One year ago I started my blog!

I began writing online in 2014 when my mom was diagnosed with cancer and had a Caring Bridge site. After she passed and there was no longer a reason to update her site, I missed it.  Combine that with the fact that I used to bounce my frequent “new” ideas off my mom (what a patient, kind and encouraging soul she was) and I had lost that outlet too. I missed it.

After losing her, I no longer felt the need to guard myself and be private about what I thought. If we’re all going to die, then it’s time we start doing what we want to do and be ourselves in the process. If not now, when?

While my blog was born out of sadness, it has led to many rich and varied experiences over the last year. I am grateful that such pain and loss could lead to something so fun and rewarding.

Writing each of my posts has been a gift and in most cases, I’ve received countless gifts of interactions from readers. Thank you, dear readers!

After one year, I wanted to provide an update on some of my past posts.

Grief – My grief has lessened significantly since I began my blog. I thank time, therapy, friends, God and family for that. My appetite and energy have returned. I can feel lighthearted. I am grateful to feel like myself again, a less innocent version of myself, but myself nevertheless.

Last week, I saw an athletic man playing golf who only had one arm. He had a big shoulder turn, hit the ball powerfully and was fun to watch. He could hit the ball a mile. If given the choice, this golfer would most likely choose to have two arms. But it’s not his choice. He has gone on with life and seemingly made the best of it.

It might be the same with losing a loved one. Over time, you get used to living with only “one arm.” The loss is always there. It never goes away, but it hurts less. And it starts to feel more normal, as unwanted as that new normal may be.

Losing Jerry Nachtigal – I never expected to write about the passing of a colleague on my blog, but I was glad to have a way to express my grief over this huge loss for our entire community. I was amazed at the reach of this post. It shows what a meaningful impact Jerry had on so many during his all too-short life.

Giving away my piano – This winter, I gave away my seldom-used piano to a new church that needed one.  I’m thrilled they are enjoying it.

Meditation – Early on, I wrote about the benefits of meditation and how much it helps me when I do it. I know this. Yet, I don’t do it regularly. After writing this post, I meditated regularly for a couple of months. But then it drifted by the wayside. I have no excuse. So I started back today. Maybe this next year I can be consistent…

Caffeine-free living – By and large, I’m still caffeine-free. I no longer get throbbing headaches at night when I’m exhausted because I don’t cover up my fatigue with caffeine during the day and push myself too hard. Some readers told me that this post helped them realize that their anxiety was related to too much caffeine. Glad to help!

Holmes – I wrote this year that no matter how much time and attention I gave to our puppy Holmes, he preferred to be with my husband. That has changed in a BIG way. Now *I* am all that matters in his world. He can’t bear for me to be out of his sight. That’s the way it should be, especially given that, as Joe says, I do “100% of the work” of taking care of Holmes. (I asked Joe if he was sure that it was 100%. He said, “101?”)

Writing for my blog is one of my favorite activities and even more special when you tell me that my posts help you in some way. Thank you for reading and sharing yourself with me. My life is all the richer for it. And it’s just plain fun too.

Thanks for being a part of my first year of blogging. Here’s to a good year ahead!