Before I get started on my annual “Year in Review” post I just wanted to say “Happy New Year” to you all. A year comes and goes so fast now. And somehow we manage to pack ours full.
In the mid 50’s – closing in on those latter 50’s coming along – you realize just how fleeting life is and come to assess and address a number of thoughts, questions, and situations. I believe I could see a bit of that going on in my 2019. As I looked at my life across the year, I seemed to be doing JUST THAT – looking at my life.
It’s most interesting to look back and see the themes. And I’ll save that for the end.
A Tour of 2019
- Went to Phoenix as a part of the Isagenix group, to continue to build my business and move forward to my own health goals, helping others, and eventually reaching my dreams of buying an RV and setting off into the sunrise for travel, adventure, nature, good cuisine, interesting people, and interesting places for an extended period of time.
- Our company purchased another plant, in Oregon. Both exciting and scary. But sent my HR job responsibilities over the top by having not 3 but 4 plants, transport, a corporate office and the sales field on top of what was already overly busy.
- Got the flu at a restaurant in Phoenix with the rest of our crew. Made it home and worked a bit before the virus kicked in. It then became obvious how we got sick. As the crew at that restaurant all became ill.
- George took me to the RV show knowing that it made me happy to view my dreams.
- Changed the back bedroom to an office early in the year in support of my “dreams”. I needed a bigger private space to work to expand my thoughts and work base as well.
- I made a few strides in the Isagenix business, setting up systems, setting up my schedule, creating processes, learning scripts, learning the products, enrolling some people under me, and making $ which I still do to this day somehow! lol
- I forced myself to try and be a better person and to be more present and be more verbal with others and more communicative in an effort to meet more of my goals and come out of a shell so I could be successful at talking with people and presenting and persuading.
- At some point my dreams of RV’ing became too much and George told me he did not share my vision of RVing for an extended period of time. For a while I held on to the fact that I could go alone if I had to for six months or so, but he said if I did I’d be leaving him. So I had some decisions to make across the board. For months I was a bit tormented as this was something I wanted so badly to begin reaching for and planning for.
- This led to a month or two of trying to find and install “Joy” in my life, to fill a void b/w work being so damned impossible and my dreams sort of starting to fade, and my reasons for trying to be a success in this side hustle fading along with my vision. I even created a “joy meter” to be able to tell where I was in being joyous. So I could measure whether it was working or not.
- We went out with friends and ate at a truly over the top steak house, Bourbon Steak, enjoying watching a storm roll in and out as we ate at the top of the Marriott. Loved it.
- Watched all the seasons of Nurse Jackie which provided George and I hours of entertainment.
- Had two huge cysts removed from my noggin’ and what was to be a quick office removal ended up being a complete surgical experience, with tremendous pain on the day of the procedure and a couple of days to recoup. I have two huge craters in my head and one I’m a little concerned about – wondering if my brain is protected because there is no bone left there covering that spot. No wonder the doctor kept asking “are you sure you are not having any problems”?
- We had our Nest Camera system installed and that has been fun.
- We spent a lot of time with Don and Lisa last year – on excursions out to play or in the realm of cuisine – having themed dinners such as a German Evening, an Italian Evening, and a Day in Spain. We also went to a Nuit Belge cuisine event in Nashville together.
- George who had lost his job the year before was able to get on Full time in purchasing at the mine, much to our relief.
- We lost our Tugie the Toy P, who had been with us for 17 years. Heartbroken but realized the time had come when she couldn’t sleep through the nights anymore, and neither could we.
- Isagenix came out with new shakes such as the Birthday Shake and came back with Cookies and Cream which I tried for the first time, rocking my world!
- Some extended family issues came to a head. I got to practice what I had learned from “setting boundaries” from my Joy Junkie podcasts. Not that I wanted to. Has been a strange year for all that. But I’ve not let that taint me as a person, as I’m able to rise above it and see it for what it is and that it is “not my problem”. And I try my best to stay the hell away from it all. Life is too short to be ugly to people, to take sides, or to create drama. It’s why I have become the way I am – too much drama everywhere and I avoid it like the plague -so much so I don’t even want to talk at times. I’d rather blog away and remain miles away from it all!
