Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hello 2018! Let's PLAY!

It has not escaped me that we are already 2 1/2 weeks into 2018.  But it has taken me a little longer to really wrap my arms about what I want and expect from this year, what my goals and dreams are and how I want to approach the year.  I'm starting to feel a little organized... not all the way yet... but getting there!

One Little Word - PLAY.  
What I know for sure is that I don't want this year to be all about work like last year was.  I'm still going to be traveling at least once a month for work, but I don't want to feel all-consumed by it. So I'm committed to MAKE time to play.  I joined Ali Edwards' One Little Word course again this year - turns out I really missed it last year although I doubt I'd have had time to keep  up anyway!
These are my initial pages for my One Little Word/ FIT album for 2018.  Not much in the way of art or decoration - I was trying to keep it simple and just get it done!

I also joined in Cathy Zielski's 2018 version of FIT again.  I'm carrying my theme of PLAY through the FIT exercises as well.  I want to approach fitness / wellness this year with a more lighthearted playful manner - just moving my body in ways that brings me joy and making healthy choices in what I feed my body and my soul!

I took photos and measurements but I'm keeping that private for now.  It's not about the numbers - it is all about how I FEEL this year!  Of course, I no sooner started tracking steps again and hitting my goal of 6000 steps per day than I somehow injured my foot and ended up with posterior tibial tendonitis.  But it is a temporary setback!  I'm still in a brace and probably won't get back to walking for a couple of weeks.  But I'm not letting that get me down.

In order to keep motivated to PLAY, I also joined Tamara Laporte's Life Book 2018 class.  Life Book is a year long mixed media art class that also incorporates bits of yoga, aromatherapy, mindfulness, and other wellness activities.  So far I'm thrilled with this course!  Here's a bit of what I've been making:
 This was our "warm up" exercise.  Which honestly took me an entire week because I wanted to do it justice.

This one was a week two "bonus" exercise.  Created while I was in Rockville for work.  I had only brought some neocolor II watercolor crayons and a couple of gel pens with me as supplies.  I bought the stamp and a super cheap black stamp pad at a craft store.  I used a coffee cup sleeve from my hotel room to stamp the texture.

This "compassion bear" was also a week two "bonus" exercise and created at the hotel room with very limited supplies.  I think I'd like a second go at this guy, but he'll have to do for now because I'm determined to keep up with the class!!!

What I really want to cultivate this year is a sense of lightheartedness, joy, freedom, space, and adventure.  I want to laugh more, move more, create more, and feel gratitude for all of life's little pleasures. I want to nurture my body, my soul, and my relationships.

I've chosen the hummingbird as my symbol for the year.  It is said to represent enjoyment of life and lightness of being.  That seems to sum up what I'm hoping for and working towards in 2018!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Goodbye 2017!

I had an unintentional seven month break from blogging.  I thought about all my blog friends - a LOT. I wrote posts in my mind.  I never quite made it back here to type them out and hit publish.  I'm hoping to do better this year.

Here's my 2017 recap:

January -   We opened a second shop in Phillipsburg NJ.  I traveled to Baltimore for the Board of Director's celebration dinner for our big merger.  I saw Menopause The Musical with my friend Rachel Riordan.  My daughter Rachel was diagnosed with a melanoma and underwent surgery to have two moles removed. One on her arm and one on her back - just above the bra line to the left of her spine.  The arm healed well.  The back did not.  The sutures ripped and the wound completely opened - a round hole about the size of a quarter.  To add insult to injury, after the surgery, Rachel was let go from her job at a real estate office - the agent decided he would rather have someone with experience than train her.  Cue drama and a new job search.   The non-healing surgical wound lead to a frustrating year of doctors visits and many different kinds of medical techniques to try to close the wound.  Not a single doctor was able to give us a reason why the wound wouldn't heal on its own as she is otherwise healthy, young, and not diabetic.

