Saturday, December 30, 2023

2023 ~ A Year Filled With Challenges, New Experiences, Acceptance & Gratitude


At the beginning of each new year, I like to consider with gratitude the fact that I’ve lived a blessed life with experiences I could not have fathomed during my childhood in Logansport, Indiana. The journey has been enlightening, glorious, at times painful & sorrowful,  joyful, interesting, and given me tools of resilience, learning my self worth, and a realization that I’ve earned certain good fortune and privileges.

I am filled with gratitude that my 91 year old father is still among us, that my brother left a happy life in Texas and moved back to  Indiana to look him, and that whiskey and cigars have kept them mostly peaceful.

My husband and I celebrated the anniversary of the day we met in February at the incomparable Inn at Little Washington, a destination on our bucket lists that fulfilled all expectations. 

Then, I discovered my Lasik surgery had not failed after several years. Instead, I was diagnosed with bilateral cataracts. Despite the realization that my health insurance would not pay for the laser treatment that brings the most favorable outcomes, I decided it would be worth the expense to undergo the laser surgery with artificial lens implants. The results have been astounding. My vision is back to where it was 15 years ago. A true miracle of modern medicine. 

My delightful spousal unit convinced me to hire a personal style consultant to help me fine tune my wardrobe, eliminate items that did not serve me well, and curate a closet full of YES! I retained Lani & Kyle with Real Life Style in Washington, DC. The process was exciting, and resulted in 17 bags of donations, a virtual closet with outfits put together for me, a style profile, a guide to my power colors, and the suggestion to avoid buying anymore shoes. Well, I bought FEWER shoes in 2023. 

We adopted our orange Siberian kitty, Milo, on Mother’s Day. We’d been without an orange boy for a couple of years. Life is just better with an orange cat. How could anyone resist that sweet face!

The summer arrived with my having a frightening accident on the Pennsylvania turnpike, followed by two unsettling bacterial infections and the need to replace our entire HVAC system during the hottest weeks of July and August. But I am grateful that no other vehicles were involved in the auto accident and that modern medicine and strong antibiotics saved me from the infection that could have resulted in sepsis. Not to mention, I was able to replace the Honda Pilot with a car I love! We are fortunate that our hard work over the years have provided the financial resources to weather these challenges. 

And we finally, thanks to Elon Musk and Starlink, have reasonably priced internet service that allows us to stream video and move into the 21st century. Thanks to his ingenuity, we have Starlink, PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla. He’s earned his billions. 

The deteriorating health of my beloved in-laws has caused sadness. Todd and I are making frequent trips to Michigan and Indiana, generally separately because of our individual needs to give honor to the parents that raised us. But we are both grateful to have them still in our lives and want them to feel appreciated while they are alive rather than having regrets later. 

Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is not always easy. But it does help me to keep things in perspective.

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