On January 1st, 2023, for the first time in fifteen years, I didn’t write a year-naming blog post. 2022 had left me disillusioned and exhausted. Teaching traumatized children took unimaginable patience and energy. My father struggled with health issues, and continual worry had smothered what little creativity I had left. The only bright spot was my daughter’s decision to change industries and find a job that was closer to home and didn’t require 80-hour work weeks.
That’s when I decided 2023 would be the Year of Change. I felt the truth of it to my toes, yet, for some odd reason, it felt too raw, too personal, to share. Numerous times in January, I started to blog, but the words wouldn’t come. February turned to March, and still nothing. It wasn’t until April, when my father was hospitalized, that I understood why.
In May, Dad passed away, leaving his wife of over sixty years, three children, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grands. Substandard care from a short-term rehab facility had taken the cornerstone of our family, shaking the very foundation of our lives.
The loss was profound.
My father was extremely intelligent and had a slightly twisted sense of humor (which was one of the things I loved most about him.) His family came first–always. He loved unconditionally and was loved the same.
Emotionally, the past seven months have left me reeling. Do I continue to teach? And what about writing? Should I move?
I’ve decided I’ve had enough change for a while, and God knows we’re still struggling to adjust to this new world. So, instead of looking outward to fill the void left by Dad’s passing, I’ve decided to rebuild from within. I’m heading back to the gym and working on healthier eating habits. I’m writing again. And I’m reconnecting with you, my dear readers and friends.
2024 is the Year of Reclamation. It’s the year to emotionally recover, to rediscover creativity, and to improve. I’ll build on the solid foundation of a lifetime of love. I’ll reclaim who I am, define what’s most important, and invest in the things that are fulfilling and bring joy. And I’ll honor my father through laughter, learning, and love.
Wishing you much peace and prosperity this new year.