Let it go!

blogIMG_2479 (2)Last night, December 31st, another year of living was placed in the books for us. If you desire to live a year full of purpose, New Year’s Eve always seems like an appropriate time to evaluate where you’ve been and where you want to go as the New Year descends upon us. 

And that is exactly what lies ahead of us today – a full year (God willing) to live a life. A life of purpose. A life of meaning. A life that doesn’t just go through the motions but one that makes a difference in the lives of others.

It’s New Year’s Day. A day filled with promise and hope for what is to come in this year called 2019. I’m not a resolution kind of making person; for me, resolutions are too easily broken. But I do spend moments considering what plans I may have for a fresh new year.

But I before I expound on that, I want to express in writing my thoughts about 2018 as it wanes its way into the past.  

On a personal level, last year had its ups and downs, its highs and lows, just like any other year and any other person’s life. Papa and I journeyed on some amazing trips and made memories to last, experiencing sights and activities we hadn’t seen or done before. And I added five more states to my visiting all of our United States bucket list, bringing the total up to 40 – only 10 more to go!

Great family times of togetherness added to our memory banks. Learning another grandchild will join our family circle was yet another highlight of the year and just at Christmas time, we also learned the gender of our wee one to come – another sweet little girl!

In my cyber-world of blogging, I managed to write and post 154 times, but I think my biggest accomplishment was posting 30 days all in a row during the month of November when I chronicled my Thanks Giving each day. I gained new readers in 2018 but more importantly, I was encouraged by readers’ kind words and thoughtful expressions. 

All of those aspects added happiness and accomplishment to my life, but at the same time, I found myself letting go of certain entrapments as well.

It may sound trivial but this past year, I decided to stop getting my hair colored. For most of my life, I’ve been told I looked younger than I actually was. And to continue that nice compliment, I started covering up my graying hair several years ago.

As my hair gradually became whiter, those hair appointments became more frequent and more expensive. For what? Vanity? I am the age I am – this new year will be a milestone one when I turn 65 – so why not embrace my age?

My hair stylist worked wonders in helping me make the switch from colored hair to natural. And you know what? I’ve gotten more compliments on my natural white/gray hair than I did when it was dyed.

It honestly has been a freeing experience. I’m not a slave to hair color any longer. Hair appointments take less time since all I require is a haircut now and my checkbook is happier for it as well.

What else have I let go this past year? The checkbook. In the past 40-some years of our marriage, this Mama took care of paying all the bills and managing our checking account because Papa was either traveling for business or just didn’t have time to handle it all. But now with Papa being semi-retired, he has taken over this chore. That too has been liberating for me as it has taken that burden off my mind.

I’ve also released my worry and concern over middle daughter finding a home of her own not too far away. She recently purchased a home very near this empty nest which will make it easier for this Nana to babysit Little One and we will be nearby if they need us.

And finally, I’m unleashing a chain that has kept me bound for too long – a chain of unforgiveness and bitterness.  That burden has been most wearisome and I’m more than relieved to be free of it.

It’s a New Year. It’s time to let go of those things that bind, those things that hinder, those things that are better left in the past. It’s time to let go of 2018 and embrace 2019.  

Happy New Year!

“When you let go, you are truly free.” ~ Unknown

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

Out of the ordinary

blogIMG_2491(2)It’s Monday. And I don’t usually post here at Mama’s Empty Nest on Mondays.

But I ran across a quote last week that fits the bill today.

“Do something out of the ordinary. It not only creates a memory, it sets a standard.” ~ unknown source

So I’m doing something a little out of the ordinary by posting on a Monday. But this isn’t just any old Monday.

Today is the very first Monday in this brand new year of 2018.

2018!! My mind marvels that we are 18 years into this millennia. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were crossing our fingers that the Y2K bug wasn’t going to create havoc as predicted? And it turned out to be much ado about nothing. (Forgive me, William Shakespeare.)

Today is New Year’s Day. We said goodbye to the old year 2017 last night and we welcome in the new year with great expectations. (Forgive me, Charles Dickens.)

Today is a milestone. A day when many folks begin New Year’s resolutions. Or a diet. Or decide to make some kind of change in their lives.

Empty spaces on my new 2018 calendar remind me that I have the opportunity to live out that quote above. Do something out of the ordinary. Create memories. Set standards.

Empty spaces on this blog remind me that I have an entire year of writing to plan. I find myself contemplating how to proceed, what direction to take for this blog in this new year.  I do want to create lovely memories for folks to read about. And at the same time, I want to set standards for my blog as well.

So do I just continue doing what I’ve been doing? Writing as inspiration comes to me? Participating in weekly photo challenges so I can continue sharing what I enjoy – amateur photography? Lining up photos for Wordless Wednesday?

Should I select a theme for the year or concentrate on a special word that I’ve chosen as ‘my word’ for the year?

Perhaps I should reopen my “book of opportunity” that I wrote about back in 2011? Click to read Chapter One back then.

Or should I choose something completely out of the ordinary?

Maybe you, dear readers, can help me decide. I’d love to hear your feedback on what you’d like to see on this blog and even what you don’t want to see, so please leave a comment giving me your thoughts. 

In the meantime, I wish each and every one of you a happy and blessed New Year. And I leave you today, this first Monday of 2018, with an old Irish blessing (even though I’m not Irish, I love those blessings).

May the blessing of light be upon you,
Light on the outside, 
Light on the inside.

With God’s sunlight shining on you, 
May your heart glow with warmth, 
Like a turf fire 
that welcomes friends and strangers alike.

May the light of the Lord shine from your eyes,
Like a candle in the window, 
Welcoming the weary traveler.

Happy New Year from Mama’s Empty Nest! 

©2018 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com