- I became increasingly unhappy at work. The new plant, the pressures to hire, the pressure to do more and more, the insane amount of questions, the lack of time to address any of it, just trying to be glue to keep it all together – doing benefits for everyone, legal compliance, worker’s comp, OSHA logs, DOT stuff, and only two of us trying to administratively keep it all together, keeping the deductions up to date, reconciling the insurance, and FMLA admin and all that was going on with keeping everyone happy and meeting everyone’s needs – it was just too much for me. I’m a detailed person and trying to be so detailed across so many facets was just mind boggling. I realized I was not going to be able to please everyone, and began feeling like I was beating my head against the wall as we would try to hire and I was having to spend time at that while ignoring other duties and things were going to unravel quickly. My blood pressure began to climb again and the doc had to put me on new meds. I was sad to realize that NO amount of nutrition can combat the stress you are up against in your life.
- I began to look for ways to be happy to help the “joy meter” – reading things about being happy, doing “finding joy” studies on You Version, and reading books on how to “unhook” from parts of your life. I prayed for happiness, and found consolation from my father, although deceased, by finding his recipe for happiness in His Bible, after getting a message from God to spend time with him and to open up my Dad’s bible. There sat a long list of his advice. Advice from my father – proving love crosses over death and God finds a way for communication to happen when you need it the most.
- When the Payroll person gave notice, God nudged me to pounce on it. I had been praying for change. I didn’t want to quit our company. I wasn’t given any help after asking for it, and I felt that this was God’s way of showing me another path. So I changed jobs. It only really hit me about a month into it that I had given up my HR career that I’d worked so hard at – even getting a Master’s degree for it. But I didn’t care at that point and as of today, you would have to march me in at gunpoint to apply for an HR role again. At least that is how I feel now. This is a year in review, not a lifetime in review. But I’m relieved at this change and I love my job now. The hours can be long and different at times as I had to work a lot during the holidays. That was hard, but I still would not go back or change a thing. I love having a more routine life and the to do list is pretty much contained. There is not room for much else as the days are full and the interruptions and diversions are few on most days. It was an excellent move for me, a much quieter role, and I love every piece of what I’m doing and enjoy my day. Unless of course there are mistakes by myself or others and you are eaten alive on pay day. There is no manhole and cover for which to escape. lol. There is an exact way of doing things, a science to it. Not an array or a selection of possibilities in which one picks one and fails to please certain groups. It just IS what it is and you do it the same way every week.
- I made the decision after changing roles, not to continue pushing forward in the Isagenix business. With my reasons for doing the business part – vanishing – and my focus on doing payroll and learning a new career in accounting (I pay employment taxes and such), I decided it was too much. I needed to play on my time off, organize my world again, and enjoy what free time we had, just being home and being myself or out with friends.
- Katy got to come home a few times during the year and that was always a highlight. She brought her friend Shelby too and we hung with her and made a new friend, and later got to see her again in Texas and meet her family.
- I got to meet my thrill of travel – Phoenix as mentioned, Phoenix again during the benefits enrollment season, Oklahoma City, and Portland. Got to experience a short trip in Portland Oregon for the first time. Disappointed it was not more exciting as I didn’t have much time or any time really to see much of anything. But the first part of the year the travel kept me going!
- Ordered Alaskan seafood pals several times over the year and enjoyed our 1/4 of a cow and a pig we purchased. That was fun.
- Attended the Crisis Pregnancy Center fundraiser – in support of our friends Curt and Lisa that we used to go to church with years ago. We supported their ministries in Scotland years ago and then when they came home, we began supporting Lisa in this ministry. We have remained through the years.
- Increasingly began to enjoy the YouTube adventurers RVing and Sailing across the world. I’ve decided I’m sort ok just watching. But given a Plan B ever in life I’m liable to just take off RVing on a whim. Just don’t take away my shows, as I can live my dreams through them. I don’t ever think I’d be sailor though but I love the water and love watching. I’d go sailing if it presented, but probably wouldn’t be able to do much other than cook. I’m not strong enough to sail at this point. We are not maintenance people. Having a yacht would be ok if you could hire a maintenance and deck crew, lol. That’ll never happen but we watch Below Deck so it kinda does. lol
- We hung out with our friends Paul and Judy and Cheryl and Joe and Kayla and Jerel- – either eating out or at their houses – all our friends have pools! ;-). Including Don and Lisa so that is always fun. I like sitting by the water sometimes more than getting in it, but we did a few times and always enjoyed our friends and our fun times and catching up. It’s about our time to everyone over here! We all love to eat and have our Crouchety Gourmet Group in which we alternate taking turns to pick restaurants to go out to eat.
