Not a Year in Review

Maybe a decade in review…

My slow dial to right now

It’s already February. January flew by. Last year flew by. Awe, hell! The last decade has flown by—sort of.

I was going to do a year in review for 2022. I pondered the twelve months and the events that took place. I wrote briefly about it here in the post Here’s to a Magical 2023, but I didn’t get into a lot of details. Frankly, as I mentioned in that post, 2022 was a slow-moving year which I am completely satisfied with. I went back over the past twelve months, and carried on. I took myself back in time to 2021, 2020, 2019. I kept going. Going. Going—back in time.

The time machine

I went back ten years. That’s where I stopped the spinning clock.

Ten years ago my life looked very different.

My home was an old, almost hundred-year-old disaster of a dwelling with a leaking roof, leaking pipes, broken furnace, doors that didn’t shut, and if they did, then sometimes they didn’t open. There were bugs and mice and even a bat. Yes, a bat!! I still considered this house my home. I loved it for the simple reason that it was mine. Those four walls saw me through a lot. It was my cave and my sanctuary. It was quaint and ugly all at once. However, that old house gave me a lot of stress. Melting seasons brought dripping ceilings. Freezing seasons brought frozen pipes. Wind brought anxiety of shingles peeling off like stickers and blowing across the neighborhood.

My job was changing. I had just left a school that I loved teaching at, with the most beautiful art studio in the city. Yes, in the entire city. I had little comfort in where I was being transferred to. The new place was completely unfamiliar. The students, unfamiliar. My reputation was unknown to the community. There were still so many years left in my teaching career. I was only half done. This job change felt difficult. And to be honest, it was.

My relationship life was a sad single-serving sangria life of the occasional date of mismatched people, who didn’t align with me. I had no one to call my person. I was just busying myself with what felt like time-wasting activities wondering if I would find a steady and wholesome experience.

I had no routines.

I was in the middle of a messy lawsuit, fighting for what was mine. This pushed my cortisol levels through the leaking roof.

I was not writing, except in my journal.

The one thing I was doing, even in that mess, was my best. I was doing my best.

My life a decade ago looked nothing like it does today. In an act of faith, I kept on, keeping on, sitting, waiting, wishing and always hoping (thank you Jack Johnson) that maybe someday circumstances would change. My journals in those days were full of angst and desperation, worrying about a future that I had no idea how to build. Funny thing is, I was building it. I just didn’t know it.

A decade later

I have a brand new custom-built home that I created. It doesn’t leak. Everything is new. No bugs. No mice and especially no bats. There is a relaxed saunter every time I walk into my home because I have shaken loose the feeling of what will I find today. I have taken ownership of a space that is 100% mine. It’s a beautiful feeling. The history is solely my own.

I have settled into this other school. It was an adjustment. However, it’s pretty nice here. I’ve made the most of the studio and altered my curricular assignments to fit a small space. I walk to work daily. It’s a gorgeous walk through the park. I enjoy the creek that runs through, the trees, the sunrise, and the bird watching. I saw a woodpecker yesterday. It’s a decompressing thing of beauty to start and end the day with this journey. In spite of the challenges of a new job and a less than adequate studo space, those hours are sandwiched between some beautiful times outside.

I have become a routine lover and make specific tasks part of my day. It’s a formula for my mental wellness.

The lawsuit is over.

I am a published author with four books— award-winning. International award-winning actually—with my co-author David Gane. It’s the Shepherd and Wolfe Young Adult Mystery series. Sometimes I blog about it. The list of awards and finalist placements is a bit shocking in a good way. I was applying for something and I had to make this list. I was stunned by our success. There is still one more novel to finish the series. Then the Shepherd and Wolfe stories will be complete. I have finished my own book. It’s currently at the editors. If someone would have told me a decade ago that I would be an author I wouldn’t believe them.

I’m outside every day, pushing the edge of how far my body can go. I walk even in the coldest temperatures. This winter just before Christmas I had a walk that was around -48 Celsius (-54F for you non-metric folks).

I have found my person—who spends time the same way I do, who aligns with me, and who’s actually quite funny. And, guess what? It’s easy. It’s good. It’s loving.

These days my journals are full of positive thoughts, gratitude, and calm happiness. They are full of words of future successes I know will happen because, well, the past ones did. I feel the hardest part of my life is behind me. While I was busy just taking steps every day moving forward a little. A real little some days—I was actually creating what I have today.

I’m not diluted in the goodness of this life. I am aware that it ebbs and flows. I understand that nothing stays the same but with that said I do feel that I’ve learned that courage comes from taking steps. Resting. Doing my best. Taking more steps. And, Making sure I always move forward with hope.

As always, thank you for reading lovelies.

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