This time of year I always take some time to reflect on the year; the good, the bad and the ugly. Although there were some hard things to deal with, 2018 was good to me overall. I decided early on this year that I was going to focus on my health. I wanted to lose weight and just feel better physically. Although I gave it my best shot with personal trainers, gym workouts and trying to eat better, I wasn't successful with weight loss. It turns out some of my medication could be standing in the way of my progress. Even though I didn't lose the pounds I wanted to, I did improve my strength and built some muscles that helped change how my clothes fit. I guess I'll take what I can get and just keep at it for my overall health instead of a number on the scale.
Life gave me a wake-up call in May when I lost my grandfather unexpectedly. At 89 and in not the greatest health, it wasn't a total shock, but I thought I had more time with him. Being away has decreased the pain somewhat because I am not reminded of his absence everyday, but when I visit my family, there is a huge piece missing. I think of him all the time; when I see owls, water bottles that I need to return for the nickel, gardens and flannel shirts. Random little things remind me and I immediately see his face and hear his voice. This Christmas makes me sad since it was his favorite holiday. I remember all the Christmases we spent together and the smile on his face when we opened the gifts he gave us. I remember the laughs, the hugs and of course the comments about food he didn't like. This year when I make peanut brittle, I'm sad to know that I'm not sending any to him. His death is tough for me to accept and tears are falling from my face as I write this, but I am comforted to know he lived his life fully and I'm grateful that I had nearly 34 years with him.
After a slow work year, I was beginning to think my freelance business was caving in, but opportunity struck this fall. Through connections and my own outreach, I obtained three new clients and a part-time job, all in the mental health field. I couldn't be happier that these opportunities came about. It has given me the opportunity to contribute to missions that I am passionate about. Maybe my grandpa had a hand in making some good things come along.
Overall, gratitude is what I feel this year. I am grateful for my family's health, my stability in terms of mental health, the work opportunities that came our way and of course the sweet son of mine that keeps me going and reminds me that life is precious and worthwhile. I hope 2019 brings continued health and happiness, without any heartbreak.
Here's to 2019!