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What A Year

Empowering.

If I had to pick a word to describe how this year has gone, that would be it. Despite the fact that half the year still fell into the “virtual” world, it’s been full of incredible experiences. While there were certainly moments of loss, anger, sadness, failures and frustrations, the happy moments took the lead. Let’s recap some of my favorite moments and how they’ve helped me create deeper connections with myself and everyone else.

Yoganuary.

I wrote an entire blog dedicated to this particular event, and honestly, it is the very thing that sparked my love of yoga and prompted me to get my 200 YTT. Yoga is not about the cool poses and fun flows (though they are awesome), but it truly is an embodiment of learning to love yourself from the inside out, and getting to know the parts of you that you suppress. Learning to be present in the moment and practicing self-love is at the heart of any yoga practice and it really sets the tone for the entire year ahead. 

Puppies!

My girl had puppies not once, but TWICE, this year. This was one of those really daunting situations that almost got the best of me, especially the second time. If you think having your own kids is hard, try having 11 puppies on top of that! However, helping Mama dog birth her babies and make sure she was settled, taking care of the pups and feeding them when the time came, and then making sure they all had good homes… that was special. Puppy kisses and snuggles are magical and I sure had my fair share of them this year.

Remodeling.

The sound of tile being pried off the wall and falling into a heap in the tub. A hammer breaking into old drywall before it gets pulled away. The first swing of that sledge hammer against the cast iron tub. The first screw sunk into the fresh drywall. Those are moments I will likely never forget. Yes, the act of remodeling an entire bathroom by myself from start to finish is a huge thing, but it’s really all the small parts that make it magical. It was a major learning process and it took a lot of virtual help from my dad to make it through, but I did it and in the process I learned that I was capable of so much more than I’d ever given myself credit for. So much so, that I redid the floor in the family room and custom built bookshelves for the fireplace.

Hiking.

One of my favorite adventures is hiking, and finding beautiful spots is super easy around here. In July I took my first solo trip to Crabtree Falls and spent a glorious few days hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains and finding new adventures. I was in a dead spot so I had no service for days but that was part of the magic. Disconnecting from the digital world and allowing my senses to be fully immersed in my surroundings is something I think everyone should experience. Falling asleep to the sound of the river next to my cabin, hearing the splash of water as I was nearing the falls, and even getting stung by an unknown bug halfway down the trail… All of those things made the experience more magical. I also have to say that the act of doing things by yourself is something everyone should experience. To really be comfortable with yourself allows you to learn who you truly are, or want to be.

Family Time.

This year was full of traveling and there was so much time spent among family. A spontaneous trip in February to help my mom led to nearly six months worth of back and forth madness between us. The kids were fortunate enough to be virtual in school so they got to spend a lot of time between me and their family in MI visiting. Those are moments they will cherish forever. Having the family come here and visit, spend quality time together and heading up there with the kids to spend more time together, it’s magic. We spent some time exploring the Upper Peninsula of MI as well (a new tradition for us) and the kids had a blast seeing all the cool sights and experiencing that history. It was a spontaneous trip to the mountains to collect my kids after a week away that easily became my favorite trip though. A roadside/riverside campground set near a National Park but somehow feeling as though it’s in the middle of nowhere. A rooster that crows all day long. Mystical fire that captivates it’s audience. A hike through the river and up to the Devil’s Bathtub. Spontaneous laughter and watching my kids enjoy the art of “roughing it”. Those are the moments that made the trips magical.

Lessons in life.

When I look back on this year and I consider all of the things that I was able to do, I think the greatest lesson learned is the ability to know just how beautiful life truly is. I think that many people, myself included, often neglect to look beyond the larger moments. The moments in between the “highlights”, those are the moments that truly embody what life is all about. Those are the moments that tell your greatest stories. This year was full of so much love and laughter, wild adventures, new beginnings, and joyous moments. There has been love lost, challenges and trials in my marriage, stressful situations in my day-to-day, and many other negative moments. As I sit here and reflect on it all though, those magical in between moments take the lead in creating an incredible year.

If there is anything I would encourage you to do as you’re getting ready to embark on a New Year and new opportunities, it would be to reflect on those in-between moments. When you look back at the year behind you, don’t look at the significant things that have happened, but the moments in between those. Take the bad as it comes but focus on the lessons that you learn because of it and the good that happens.

My hope for the coming year is to continue challenging myself to be better than I was the day before and to continue focusing my time and energy on the positives.

May you all have a wonderful last day of the year.

 Happy New Year!

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