It has been a while since we have updated our blog. Since the last time we posted, my mom unexpectedly passed away and it has been one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced in my life. I can easily say this has been the worst year of my life. I know I am not the only person that has lost someone this year, there have been far, far too many and I know they are hurting just as much as I am. I have always been the type of person that can find the good in any situation, but this one I have yet to find anything good. I know it is there, but I am too wrapped up in my own grief to look for it. My family has seen the effects as I am more irritable and just not my old self. Maybe I won’t ever be my old self and maybe that is how it is supposed to be because there is a new and better version of me in there somewhere. Only time will tell. I do know that I have felt the insatiable need to make some changes in my life.
First of all, I know that I have many, many things to be thankful for. For instance, I have a great new job that I absolutely love and wow did it ever come at a good time. We are all healthy. I have had the privilege to see some pretty amazing places in my lifetime and the list could go on and on. Last weekend I was in Norman in a cute shop called, Postscripts, and happened upon a little box with the words, A Year of Gratitude – A Kit to Inspire 52 Weeks of Giving Thanks. It is filled with a little book to help you find things to be thankful for and thank you cards. I was very drawn to this box, so I bought it. My 48th birthday is Tuesday and I thought what better way to celebrate than by beginning my Year of Gratitude. My sweet Gracie bought me the little black book that she used a burning tool to engrave the word “gratitude” on the front. She also wrote me a special message inside. It made my heart melt when I opened it.
My next big change is basically the story of stuff. Lately, I have felt the need to try to minimize things in my life. For instance, the other day I was looking for a pair of tights to wear to work, I dug around in my drawers, my closet, everywhere to find these tights, but to no avail, they were nowhere to be found. I literally sat in my closet looking at all the needless things I have and it was absolutely ridiculous. This Year of Gratitude is also calling me to be a minimalist and to stop buying something every time I think I need or want it. My goal is to not buy anything unnecessary for the next year. That includes clothes and all those little things in the dollar section at Target and everything in between. I wouldn’t say that I am a super big shopper. We don’t plan trips to specifically go shopping, but if I’m out and about and find a cute top or something for my house that fits into my budget, I will typically buy it without even giving it a second thought. This one will be difficult for me, but I feel like I need this challenge mentally. It is kind of like when we give up something during Lent. Every time I want to buy something unnecessary, it will take willpower and focus, but in the end, it will make me a stronger person.
Lastly, I have not been able to commit myself to run another marathon since my mom’s passing, but I really want to get back at it and I think it would be good for me both physically and mentally. I plan to make the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon my comeback marathon. It was my first one so I could not think of a better one for my comeback year. If you ever have the opportunity to at the minimum attend this race, you need to put it on your bucket list. The energy and atmosphere are second to none. It will literally bring you to your knees.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, for a couple of reasons, I know there are people out there hurting just as much or more than I am. I want them to know that they aren’t alone and maybe this will spark some sort of something in them and help them find some kind of healing. The next one, my longtime print readers have been through many things with me in my life and now my newfound online readers, who better to share this journey with. I want you to keep me accountable. I am ever so grateful for you and look forward to seeing where this coming year takes me.