Monday, February 22, 2021

Goodbye 36, Hello 37

Thinking on year 36 still leaves me bewildered. I began the year hiking in Utah, then going through so many personal changes and challenges that will forever have an impact on me thanks to a pandemic, and I'm ending it doing something new and different. This year has been all about pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. It's a year spent living day by day, in the moment, on the edge of my seat because I didn't know what would be thrown at me. 

Year 36 was a doozy. Every single one of my relationships in life was tested. Some came out stronger and better than before, some I let go of, and in others, the entire dynamic changed. I faced so many emotions I can't even list them all. I finally learned to take care of myself and say no whenever needed. I don't feel an ounce of guilt about it either. I spent time on myself, for myself, and made extra time for my kids. Somehow, my business stayed afloat and I got extremely lucky because of the good ol' blog, which got a ridiculous amount of visits thanks to terrified parents looking for things to do at home with their children. I like to think everyone made out well in the end.

I felt a challenging year needed more challenges. Not only did we live through a derecho (where a tree missed our house by centimeters, with me and a house full of kids inside), but I decided I could no longer live one more day without power or air conditioning. So, I set out on my first socially distanced, solo vacay with three kids and a pandemic puppy.

36 put life into better perspective for me. Going through a pandemic will do that for you. The theme of my thirties seems to be DOING. Do anything and everything. Do all the things you want to do. I've spent so much time doing the big things that I haven't left time for the small do's. This year, I made time for them. I can confidently say I am smarter and overall better person for taking the time (because I wasn't short on it) to learn and do. It's been a refreshing, commitment free year. I cook now. The harder, more involved recipes that life didn't allow for before social distancing was a thing. I loved the people in my life more than ever before. I lived for a week with out power, learned to use a chain saw, and got to know our neighbors better. These things never would have happened if the most difficult events didn't find us. Like I said, year 36 was an absolute doozy. It's not one I'll easily forget.

I'm walking into year 37 with two big do's on the table: one is a virtual performance/reading of one of my short stories for Expressing Motherhood and the other is taking a class in American Sign Language to become an offical interpreter (what I do with that in the future is beyond me, but it's what I want to do in this moment). As another trip around the sun begins, I'm feeling more confident in myself. I look forward to what 37 brings. If this had been the beginning of year 36, I would have wished for normalcy. However, after living most of my 36th year under unprecidented circumstances, I only wish for the continued ability to roll with it. To not once think inside the box and to appreciate the uniqueness that gives me this ability.

Here's to 37!

Opening new hiking snow boots at my masked, family birthday party yesterday. These boots already have two miles on them thanks to my active pandemic pup.