- Went to our neighbor’s grad party next door.
- Spent some time with Mom across the year – we enjoyed Mother’s Day excursions in down town Columbia and had her here at our house some including a full on Thanksgiving before we left to see Katy and Cody. We also had a lobster fest with her and all the fixings at her house. Also got to see her along with my Aunt and Uncle a few times! Christmas was heavenly having everyone here at our house. A dream of mine for a long time.
- Tried Tai Chi for the first time. I liked it but not sure it’s totally for me. I kinda like doing my own little routine of exercises, they are similar but not as graceful. I do like the graceful part but graceful – I need lessens on that in itself. lol
- George and I watched “Spain on the Road again” with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali. We kinda got addicted to watching them eat, thus it emerged for us to do a Spain weekend of our own with the Irelands. Some of the best food I’ve eaten. I want a repeat! lol
- Went to San Antonio and created Memories with Katy. Had a great time. Got to see Fredericksberg TX and Luchenbach TX.
- I began listening to You Tube Jazz channels while house cleaning.
- A kitten showed up during my joy and happiness crises. And left right after I got the payroll job. It was as if God sent it only to be a distraction – and to feed it – until it went to it’s next family (or played it’s part in the food chain, but I prefer the prior option).
- There was a 4th of July parade, right in our neighborhood. Very cute.
- Went to George’s work’s company picnic.
- I started this new blog, having become unhappy with the old one and feeling another need for change. That is the adventure spirit animal coming out in me. lol.
- We celebrated George’s birthday over several weekends. And my waistline began expanding again. I think this was up and down though Christmas. I am sure I’m over and not under but have been able to maintain the smaller sizes. And now it’s January. It’s hard being a foodie and trying to lose weight.
- We bought an air fryer which has changed the way we eat dinner. WE love it and I rearranged my whole kitchen because of it.
- We spent time with Kevin and Susan, my SIL and BIL, as we celebrated each of our birthdays out at a restaurant in lieu of gifts. And we went to the TN Museum as well. We also spent “just because we want to see you and catch up” moments at nearby breweries.
- Had an amazing Anniversary Dinner at Oak Steakhouse. We even went to a brewery and played the game to decide where to go as we sat and did research and crossed off restaurants til we had our pick. We loved it and had rooftop bar drinks beforehand at nearby rooftops.
- UB40 Concert. I was not in the mood to go but went and enjoyed it so much.
- Got new glasses.
- Tried going blonde, but went back to brown! I decided blondes didn’t really have more fun, lol.
- George got a new car. If you know him, that is definitely a milestone moment. I love the heated seats and that he is not driving a dirt bag, aka flinstone car to work.
- WE hung out Hot Springs for a couple of weekends on each side of our Texas week, including getting to do the Hot Springs baths. Yes got to go to Texas for the 2nd time of the year for me, and go to Abilene for the first time and do shopping in Graham and also my Sam Moon in Dallas.
- Got to eat at In/Out Burger – which I love so much it’s getting it’s own bullet point.
- Began watching the British Baking show.
- Went to Christmas Village – our 2nd annual and we love it! Knocked out a lot of gifts that way. Things you don’t see anywhere else.
- George’s Uncle Robert passed away unexpectedly right before Christmas shocking us all.
I may have missed some important things but I’ve tried to go back and look through blogs to catch it all. If I missed something important with someone I’m sorry. The memory never was good, so it sure isn’t now. lol
Books read in 2019 *
*Books may also be audio books
- Kevin Gise, “RV Living Full Time: Beginner’s Guide”
- Greg McKeown, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less”
- Rachel Hollis, “Girl Wash Your Face”
- Daniel Hays, “On Whale Island”
- Susan Sly, “MLM Woman”
- Randy Frage, “Believe”
- Tom Schuiter, “How to get Instant Trust and Belief, Influence, and Rapport”
- Katherine Crowley, “Working for You Isn’t Working for Me”
- Annette Jackson, “My Life in the Maine Woods”
- Joe Russo, “Take Risks: One couple’s Journey to Quit Jobs and Hit the Open Road”.
- Peta Kelly, “Earth is Hiring
- Joyce Meyer, “Worry Free Living”
- Seven at Sea, “Erik Orten”
- Demi Moore, “Inside Out”.
