Thank God It’s 2017

It’s a new year, people. The dumpster fire that was 2016 is over and we stand basking in the shiny new-ness and promise that is 2017.

I, for one, am full of the relief and hope that only a new beginning can bring.

2016 wasn’t all bad, though, and before I move on I want to acknowledge all the very good things that happened in my life that have been so totally overshadowed by the bad things snowballed down to catch me up and roll me down the mountain with it.

* I lived in Switzerland for half of this year. It was freakin’ fantastic. We gorged ourselves on some of the world’s best cheese and chocolate. We reveled in the beauty of the architecture and the ease of travel. We embraced simpler and European lifestyles.

* I feel happy in my writing. Really happy. It’s what I would prefer to be doing almost all the time. I constantly carry notebooks with me and jot down ideas, phrases, and characters. I made a conscious decision in 2016 to dedicate more time to writing. It helped me to find my voice and helped the words come more easily, which leads to more happiness. The constant practice has paid off in being published more often and in my blog being nominated for an award!

* I indulged in traveling. In this year alone I went through Iceland, Athens, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Iowa, Minnesota, and Southern California. I got to go to the Floyd County Fair for the first time in about 15 years and relive my youth through the eyes of my niece and nephews. I traveled to Hogsmeade with my boon companion, Margaret, and we frolicked in all things Harry Potter. I traveled. And I found glimpses of myself. And I decided that maybe travel wasn’t such an indulgence after all.

* We sold our house. It was relatively painless, although I bitched and moaned about the buyer a bit to Mark and any friend who would listen to me. They were awesome at giving a sympathetic nod and handing me a glass of wine. But the house sold! And in very little time, too. Which freed us up for more adventures.

And now, as I stare out across the – as of yet – unblemished field that is 2017, I am looking forward to accomplishing a few things.

* Buying a new house. We don’t know where, yet. There are heaps possibilities!  So many that it is a smidgen daunting, but also dreamily endless.

* Finishing writing a book. I am close, but oh so very, very far away. It might mean less blogging, but, oh! to finish a book! That is quite a dream.

* More travel! I already have trips planned to Northern California, Ontario, and Colorado. More are percolating around in my head. Maybe London? Perhaps Florida? Could a return to Spain be lurking?

* Purging and downsizing. As the boys get older they outgrow a lot of things – clothes, toys, games, to name a few categories.  And I outgrow things, too. There are things from storage I haven’t touched in almost 3 years now that need to go. I started the purge in 2014  and found the more crap I took out of the house the more peaceful and the happier I felt. With all the moves coming I am poised to continue purging. I doubt I’ll ever be finished.

But isn’t that life? To never be finished? To constantly move forward? Even if it is slowly? Even if the path is hard? Even if the path is leading you into places you never wanted to go? Isn’t is always to go ever forward and never back?

“Ever forward, never back” is actually mine and Shaun’s travel mantra, which might actually explain quite a bit of our misadventures. However, it is also a poem by Vince Gullaci. The poem is much more hopeful and less bumblingly intrepid than our mantra.

Our dreams
much more
than this
from stone
to sky
to what vaulted
sense of future
do our eyes scan forward
from this.

And so it is my wish for you, in this pristine 2017, that you scan the horizon and find a vaulted future for yourself to move boldly into.

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