Wednesday, December 28, 2016

That Year End Wrap Up Post

2016 started out hopeful... kind of went straight to hell from there but ended on a decent note.  I gained many experiences.  I'm going to trust that the ones I didn't enjoy and don't see the reason for are truly needful in some plan bigger than me.

So just what did I do?

I started saying "YES" to the adventures that presented themselves.  I went out and explored myself instead of waiting for a human companion.  I took more pictures because this world is an icredibly beautiful place.  I talked to strangers and listened to their stories of how life led them from where they were to where they are now.  I healed my soul a bit more and got a little closer to actually being me again.

I experienced some firsts. Even at my age there are lots of first times left!

  • visited 13 states - AL, SC, VA, MD, WV, and PA for the first time
  • tasted hominy, sauerkraut, bok choy, fish sauce and persimmon
  • tried some new combinations of food - kidney beans and potatoes fried together, turnips cooked with beef, potatoes, onion, celery and carrots in a pressure cooker (I'd always eaten them raw from my Dad's garden before), a Pennsylvania Dutch dish called Slippery Pot Pie, and Vinegar Cake
  • lived without running water or electricity for 3 months in a semi-remote mountain setting
  • showered at a truck stop (I didn't even know you could before this experience!)
  • drove a box (moving) truck
  • had to ask for a jump when I ran my car battery out
  • gave a jump to a stranger who was stranded alongside the road having done the same
  • made blueberry jam (never lived where a bush grew in the yard before and I'm too cheap to buy them!)
  • got the car stuck, and luckily unstuck, in the mud a few times
  • learned to clip the dog's nails by myself

I also did some things again that I hadn't for a long long time...

  • bathed in a creek
  • pooped in an outhouse
  • shot a pistol
  • observed wildlife up close - mostly deer, wild turkey and a variety of other birds
  • blogged a bit more regularly (at least toward the end of the year)
  • picked enough wild blackberries and black raspberries to make jam
  • experienced a Ward/Stake split/reorganization at Church
  • took a course where I struggled hard to learn the material (thinking I will go out of  my way to avoid using it forever more - it was that hateful!)
  • read the Book of Mormon
  • forgave someone who was very hard to forgive

And I even did one thing that I'd sworn never again... moved to a place where winters are cold and snowy.

I've marveled repeatedly at just how adaptable, accepting, and forgiving my dogs are... troopers through thick and thin. They amaze and inspire me daily to try harder and do better and grow up to have their attitude about just taking life as it comes.

I failed friends.  Circumstances changed suddenly and I didn't/couldn't do what I promised and I'm still scrambling to get that set right. And friends failed me. Different ones in different ways. It hurts but I still love them and want them in my life so I'll get over it.

I've been scared. And sad, And lonely at times. I've had people worry about me. And I've wondered myself if I'm ever going to get me put back together and rebuild an entire life and future.

I've also felt peace and love and hope and connection.

And, again, declared the coming year to be THE YEAR OF ME!

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