A look back at an extraordinary year.
It’s hard to believe nearly 365 days have passed since I unveiled my OLW (One Little Word) for 2022.
It’s harder yet to believe all of the things that happened, I witnessed or was a part of in these same 365 days. So, before I unveil my OLW for 2023, I thought I would take a look back at how 2022 shaped me, and how it helped me to arrive at OLW 2023.
A. Very. Messy. Break-Up.
Not for him, but for me. The “Great Break-Up of 2022” shook me to my core. It was followed by 90 ish of the most painful days I’ve experienced. Snot-filled cries, no appetite, no perceived ability to carry on.
A trip to Kauai that “should have been” but became something so much more. Thank you, Amy, and Sheritta, for that support when I needed it most.
She bought a house.
She bought HER HOME.
And packed up all I own in a U-haul and moved to Arizona, where all I knew literally no one. Because in my head, he’s nobody. What I found in doing this is I am resilient, persistent, and have the ability to create my space, my refuge, my sanctuary.
Some truth here…
It’s not perfect. I am still waiting on my glorious BeSpoke Samsung Clemintine Orange refrigerator that to turn a “Lebowski” will really tie the room together. But I’ve come too far and have decided this is a place where I will not settle. Why should I? I don’t believe I will.
Garage door openers are better late than never, cabinet door fronts still to be replaced, a master bath shower that still needs to be redone for better than drip water pressure, and my personal favorite, my front doorknob falling to the ground in the first two weeks. But I met my neighbors and after another snot filled cry to Amy, I called my neighbors Christine and Darryl, and my doorknob has never been better. What I learned is I am thankful for neighbors and for my ability to seek out help, and friends. Oh… thanks again Amy. I never know what I’d do without you.
Keri and Cancer.
Before my move in September, my sister Keri was diagnosed with breast cancer. Padgett’s disease. It’s rare. So, our family traveled to Illinois to be with Keri through the mastectomy of her left breast. It wasn’t pretty, there are moments in the trip that my behavior was less than stellar. Really. Less. Than. But of course, there were moments I wouldn’t change for anything. For being with my sister Keri and Jennifer in the moments before surgery. For being there when she woke up, for the many breakfasts with Dad, Vito, and Jennifer. For dinner with Dave and Shelly. Not to mention, an impromptu trip to Chicago with Jennifer in search of Al Capone’s grave marker and Chicago home. Both were found. I am happy to report Keri’s surgery was successful and required no radiation or chemo and she’ll have a follow up visit with the oncologist in March. In this time, I learned my family is my family, and we certainly have good days, and we have some not so good ones too, but in all of them, we’re still family. I believe in the power of MY family.
2022 helped me to believe in the absolute value of my girlfriends. My gang. My Tribe. The women who are in my life for the good, the bad, the ugly. Veronica, who’s made a couple of trips to visit me here, filling some lonely times, and helping me believe I can do the hard things. The get togethers with my gal pals on my travels back to Colorado. Amy, Sheritta, Jaymee, Betty, Veronica, Jessica, Kelsi, Jenn, Jacki, Susan, Vicky, Dani, whether we connected or not, and most of us did, I was and remain so grateful for a group of women that just simply kick ass.
So, there’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, and of all of the things in this year, these are/were the ones I had/have the most anxiety around. My best laid plans for Thanksgiving planning for every single moment, at times seemed brilliant and then in other moments seemed laughable at best. Tod and I spent Thanksgiving alone, together. We made a little turkey, dressing and potatoes. We watched It’s A Wonderful Life and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I took some much-needed walks and cried some much-needed tears. I called Jaymee for a much-needed intervention in a moment of weakness. Thank you for that Jaymee, you’ll never know just how important those 10 minutes in the car were for me. I put up the Christmas tree.
Christmas. I cashed in all of my United miles to bring Daniel to Arizona for the holiday. It was my gift to myself. His flight was delayed and delayed and delayed and cancelled. Snot-filled crying ensued. Flight rescheduled and I got to spend an amazing weekend with my son. My young man. The human in this world I couldn’t be prouder of for all of his perfect imperfections. Daniel, remember, life is to be taken one moment at a time. Not you nor I created the challenges we need to work through in one day and it’s safe to say we won’t fix them in one either. So, let’s slow down, breathe, focus, and do something 1% better than we did yesterday, and I bet we find ourselves in a better place this time next year.
New Year’s Eve/Day.
As I am finishing this blog, I am also preparing for a quick little road trip to Las Vegas. I am traveling with the new man in my life Ken. He’s kind, sweet, smart, very much the gentleman, and unconventionally handsome. He’s a Raider’s fan… Not quite sure how that happens, but it does. I’m looking forward to our time together there and I believe it’s just what we need to wind down the year. Time to practice being a human BEING, rather than a human DOING. It’s a quick four-hour ish drive to Vegas, and we’ll be going to the World-Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, The Mob Museum and maybe some other little fun this and that’s. I know we have a beautiful dinner planned and I hear rumors of barbeque. We’ll come home on Friday and spend New Year’s Eve Saturday in the most low-key way we can. On. The. Couch.
Turning the page to 2023.
In wishing 2022 goodbye, I resist the urge to wish it good riddance. I needed all of these things, all of them, the ups and downs, the goods and bads to arrive here. I will be posting 2023s OLW on January 1,2023, and hope you’ll consider what your One Little Word might be.