So before I even start writing my annual year in review post, recounting this life I live, I go back and look through my calendar. I’m reminded of things I did in January — things that feel so long ago and at the same time very familiar. I have a long list of places I’ve gone, people I’ve seen, things I’ve done. I’m not really sure where to begin, so maybe I’ll start with a few numbers.
A Year in Numbers
Yoga classes attended: 51 (and that’s with a MAJOR cut back starting in late summer through now)
Quilts made: 24 (and that’s after I stopped taking any orders late summer)
Scheduled phone calls with out of state friends: 13
Trips on an airplane: 3
Trips in a car: 11 (mostly to Tennessee)
Calls with my Bookwifery group: 22
Meals with friends: around 30
Groups I facilitated: 5
Blogs written: 57
Essays published on other sites: 9
People & Places
In 2019 I saw Hamilton in Chicago, Mumford & Sons in Nashville and Indianapolis and Dave Matthews in Noblesville.
I visited Houston for a Foundations of Christian Leadership gathering, Wilmington to visit friends, Asheville to relax with my husband and Orlando to see Hogwarts.
I spent a week in Saint Meinrad, IN with a group of women religious (sisters and nuns) and another week in Nashville with religious fundraisers.
I got to meet and talk with Barbara Brown Taylor, Tony Jones, Lynne Twist and Jan Richardson.
I ran four half-marathons, two in the rain and one in freezing temperatures.
In 2019 we attempted to train Steve with the help of an in-home trainer. It sort of worked. We want him to behave but we always want him to have his own thoughts. We’re still working on that.
We had a little scare with a spot on Denali’s back and she often refuses to go on walks, but she’s plugging along with her 11.5 year old self.
Steve learned to swim in Asheville and that was just about the cutest thing ever. He was so focused!
We spent a lot of time with our nieces and nephews this year (can I please just start using “niblings” as the plural?!). My mom and I managed the TN household in February while my brother and sister-in-law traveled. We spent Memorial Day there as well and I visited again in October which involved pumpkin carving! We went to a football game, birthday parties and saw Pete the Cat live on stage!
Taking Care of Me
There’s a week in May that has “be gentle with yourself” as a reminder each day on my calendar. Family birthdays, our anniversary and Mother’s day all within a week or two span. It’s a lot and I’m grateful for my honoring of that by reminding myself not to over schedule the calendar during that week.
I turned forty this year. I asked my husband for a surprise party. Weird? Whatever. I asked for what I wanted; I’m learning to do that more. However, even though I asked for it, I was still SO surprised! My husband went above and beyond and I felt so incredibly loved. It was amazing.
I got to go swimming a lot this year — one of my favorite things to do in the summer! At my dad’s lake house, my cousin’s neighborhood pool, city pools, a neighbor’s friend’s pool, the Atlantic Ocean, an AirBnB pool for my birthday, a small lake in North Carolina, a lazy river in Orlando. This makes up for the lack of swimming in 2018!
Proud of this Life
I had some big successes at work this year as well. We had our annual Lake Lecture with Lynne Twist as the speaker, which I planned and organized. I had the opportunity to be an instructor at one of our courses. I was the program manager for our first national research project. And, I got to design and facilitate a retreat day for our alumni based on concepts from Brené Brown.
One of the things I’m most proud of in 2019 is my commitment to write a book about my experience with infertility. I came up with the hashtag #LivingAGoodFullLife to show that life after infertility isn’t a death sentence. Just look at all I’ve written about so far — my life is GOOD and FULL! I hope to share the fullness of my journey in this book I’m writing — the hard moments and the joyful ones. It’s hard to believe, but I am close to finishing my book proposal and have several chapters already written.
The Life I Live
Wow, 2019, you really surprised me. I’m amazed with this life I live. When I chose the word Open I had no idea what that would bring. Travel, friendships, opportunities, growth, laughter and so much more. I’m so grateful for my life. It’s not the life I planned, but who could have planned a life like this?!
Now, I will admit, I have not included the moments that I couldn’t stop crying. The moments of anxiety and fear. The moments of difficult conversations that led to more tears. The moments of “what if” and “why me”. Those moments are there too. I just didn’t mark them on my calendar. I didn’t document them in my photo album (much). Life is hard. There’s good and bad, joy and sorrow, life and death.
This is a collection of the highlights, a positive note on which to end the year. I will never forget the hard moments, the ones that brought me to this moment. All of the moments, challenging and joyful, make me who I am today. And, I love who I am today.
Here I come, 2020. Get ready!