Looking over my past year, painting my floor was the most obvious thing I did. It certainly required the most time, June - October. The less obvious element of it is that I used all that time to think about relationships.
It wasn't a happy year for me. My brother-in-law died, which was very shortly after my friend died, and a co-worker's husband. I was effected by the Paris shooting, which was only one of many shootings in 2015. There were a lot of contentious meetings and reports at work.
I just wasn't happy, and didn't feel like I was getting the outside support I needed. I pondered who was good for me and who wasn't when Danny's cancer recurred and almost killed him just when Gary killed himself, and that was followed by 2 more suicides. I fell off my deck so hard that my body hurt as much as my heart and mind.
So the year started hard, but spending all that time painting the floor made me more flexible in more ways than one. My general outlook on life improved, and the ladies at work went out of their way to feed me positive thoughts. I helped avert another suicide, and feel pleased with myself that I set and maintained my boundaries in the process. The year is ending with 2 new babies in my environment and I feel happiness to be in the afterglow of those families' happiness.
Against all of this, I repeatedly met ghosts from my past this year. We stood on my floor and shared stories about the Glen. I saw their positive memories of me reflected in their faces, and I was given a chance to redefine myself to myself.
I drank bourbon in Kentucky, which has turned into a lesser hobby. So far I've enjoyed cherry-aged and honey bourbons the best. I got a new neighbor and was assigned an extra hobby of staring out the kitchen window to look for her missing cat while I made a lot of applesauce. My dog got skunked. I took a painting retreat to Lake Chautauqua, NY and started illustrating things for a magazine.
|Helen and her halo|
This is life. Sometimes we have challenges and grief to deal with. Sometimes we get to smile at a baby. This week I helped Helen, our cheerful, colorful, and kind volunteer with her Christmas cookies. She knows all about life's ups and downs, and usually has an off-color quip and a hearty laugh to get through those peaks and valleys. She made 17 kinds of cookies this year and gave them to people she appreciates including her doctors, church, friends, family, etc., etc. Her spirit of gratitude and giving is inspiring (and her cookies are delicious!)
|Helen supervising cookie trays|
|Josie helped package cookies too|