Today is the last day of 2018. As I reflect on the year and all of the changes it’s still amazing to me how fast a year can go by…..Also how slow a year can go by. LOL. How much can happen in a year…and how slow some progress actually is in a year. Isn’t this true of everything>? Each year seems to race by in some respects…..reminding me just how short life truly is. How I need to focus on what my true goals are and lean into them.
This year as I reflect, we learned so much about many things. I think in some respects I have had to REALLY slow down, breathe, and literally just count my blessings. Each year I keep going into the new year believing that the next HAS to be better than the last. The truth is that I just keep learning hard lessons. I keep needing to grow, get refined in certain areas and each year is starting to blend into another. 2018 was better than 2017…..but I felt insecure A LOT of the time. I am really trying to let God keep control and let him open the doors that need to be opened ect. Because trying to do all of this on my own is ridiculous and I am making more mistakes out of insecurity than if I just wait.
I am realizing many things about myself and Rob and looking at our next phase of life. Clarissa is the only one home and she is a sophomore. So knowing how these last couple years of high school is ( since she is number 6) …I know there are several changes coming our way soon. I am going to *try* to handle this better than I did with the others. It’s going to be difficult for Myself and Rob. We have become quite the nice 3 pack. We do so much together. Clarissa doesn’t hang out with her friends like normal teens. She spends all of her time with us. She is somewhat of an introvert. She likes being home and with the animals. She wants to get a job when she turns 16 and start polishing up her car. A Vintage bug that our friends gave to her. She has many plans for that bug. But the thought of her leaving is going to be difficult for me in many ways. It’s the end of rearing children. She is the last one. She is the one I am closest to….because we have had the most alone time together. We have many things in common. But on the other hand….I also feel like Rob and I can start making new plans. We can look to the future of our lives and what we want. We will no longer have to think about how many seats we have to have in a car. We will no longer have to purchase a house with 5 bedrooms. We can go on vacations. We can start planning our future in North Idaho. We don’t have to worry about schools, bus routes, opportunities for the kids ect. We can just focus on ourselves. I think it takes time to get out of that “parent” mindset. I still drive a suburban. I don’t “need” a suburban. But honestly its paid for and it hasn’t given me any issues. It’s good for the dogs and road trips. So I keep it. We really want to go back to the woods. Get out of the desert and back to the trees to be in the area that we like.
We have taken up kayaking this year. Which I absolutely love. It’s beautiful no matter where you go. It’s peaceful. There is something about water that is so calming and I love it. The three of us just loaded up to go. Elvis (the pom) is also a great kayaker. I think we could train our other dogs to go but they weigh so much, we’d have to get bigger kayaks. LOL.
We also went on several hikes this year. I decided to go to the WA trails association site and look up the hikes in my area. I made a list and we would try a new hike every week…sometimes more than once a week. It was a great way to get to see our area a bit better and try new scenery. It was fun to experience that. So hopefully we will finish that list this year. Then we will make a new list for a different area. I like lists.
I also learned that I take my health for granted. In the last few years with the weight loss ect..I realized that in leaps & bounds. How I sabotage myself, hurt myself with poor choices ect. All of that was within my own control. But this year I had an experience that was out of my control when I had an allergic reaction to bug bites. I have always had an adverse reaction to mosquitoes. But not anything unmanageable. This year I was bitten in several areas and my health was really compromised. I developed HUGE lesions & rashes all over my body. I developed 3 stys in my eyes ( that finally went a away a few weeks ago) and I was quarantined in my house for a week because my health was so compromised, I couldn’t use any soaps, shampoos, detergents ect. anything could have sent me into anaphylactic shock. That was painful, terrible and eye opening. I now take crazy precautions to go hiking or kayaking because I don’t want to experience that again.
Clarissa and I took a trip to Vegas to see family…and experience Vegas. In our non -drinking, non-gambling way. She has decided she didn’t like Vegas and she doesn’t need to experience that again. LOL We had to have “down” days because she just couldn’t “people” anymore. She also doesn’t like that much stimulation. Which was perfectly fine for me. I don’t mind working around that in my older age. But I can see that she is clearly going to be a gal who likes living in the country. I don’t think she will last in the big city long if she makes it there. she likes her animals and quiet time too much. It was nice meeting some family for the first time and learning.
