Monday, January 21, 2019


I had planned to do an end of the year post ... with all that happened last year my 2018 surely deserved that. But it didn't happen. So I decided I would do a New Year's post. Oops. How did it get to be the third week in January? This gal who used to spend most all of her time online has missed birthdays and special events and writing in my blog. Why?

Because I'm living my life. And it's good. Very good.

I started choosing "Words of the Year" in 2012 (Brave, Believe, Hope, Joy, Simplify, Grace, Renew) and they've each served me well.  Oh - except for my 2016 word. That was a total fail.

But anyways ... I needed to come up with a word for 2019 and nothing was jumping out at me. I could have used Simplify again because that IS going to happen this year, but it didn't feel like it was the right word for me.  So I took a little quiz on and it gave me the word DELIGHT.  I've sat with it for a bit and it feels rather perfect.

Delight:  Something or someone that gives great pleasure, satisfaction or happiness.

I have something ... and someone ... giving me just that. So DELIGHT, it is!

So ... 2018.  My goodness, what a year that was. I've read back through my blog and it actually feels like it was longer ago than just last year. I think it was the hardest year I've had since that first year after Vern died. I had to stop hiding my true feelings behind the facade I had created.

I was so very sure I would never date or find a second love. So when those unexpected feelings about dating surfaced there was a whole lot of stuff to work through. Heavy stuff. Hard stuff. And so many emotions. I sure bounced back and forth enough on that topic, but through it all I believed I was being guided.

By God.  By Vern.  By the Universe.
💖 to make the right choices
💖 to learn the hard lessons
💖 to open my heart to all of the possibilities

I am so very grateful that Jim entered my life and has added laughter, adventure and unexpected love. I had forgotten just how lovely it is to simply sit together watching tv, holding hands or even to cook and clean with someone you care about. And to be able to talk about anything and everything. The simple things. Living life. 

But this wonderful change has had its challenges. I had a very busy and active life going on before this. I put in a lot of volunteer hours each week within the Soaring Spirits widowed community, coordinating our Regional Group program, running the Widowed Pen Pal Program, spending time daily in Widowed Village, gathering volunteers for each of our Camp Widow weekends. And I'm a certified instructor for Brave Living's Soul Restoration curriculum and hold retreats and gatherings. Add in our 3 local Soaring Spirits regional group meetings each month and the friends that I meet regularly for breakfast or lunch and my days have always been packed. I purposefully did all of this to keep the loneliness at bay and it worked quite well for me all of these years.

But now ... well now I want to have time to do things with Jim.  New things. Travel. And that means many of these other things that have filled up my life are going to have to go.

But how do I decide what stays and what goes? I love all of the volunteer work that I do. And it's important work. But I'm not doing it as well as I have for the past many years. It's time for me to step away from some of it so others can have the opportunity to give back to the widowed community that 'saved' them, too.

And I have loved holding my Soul Restoration Retreats where I get to teach this powerful course. Giving women a few days of respite from all that their lives hold while providing them with these important tools is a wonderful thing. When I expected I would always be alone, doing this work felt like it was the answer ... it was what I was supposed to be doing during this final season of my life. So I scheduled two retreats for the first quarter of 2019 and rented two houses, and had plans to return to that wonderful house in Folly Beach for another retreat in the fall.

But I haven't received anywhere near the response I need to cover those house rentals, the curriculum materials, gifts and art supplies I've already purchased. Friends who said they would definitely be coming have backed out because of illness, other priorities, unexpected expenses. I get it.

So we'll have an intimate retreat this week here in Henderson. I'm spending these days preparing name tags, creating special surprises, printing support materials, gathering decorations and pillows and throws, planning the menu, and a ton of other things.  And I'll love every minute I spend with these four women who are giving themselves this truly special gift. We will learn and grow and make new friends, and share laughter and tears and some really good stuff.

And next week at this time I'll know exactly what I need to do.