One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to read the "year in review" articles covering celebrity comings and goings. And I also like to take "stock" of my personal events in the year which is soon to pass into the history books. I find it very helpful in making plans for the new year - because after all, how does one know where they're going without looking back for direction?
The first four months of 2011 were all but consumed with taking care of Michael and saying good-bye to Michael. In a way, those good-byes began years ago and are on-going to this day. But in looking back, I try to glean whatever good things I can from the trial of losing my spouse. I'm a kinder, gentler person than I was even a year ago. Stuff which would have infuriated me in the past only mildly irritates me now - life is too short to worry about office political crap and things which honestly don't make any difference in the long run to my happiness or well-being.
My reliance on God has increased dramatically. During the months leading to Michael's passing I prayed every night for God to show me what I was to learn from it all. I think he has. I've read some of my blog posts from the time frame in question and I wonder now: how did I ever get through that? I know that too - thank you God!
And there were some good times in 2011 - the NQA show, the International Quilt Festival, the Sharonville quilt show. Interesting to note: thanks to Facebook and the NQA, I've re-connected with a dear friend from high school.
Andrea and I took a long-promised trip to Florida. She loved every minute at the theme parks.
I've become more active with my Sunday school class activities, the church-sponsored quilt group, and Bravehearts - a group recently formed for folks who have lost their partners.
The children, family and friends all joined me in October for the Hospice Memory walk. We helped raise nearly $500 for Hospice of Cincinnati. I am deeply, immensely grateful to that organization for all they did for us in 2011.
My kids are finding their paths in this world as young adults. Danny is on track to graduate with honors from UC at the end of summer quarter. Andrea is not quite sure what direction she is going with education, but she will find her way. She obtained her driver's license, graduated from high school and obtained a solid job in 2011 - all good indicators.
With all the train gear sold at auction, my sewing room moved to another part of the house. It's fabulous to have a large retreat room for my quilting passion. Also, room enough for the Handiquilter machine I purchased at the NQA show. It's especially nice this time of year to look out the window above my sewing desk and see the blue holiday lights.
I have been blessed so much this year - and in some way I feel guilty about it all since much of it wouldn't have happened if Michael were still alive. However, it was meant to be and serve as a "launching pad" for 2012 - which I'm hoping will be a happier year for all of us.
I'll post my plans for 2012 in a day or two.