Starting a new year is always exciting (so is starting a new day every morning!) – and I find that it is also a time for reflection. That reflection is a little more substantive when you throw in a new decade. So much has happened in the past 10 years. Good stuff, bad stuff, sad stuff, happy stuff. It has all been a learning and growing experience – and continues to be.
The sad: losing my Dad, my Godparents, an uncle, and my brother-in-law. Realizing that life is short and is to be celebrated every day. It is a bitter-sweet lesson. Certainly, I would not have wanted these dear loved ones to linger on in pain, just as certainly I would have told them more often how important they were – no – ARE – in my life. Their presence and influence lives on, and the memories are sweet.
We’ve watched our children mature into adults that we are in awe of and so proud of. They are amazing, and it is a joy to know that we are a part of their lives.
I’ve watched my Mom adjust to a new stage in her life and marvel at her strength and her faith. My brother has grown through our challenges.
Bill is my rock – he continues to lead me in adventure and encourage me to explore my strengths. Leaning on his strength inspires me to find more of my own.
Us – huge changes! In the past 10 years, we have transitioned from escaping winter in Michigan for a couple weeks to selling the house and not buying another one. Traveling and exploring at will. Selling our beloved Tomahawk and exploring options for our next aviation adventure. Visiting the doctor a little more often, and being more conscious about our health. Throughout it all – unbelievably blessed over the past 10 years.
I’ve spent considerable time thinking about the changes in me. I can honestly say I never would have guessed I would be the “me” I am now. I am at the lowest weight I have been at in almost 30 years. I am in the best physical condition I have EVER been in. I still look in the mirror and am surprised at the changes in physical appearance. When I look into my eyes in the mirror – I like the person I see looking back. I’m not sure I have ever been comfortable enough in the past to even look directly into my own eyes. I am more confident, more willing to step out of the comfort zone, and more willing to be seen (actually – that’s not true – I just care a whole lot less about what others think – and more about what I think). I discovered that contrary to my previously held belief about exercise and physical activity – I truly enjoy it – crave it – and actively seek it out. I have transitioned from hiding out in the basement and exercising in secret (and not believing it would help) to jumping in on group exercise classes and working one on one with fitness trainers (and relishing the experience). I love “dragging” others with me and trying new options.
I’ve learned that you don’t have to have a brick building (or wood) to have a home. What you do have to have is your tribe (2-leggers and 4-leggers). Wherever your tribe is – that is home – even if they are spread out from the east coast to the west – and everywhere in between. You go to them, they come to you – it’s home.
I’ve learned that the harder you try to “be” what/who you (or someone else) think(s) you should be, the easier it is to lose who you really are. I don’t want to be perfect at anything, because perfect isn’t. Far better and more exciting to just be me and remain open to ALL the possibilities. God is in control, and I don’t have to see the whole plan. It’s going to be an amazing adventure – I know this because of what I have already lived. I know that tomorrow I have the potential to be so much more than I am now. I am capable of so much as long as I take the next step.
In 10 years, I have added some incredible people to my “tribe” and am so grateful for the blessings they have bestowed upon me. I am thankful for the lessons I have learned that were hard and not so pleasant – because I did learn from them.
I am so excited for the “2020’s” – it is going to be a decade filled with adventure and blessings that will far surpass the 2010’s. My life is overflowing with grace – and it stems from an infinite source because of His grace and mercy.
Fasten your seat belts….it’s going to be a magnificent ride!