My 2018 – A Review

The timing of milestones and important events are easy to forget. It can be hard to answer questions about which year things happened or what was done at a certain time. I  had to consult my calendar to write this post.

Here are my key moments from 2018, or at least the ones that currently come to mind or were on my calendar.  Continue reading “My 2018 – A Review”

2019 One Word

What is “one word?” It is choosing a goal for the year, using only one word, rather than a long list of New Year’s resolutions. I first saw the idea on a friend’s page. I didn’t realize that it was a whole movement. I started noticing other bloggers choosing their words. There is even a One Word website. The first word that I picked for myself was “feel.”

My 2019 will usher in a new place to live in VA, a summer house in Maine, an ending of a 30-year career, and the beginning of a life without that career. There will be new ways to spend my time. Many of those have yet to be determined and will likely be fluid.

The first word I considered was “adapt.” I’ll certainly need to do plenty of adapting in 2019. I could also acclimate, adjust, become accustomed to, and modify myself. What’s missing from all of those words is the sense of doing them well. I don’t want to simply adapt, I want to… flourish!

I want this year to be a time of flourishing in all the changes that are yet to be. I want to serve, learn, and grow in my new environments. Let us see where this will take me this year!

Addendum: My friend and I don’t tell each other what our word is ahead of time. We both have to wait for the “reveal” in each other’s blog posts. Both blog posts went live just after midnight, to our e-mail subscribers. I was confused when I saw the title of hers. We picked the same word, out of approximately 250,000 words in the English language! Here is the link to her post.

Dear Jess

Dear Jess,

Can it really have been seven weeks since you left this world? I cried every day until one night I realized that I hadn’t. Of course, the tears still strike me randomly, like writing this to you, being at church and looking at the row where you sat, or a quiet moment in the car when my thoughts drift to you. Did you know you are my first friend who died? Most people don’t lose friends who are only 35 years old. I wish I could say that it was totally unexpected, but I always feared this would happen. With your Addison’s disease and living alone, I was afraid that you wouldn’t let anyone know if you got really sick. Remember the times I begged you to call me? When I reminded you that I was only a mile away? I felt a little angry that you didn’t call me, or anyone else, but maybe you couldn’t. I know you didn’t want to leave behind the people you love. Continue reading “Dear Jess”

Friday Night Football and Memories

This Friday night was so like another Friday night a year ago, that the memories flooded my brain. The difference between then and now flooded my heart.

It was another football game, a year ago, when my younger kids’ birth mom joined us. Katelyn was already with the marching band, but Conner and I arrived in the parking lot right after Annie. I parked my motorcycle in front of her company van and we shared a parking space. From there, we went to the field and watched the game together, chatting and laughing.  Continue reading “Friday Night Football and Memories”

John C. Campbell Folk School

For years, my mom had been talking about wanting to take a class at the John C. Campbell Folk School and she wanted me to go with her. Over a decade ago, we’d attended a summer program for educators at Savannah College of Art and Design and had a blast. We decided to have another mother/daughter experience and go to the folk school this summer. I found places for my kids and Mom found us a house/pet sitter. Mom chose a woodturning class and I chose the writing class.

I didn’t pick a “one word” for myself this year, but one that would have fit is “risk.” I’ve been choosing to step out and do things that don’t feel safe. Choosing to take a writing class with strangers fit “risk” well. I knew I’d be faced with writing prompts with a time limit, followed by sharing with the strangers in my class. Continue reading “John C. Campbell Folk School”

When Hope Meets Reality

I thought we’d write a book together some day. There was even a title for it – “An Unlikely Friendship.” Many of you have followed this story and have been praying and cheering from the sidelines. I didn’t expect things to go the way they have in the last few months. Continue reading “When Hope Meets Reality”

Growing Empathy Through Suffering

I’ve been thumping around the house on crutches for approximately 48 hours. I severely sprained my ankle on Thursday and now I’m getting a large dose of what it’s like to be on crutches as an older adult.

When I was 14 years old, I was on crutches for a month, due to foot surgery. My high school was 2-stories high and there was no elevator. I had classes on both floors so I went up and down the stairs multiple times a day. I became a “professional” on the crutches, with so much practice. My best trick was being able to balance on only the crutches, while swinging my body forward and back. Showing this off to my friends and teachers was like doing magic tricks. Navigating stairs and small spaces was also easy as I could hop on my other leg. I was young and it was all piece of cake.

Now I’m 50 years old and the difference is pronounced. Continue reading “Growing Empathy Through Suffering”

The Need for Community

The day after my dad died, I wrote this on Facebook – “How do people survive without community? I am so very grateful for mine.”

I remember seeing the movie, “The Pursuit of Happiness,” in the theater. I watched the father and child lose their place to live and become homeless. I couldn’t imagine having so little community as to be living on the streets. I still struggle to imagine it, because I am surrounded by so much love and care.  Continue reading “The Need for Community”

Condolences

I didn’t know. That is true, but I am determined to do better now and in the future.

When my dad passed away in January, I read every comment on Facebook. I was surprised how many people took their time to comment, or even simply “react” to my posts about it. It was meaningful to me to have others expressing their acknowledgement of my loss.  Continue reading “Condolences”