Clarissa and I also took a journey to meet my Grandfather’s Sister. At the beginning of the year I didn’t even know he had any siblings. I didn’t know he had grown up in WA state…ect. It is so weird how family doesn’t talk or share? So through ancestry and the help of my FB friends, I located her and we have started a relationship. It’s been awesome! Clarissa and I went to the house that my grandfather grew up in, his grandmother’s house ect. Pretty interesting. There are so many stories and it’s funny how somethings just come full circle knowing the information. But also I have learned that I come from a long line of troubled men. The men in my family are usually a wreck ( I have this on both sides). Alcoholism, abandonment and womanizing are a common theme. The women on this particular side are difficult for me to relate too. I am thinking I relate much better to other branches of my family tree. But this side the woman that are talked about are troubled. One was a madam and suffered great loss for it. The other was abused by several men and sacrificed her children for it..hence the troubled men that were created. It’s a sad legacy. I guess there are several ways to look at things. But I can tell you that I am glad my daughter has better people to look to now. What I see is women being oppressed by men or a woman oppressing other women. Either case is terrible and I am glad I am in a position to make better choices.
So again in 2018 I went on a journey to learn about my roots to gain insight into my life and where I come from. It’s amazing to me how all of this is all connected and how so many things make us who we are. I don’t think my daughter has any of this insight yet….she is young. But I know she will remember all of this and carry it with her as she learns about herself and who she is. I didn’t get these types of experiences. So I am creating them now. Full transparency is what my kids get from me. I am thankful to my grandma because she has always been that way with me. I can ask her anything and she will tell me. In fact it was her that told me about my grandfather’s family and put me on the search. All I had to do was ask. She is becoming different now and memories are fading. Soon she may not know who I am anymore. So we may take a vacation together in 2019 to go see her one last time before she truly forgets me. That will also be difficult because when I say good bye to her it will be goodbye to the only person who truly believed me in a bad time, one who stood up for me, one who comforted me…. and related to me. When you are a child you remember those moments with clarity when you don’t have that at home. She is a complicated flawed person…but she was always in my corner. That goes a long way.
I guess, in a way I am sad to say good bye to 2018. It feels incomplete in some ways. I haven’t checked everything off the list. It doesn’t feel like I get a fresh slate for 2019…I hate an incomplete list. But time goes on and I don’t have a choice. I just have to accept what is….isn’t that life sometimes?
I am planning many goals for 2019. I want to get my pattern business up & going. I am well on my way.
I have focused a lot on my wool penny projects lately. All of my patterns are listed in my ETSY shop Here.
I am working with someone else to help me write my patterns. Rob is also trying to learn. So he can eventually take over. But I just don’t have time to do everything and computer technology doesn’t come easily for me. So it’s better for me to pay a friend of mine to write my patterns for me rather than stress and continue to hold myself back. On top of that quilting- to earn a living, designing, making the samples ect is a lot of work. So something has to give anyway. I would rather focus on areas that come easily to me rather than focus on ones I am not. It makes is easier to continue working the grind. So far I am being published 9 times in 2019 in various magazines. So I am also feverishly making those quilts and getting them shipped off. It’s such a honor to be published in the magazines and it’s helping me get my pattern business up and going. After I get my initial 10 hand stitching patterns are released –I am going to focus on a religious line of pieced patterns. Eventually, I will self publish all of my magazine quilts as well. I have to give them 90 day exclusives before I can publish them myself. So I really have 3 different lines in the works. I know that many of my patterns are going to appeal to a small niche of people simply because of the hand stitching and the religious aspects. But I am ok with that. I have to go with my heart. I have to create with what inspires me. I feel like I have to go with my heart and be true to myself. If I fail, I fail. It’s all growth.
So what I can tell so far in 2019….I am going to be busy. Like busy-busy. I am hoping that I can start getting more organized. Organized in the way of getting everything squared away to start aligning our life to our future goals. Getting prepared for the new phase in our life. We have a few years before that happens..but it would be in our best interest to start planning now. I would like to continue making progress in my business. I am really hoping that Rob can start working the home business. His back is not great and we really don’t want to have to make life altering choices to his back & body. So we are still in a race against time as far as that goes.
I am looking forward to 2019 because like all of the other years I am going to learn lots. I am just starting this new business venture and it’s going to have highs & lows like everything else. I am trying to bridge the gap between some of my adult children. It has not been easy. Having adult children that make poor choices is the WORST pain ever. I have had to distance myself in some situations simply because it’s too painful to watch. They know I am here if they need me…..but I cannot watch it, support it in any way. It’s just best for me to be available without actually seeing it happen. I don’t know how normal parents do this…..? I didn’t have normal parents. I refuse to enable in any way shape or form. So I am still learning. I am also fighting against millennials that believe if you “Disagree with them you are disrespecting them” which is an insane philosophy. People are allowed to disagree. We are not all robots programmed to think alike. That’s a terrible world. So I am waiting for them to become mature enough to change their philosophy. LOL. I may be waiting a long time. But I am hopeful.
I am looking forward to finishing our list of hikes, kayaking in the summer and spending time with my 3 pack. I want to see how far my design skills will take me and make progress on our goals. I have simple desires. I think I need to focus on simple things in life. It is the best.
Good Bye 2018.