Well, hello there!
If you're still checking in here, I applaud you for your persistence. You, Dear Reader, by your appearance in my stats, are demonstrating that you do not solely exist in my imagination, and for that you have my undying guilt for not posting more often.
This is the time of year of renewed commitments, however, and it seems (from a glance at my journals going back as far as the 1980's) that hope springs eternal in my optimistic soul, and THIS is the year that I will both post here regularly AND finally lose those 10 pounds.
I thought I'd start out by wrapping up 2013 with a brief highlight reel.
Visited my dear friend since Kindergarten (that's approximately 45 years, for those of you without a calculator) and her two wonderful daughters in Baltimore.
Hiked the annual National Trail Trek 15 miles across South Mountain in Phoenix...in the RAIN...and still consider it one of the best hikes of my life.
Took a breather in Morro Bay to visit my family, friends, and the ocean (pretty much in that order)
Attended a national hospice conference in New Orleans where I met several of my hospice heroes, including Ira Byock pictured here.
Went on my first solo vacation to Maui, dubbing it "Celebrating my Singleness Tour"(little did I know that my singleness would not last much longer...) and got my first (and probably last) tattoo, a quote from "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver
Hiked the Grand Canyon with my Hiking Sistahs, the intrepid women I met back in 2008 and have been hiking and camping with ever since.
Beth and I held our first Self Care Camp for our hospice co-workers, which felt like both a dream come true and the start of something big.
Reunionized with my extended family in a gigantic house in Idaho, meeting some of my cousins' kids for the first time!
The month ended tragically for our Prescott community with 19 elite fire fighters losing their lives in the Yarnell Hill fire. We are still grieving, and will never forget their sacrifice. This is a makeshift memorial that developed around their station in town and was kept up through the summer.
Met and shared a Mustache Moment with my WNBA Hero, Britney Griner and good friend Sue.
Celebrated my 30th High School Reunion and had WAY more fun than I expected to!
Finally admitted to myself that I needed some chemical rebalancing in my life and started back on Prozac.
Enlisted in Boot Camp for Women and tried to give up breakfasts like this! (Except this one was cooked for me by my dear co-workers who took pity on me for working early on a weekend. I have the best co-workers ever.)
Attended a camp/retreat for "Courage, Creativity, and Community" in Lake Lanier, Georgia where I met two of my Internet Writer Heroes and made several new friends. Came away inspired to put more energy and confidence into creative endeavors.
Spent Thanksgiving with my mom for the first time in ages, and my family combined with my girlfriend's family easily and seamlessly.
I also moved to a new rental house and down-sized AGAIN...only this time I threw away the boxes after unpacking them.
Went on a novel-reading binge, met the Clauses, and ended the year with a new car to celebrate the fruits of my labor this year.
When I sat down to write the summary of the year, I could only jot down a few of these experiences from memory. How quickly I forget. Seeing it all here in one place (and there was MUCH more that could have been included as a highlight), it sinks in again how fortunate I have been to have such wonderful people in my life, and to have the chance to travel to see them and meet them.
It's been an amazing year, full of wonder and surprises. Bring it on, 2014. I'm ready.