So I guess what is next for the blog is to talk about goals of 2020. I think I’ve kinda been of the mindset not to have too many and just let life emerge. I do however, have some trips I want to plan which keep me grounded, ironically. And I do have my “To Do” list which keeps me focused on things I have a mindset to do, or need to do, or have goals for either for responsibility sake, pleasure sake, or accomplishment sake.
As far as improvement sake, it’s the house I’d like to improve on – kitchen especially and flooring. But those are things I cannot really control and probably not influence. But maybe down the road.
I do want to read, experience life through travel or books, or shows. I enjoy planning and doing and seeing. So more of that. My focus will be attentive to what Mom needs this year and at some point will need to be closer to us in one capacity or another so we can best take care of her as it’s impossible to do that when she is increasingly further away every day – as her location doesn’t change but the traffic does getting there. And our work schedules don’t really allow for a lot of flex time to have large amounts of time off to get there and back. Luckily Mom has some friends that are able to still drive and get her to her eye appointments. I can also do it if I have advance notice and it’s not on a payroll processing day. I could take a vacation day. But for any wide spread care we’ll have to have her here. Increasingly she will need us more to go get groceries, shuttle her about and it would really be nice to be able to spend more quality time together, cook for her and so forth. So we’ll see what the year brings and what she is willing to do. I’m not sure really where to start as she doesn’t want to rent, and it’s too early she says, for assisted living, and so what is left is to buy something with no stairs that is nearby? I’m not sure what the answer is but we’ll go with her leading for now as to what she wants to do.
Anyway, those are my thoughts for the day and my year in review. And thoughts on goals for the year. I’m not ready to take on anything ambitious for sure – so the lack of major goal planning. I do think I’ve learned in my own life and also in reading and watching others: LIFE EMERGES. Yes our goals and are plans can get us started, but life really has a way of just emerging entangled with our own energies and magnetisms, and intertwined with our thoughts, and desires, and things we really want to do, or that God wants us to do. God is right. Today has enough of its own worries and who should plan for the morrow? I still will of course as we all do – but yes, life just emerges and we tap into the universes energy, God’s plan, and our own forward moments – making whatever happens, happen. You can plan to do whatever you want to do but other energies, life itself, God, or others will thwart it or thrust it forward. So it really doesn’t matter – in my circumstance anyway. My paths are pretty much set for me it seems, if I am a responsible person. Not really a lot of goals to push or accomplish anymore. So I will eat, watch, read, work, sleep, and plan what travel excursions I can. The things I truly would like are all out of reach for me so I’m just learning to be happy with what I have. If it’s meant to be it will emerge and time will tell. The job emerged right? If I could get out of that impossible situation, there is always hope for the rest – unspoken or not. So I will just enjoy life, ride the waves, and be a feather in the wind for a while amongst a sea of to do’s, and shows that make me happy, and family and friends that we enjoy seeing.
Today I was going to begin putting up the Christmas decor but we have one more Christmas swap at our house on Sunday afternoon, so I will leave it up. I’m a little happy about that and a little dismayed. I was looking forward to putting it up but it was my decision and George’s encouragement that keeps me leaving it down til the next weekend. So that means on Saturday, Jan 11th I will remove it. Seems appropriate. It gives me a break today and gives me a two day approach at getting it back up that following weekend. This weekend is my birthday weekend too. And even though I kinda get sick of the Christmas stuff pretty quick we didn’t get a lot of time with the decor this year since our trip and getting it out late and being gone a lot. So another week of Christmas decor it is. Bitter sweet.
Well, I”m off of here as this exercise has taken me hours since I had to to scour over two different blogs to see this last year as well as GoodReads and Audible to see where I was on the reading list.
Ya’ll take care. Sorry not a lot of photos. If you made it to the end you have to let me know. Also do you have any goals or to do’s going into 2020? And most of all Happy New Year to you all!
Prayer for “Snoskred” who is a blogger bud in Australia and around all the fires and living in fear. Her blog is at this website: http://www.snoskred.org. I don’t know how to insert a link on here yet. So you may have to copy or paste. Oh I just found it and I tried to convert it to a link there. Hope it works. Ok I’m off to do something else! Ya’ll take care.
Alexa in the Car, Updated To Do Lists, Birthday Weekend (!)