This year has brought lots of introspection on how to remain steady while the world swirls around in chaos, along with the realization that if we don’t find that place of peace inside of us, we can get caught up in all sorts of drama, created either by others or ourselves.
Life on this planet, while we are privileged to be here, is a steady stream of learning opportunities. The most important, in my mind, is to recognize that and embrace change.
2018 has brought its fair amount of changes and one of the biggest is holiday changes. This year we travelled to NJ for Thanksgiving, where Kelly and Greg hosted. And Andy and I wound up at the kid’s table (by choice, our kids haven’t taken completely over yet!).
And Christmas, which has always been at our house since I declared at the beginning of our marriage that, as a kid, I travelled to both sides of the family every Christmas Day and I just wanted to stay home, was at Tracey and Roberto’s house this year.
We did have our traditional Samoiloff-family gathering pre-Christmas, minus a few of my kids and plus my mom and Will (that’s another change beginning last year).
All this is just change, and I am embracing it. At least all my kids are within driving distance!
As for work, my little Dandelion Forest business finished in the black these year. Not deep in the black but in the black nonetheless and I figured some things out. Thank you to all who supported me in this endeavor, especially Andy.
Andy, always steady, is doing great. Once again he qualified in The Senior Games, so we are headed to New Mexico next year as he competes in the long jump and 200. He also qualified for the high jump but his knee doesn’t hold up for more than a few jumps in that event, so I’m hoping he remembers that!
This fall we took a trip back to Hawaii – this time the big island, which I loved (the lava fascinated me) – to spread the ashes of a friend (his mom was from Hawaii) and his wife. We made a 2-week vacation of it, also visiting California and seeing San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, seeing redwoods, Nappa Valley, and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, where the grand Sequoias dwell. From there we went to Colorado to visit family (Cindy and Bill), which was full of fun. It was a great trip, and I crossed a few things off my bucket list!
We also visited friends in Wisconsin and I had a surprise birthday visit from my sister in June and we visited places from our childhood. Speaking of changes.
The “kids” are all doing great. Tracey is busy working towards her VTS (veterinary technician specialty) in anesthesia, Roberto is building up his client base at a new tennis facility closer to home, Alex and Caroline are busy with wedding plans and Caroline with a new job in the public school district of Dover/Sherbourn, Kelly and Greg are still working in NYC – Greg in finance, Kelly planning and overseeing running events including the NYC marathon.
As for the next generation, a.k.a. grandkids, it doesn’t get better than this. Landon is 4 1/2 already, a caring big brother and so much fun and little Leiana, at 21 months, is talkative, precocious, and determined to do anything Landon does. Their parents give them lots of learning opportunities and it shows. Start cooking, they pull a step stool up to help. And Landon is all over stacking wood with Papa and helping him with fires. You gotta embrace these years of kids wanting to help!
One of the hardest changes this year was losing our kitty Gracie to a cancer of the jaw, in March. She was 12. I still miss her.
The last change I wanted to mention is that I found my way back to church. Actually, to the same church we were at for 18 years in the center of Princeton. It began with a desire to pray for all that was going on in this world that was breaking my heart (not going to even mention things, I know so many of you who are right here with me and know) and meeting the new minister. I wanted to know if the church had any prayer vigils planned. There weren’t, but she invited me right in to help her (and others) plan a peace and unity service. And I stayed. Everyone has welcomed me back with open arms. It’s been an interesting faith journey that has helped me embrace what I truly believe.
Hope your year was full of good changes, that you’ve found your inner peace (or are at least seeking it), and that 2019 brings many blessings.
Peace and love and herbs!