distractions. And just typing that sentence brings tears to my eyes – it wasn’t all that long ago I could not have imagined being comfortable just being. I’m not 100% in that yet, but I’m grateful I’m on my way!

Aspen Trees, Flagstaff Arizona

2017 is going to be the year that all those changes I’ve longed for and lamented in prior years come to fruition. I can’t tell you how I know it, but I do. Looking back, I can see now that there were lessons that needed to be learned, skills that needed to be acquired, and confidence that needed to be rediscovered. 2017 scares me…but it excites me even more.

So, perhaps I won’t look back upon 2016 as “my year,” but I also won’t bind it up and put it away on the shelf. It’s a year to be remembered, even if those memories come hard. Good things happened and need to be appreciated. Bad things happened and need to be learned from. Each lifetime is so finite, it seems a shame to purposefully forget or live only in the future. I may have a long battle ahead with reconciling with my past, but I find my present pretty okay these days, a proper balance of good and bad. And as many enlightened beings will tell you, that’s the best achievement you can strive for – the present as a present.

Good-bye 2016. You’ve earned a lacking reputation, but I’ll forgive you for it. May you rest in peace.

2017, I look forward to our time together. (smile)


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Happy Holidays!!

I've gone to look for myself. If I return before I get back, please tell me to wait.

After much consideration, I’ve decided to take the rest of the year off from blogging. I have so many ideas for this space, but I need a break. I plan on spending my time catching up on my reading instead, both on- and off-line, so I’ll still sorta be around!

I wish each and every one of you a wondrous holiday season, no matter where you are or how you celebrate – may the end of 2016 be the best part of the year! 🙂

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Life Lately: Lucky 33

Aspen Trees, Flagstaff ArizonaWeather: Unseasonably (and record-breakingly) warm
Days til winter: Unknown

As you can see the weather outlook is back. Apparently, I was a bit optimistic in my last update back in September about that whole “yay, it’s fall!” thing. What makes me really sad about the weather is the realization that winter days here are finite and every too-warm day means one less cooler day before summer strikes again. I’m slowly moving from lovingly annoyed to downright resentful of the desert these days.

I feel like I have to at least acknowledge the whole election mess. I’ve debated writing more about the whole deal but I feel like I’ve still got a lot of thoughts to work through first. Even then I’m not sure if I’ll share or not. I do know that it’s been really disheartening to see all the negativity post-election. Perhaps if I was in a better place personally I might be able to put some kind of positive spin on it all, but right now I just don’t have it in me. Truthfully, that statement pretty much sums up how I feel about life in general right this moment.

Aspen Trees, Flagstaff Arizona

I’ve been pretty quiet the last couple months here on the blog and on other pages. I haven’t had much time to update my page or keep up with my usual reading – and I really, really miss it. I miss the interaction – every time I read a post I feel like I’m catching up with a friend and it’s been a little…lonely without that. I’m determined to re-prioritize as soon as possible, but in the meantime, just know my absence isn’t by choice.

The primary reason for the quiet is a perfect storm of maladies. My teammate at work was out the whole of October with pneumonia. It was actually pretty scary there for a week or so and I can’t tell you how relieved and grateful I am to have her back. The other issue has been my own personal health.

I’ve mentioned previously that I have fibromyalgia. I’m lucky in that my symptoms generally allow me to function fairly normally most of the time. But due to a number of things (aka “life”) I suffered a “flare” at the end of October that totally knocked me flat. Just as I was rebuilding from that I got the mother of all sinus infections that took me right back down again. And through it all I had to keep up with work while trying to keep myself and Oxford alive (he’s a very high maintenance cat). The last 6 weeks have been hard – and I am so tired.

Aspen Trees, Flagstaff Arizona

Ah but today. Today is my birthday. So, I’ve been desperately trying to keep a smile on my face and to be grateful for all of the good things in my life. Even though I’m having a hard time with positivity right now, I can always find a reason to be grateful. Gratitude has become a bit of a life preserver for me on those days I can’t pull myself out of the dark. It pulls me toward hope and that’s the best first step towards getting my head back in a positive space. So there’s my silver-lining – guess I had one in me after all! (smile)

Yeah, so this wasn’t really the birthday post I’d been planning. That one was a much perkier ode to the last year, full of positivity about the future. But this one is a more truthful account of my life lately and so I’m going to leave it as written. I’m tired and I don’t have it in me to pretend today. Besides, to paraphrase the song, “it’s my birthday and I’ll [insert verb here] if I want to…”

* Photos were taken in northern AZ back in October.

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