February -  Saw Postmodern Jukebox at Lehigh University with Sarah.  Travel to Rockville MD for work, followed by a three day scrapbooking trip to the shore with Sarah - I spent the whole time at the shore sick. 

March -  I attended two local day crops, attended an all day seminar at Lehigh University, but didn't travel outside PA a single day thanks to Snow Storm Stella cancelling our scheduled meetings!  Rachel got a job offer and began working at Entercom.  Jay got a job offer at RCA and gave his notice to MedDecision.  Becca got accepted into the PTA (Physical Therapy Assistant) program at Lehigh Carbon Community College.  It was a fantastic month! Good news times three!

April - On the 1st we moved Rachel to her new apartment in Manyunk.  Travel to Rockville for work meetings. Jay began his job at Recovery Centers of America. Travel to Belize with Deanna for a girls vacation.  Becca was let go from her job - the owner wanted to put his daughter in her position.  Cue more drama and another new job search.

May - Travel to Rockville & Baltimore for work. Had a bunch of doctor appointments.

June -  Sarah started seriously hunting for a house so she wouldn't have to continue renting.  We went to a few showings with her.   She also started her MBA program at Lehigh University while continuing to work full time.  Becca got a summer job nannying.  Travel to Rockville for work.

July - Travel to Rockville & Baltimore for work. Jay had surgery for melanoma on his cheek. My mother, Sandy, was diagnosed with metastatic soft tissue sarcoma that has invaded her liver.  Rare enough that they can't give her a time frame but it is terminal.  So far she is not sick and still doing well.

August - Family vacation in Ocean City, NJ.  The downtime was fantastic!  Becca started her PTA Program and got a part-time job in a PT office.  Jay finally gave up his 2003 Honda CRV with 315,901 miles and got a new car.  Travel to Rockville for work, but had to cut that trip short and fly to Memphis to deal with my sister Deanna's near-death experience after a fall from her horse.  She ruptured her spleen and had to have emergency surgery.  Spent 8 days taking care of her while trying to keep things moving at work remotely.  Flew home August 31st but thanks to weather almost didn't make it in time for ...

September -  Sarah's closing on her condo on the 1st.  There was a lot of drama with the mortgage company and appraiser in August and it almost didn't happen. But it did!  Sarah is now a homeowner.  Moved Becca into her apartment in Emmaus on the 9th.  Travel to Austin Texas for a work conference and from there straight to Hawaii, meeting up with Jay and my parents.  The trip was very enjoyable, but we had at least one snafu/mishap per day.  Kept things quite interesting.  Came home to find our cat Ashley near death with kidney failure.  Lots of vet visits, IV hydration, antibiotics, and a diet change and she is doing well again, but it was quite scary for a bit.

October -  Sarah and I attended the PA Women's Conference in Philadelphia.  Travel to Washington D.C. for the ACC Annual Meeting (days of sitting through continuing education seminars).

November - Sarah and I took my mother Sandy to New York City for a long weekend to fulfill a bucket list item.  Saw The Lion King and Book of Mormon on Broadway, took a carriage ride through Central Park, saw the 911 Memorial and Statue of Liberty.  So fun!  Rachel had skin graft surgery to close the surgical wound on her back and lived at home for a week during recovery so I could take care of her.  Travel to Rockville for work.  We celebrated  a quiet Thanksgiving here at home.

December - Lots of shopping online and prepping for Christmas. Travel to Rockville for work.  Came home and got sick.  Two days before Christmas I took myself to urgent care to deal with URI and bronchitis.  We had a wonderful Christmas at home and I took the week between Christmas and New Year's off.  As a family, went to STOMP at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia.

If you are still reading, you can see that 2017 was a real mixed bag for us with both good news and bad and a LOT happened to my little family.  I was away from home a total of 78 days last year which is unprecedented for me!  An average of 6.5 days a month, with the fewest days in one month being 3, the most being 19.  Work was crazy busy and I had almost no time to myself or to work on any creative projects.

I'm happy to say goodbye to 2017 and see what 2018 brings!