Monday, December 30, 2013

A Year of Firsts

"The Bear's View" My favorite "Doodle."
"It took me a long time... to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with:  that I am nobody but myself."  Ralph Ellison.

"Never mind searching for who you are.  Search for the person you aspire to be.  ~Robert Brault

During the last week in December I spend time reflecting on the past year and thinking about what I want to see happen in the future. I am not into making resolutions, though; if there are changes I want to make in my life I can start them right now. I often went on diets the day after Christmas, I quit smoking in December 16 years ago, and I started this blog December 26, 2009.
Me and my dog fished and watched the sunset.

From time to time, when I allow myself a few minutes to look back at the twisting path of my life, I can see major life-changing milestones. An important turning point for me was January 14, 2008 when I started my journey from disability to full mobility by having a knee replaced.  It also marks the beginning of a very dark time of grief, loss, deep depression, physical pain and more surgeries.  I won't elaborate on the details of this period except to say that it was all necessary, though I wouldn't want to go through it again. I feel like I have come out of the tunnel and into the light and I am very happy about the new opportunities to live fully--like dancing, bowling and camping.  I am stronger and healthier than I have been in 20 years.

The "firsts" of  2013:
~I caught my first trout.  I fished a lot living in the Southwest, but never attempted cold water fishing when we moved to this area in 1994. This year I bought a fishing license, pole and worms for the first time in over 20 years and I caught trout and bass. I still don't know what I am doing but I have decided I love it and it is something I can do by myself if I have too.
~I claimed the whole house for myself. Downstairs was Hub's quarters and I felt uncomfortable there after he was gone; also the stairs were difficult to navigate, so I avoided those rooms. Now I have created a place to frame art, a sewing nook and exercise area--it's become the project room as well as guest quarters.
~I had a party for the first time as a single person--a Christmas open house.  I cleaned and decorated the whole house myself--even the downstairs. And I let friends bring cookies and hors d'Ĺ“uvres (Twinkies on toothpicks) I didn't even feel blue when it was over and everyone was gone. It was a very good experience for me.
~I invited a man over for dinner and he said it was delicious.
~I went to my first class reunion--ever! I met up with classmates on Facebook a few years ago and got to know them better than I ever did at school, which inspired me to go to the 50th reunion. I had a wonderful time.

~I sold more art than ever before and for the first time the jewelry sales were good.  I have great friends and supporters, however; God gives the gift of art so why  wouldn't he furnish art patrons as well? 
~I walked where ever I wanted without worrying about it being too many steps and I can go into a building without being concerned about where to sit.
~I wore red sequins, tie-dyed Easter eggs--which is really cool and learned how to take good selfies like a teen-ager.  
~I worked at a real job a few days a month in a real estate office and used the computer program like I have been doing it all my life.
~For the first time, ever, I shared with someone something painful that was done to me long ago, so it could stop eating me alive.

What am I planning for the future? Hiking maybe? I used to love it but disability took that away.  Certainly more of the fun things I am already doing and continuing to becoming more physically and emotionally healthy. I would like to have a garden party.  I would love to have a sweetheart but that is totally out of my hands--it is up to God. What I can do is to continue to work towards happiness--they tell me that is a choice-- hmmm so then I choose it.  And being of service to others; I can choose that too, though I could never pay forward what has been given to me.

So Happy New Year!! I hope 2014 is a blessed one for you.
Lots of love,