A Letter to Myself One Year Ago

Last year on this day, I had my last living conversation with my Dad. Looking back, it is a conversation I will always cherish. This past year I have learned so much and if I could go back in time, here’s what I would tell my myself. [Read more…]

Letting Go of 2016 and Setting Intentions for 2017

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For the past several years, I’ve started the New Year feeling motivated. I set big, lofty goals and set out to achieve them. I worked my butt off and when I achieved my goal I would set a new one. It lead to a lot of chasing, a lot of pushing and a lot of work. This year I’m feeling different.

At the beginning of 2016 I set the theme of  “focusing on what matters” in an attempt to simplify my life. But of course, because as soon as you try to plan and control your life, I was reminded that life never goes according to plan and 2016 became the year of CHANGE.

Looking back I think that setting these focuses for my life was God’s way of preparing me for what was to come. I needed a reminder of my foundation before my life was completely turned upside down.

On February 25th, 2016 my life was forever changed. My usual morning phone call to my Dad was unanswered and in my gut I knew something was wrong. I called and I called and text and emailed with no response. Within less than an hour with help of family and friends it was confirmed what I already knew in my heart, my Dad was gone. He had suffered a heart attack peacefully at home and went quickly and poetically after helping shovel his neighbor’s snow.

Losing him unexpectedly forced me to quickly accept what had happened. I had the unfortunate advantage of already losing my Mom so this time things hit me hard and quickly. There was no denial, just gut-wrenching pain and quick acceptance. I found peace in our last conversation about finally feeling comfortable as a working Mom, him telling me how proud he was of me and him getting to see a picture of Buel that day. “He’s getting so big” was the last thing my Dad said to me.

The months that followed by Dad’s passing were a blur. I kept myself busy with managing my parents’ estate and my organizational skills became crucial. In four months I closed out every single bill, selling the company that my Dad started when he was in his early twenties and sold my childhood home.

At the same time, amazing things happened for our family. I do not see this as a coincidence but more so a reminder that things in life happen for a reason. A month following my Dad’s passing we finally got approval for our short sale after eleven months of waiting, quickly put our condo on the market and sold it within 24 hours. And from there, our life went into overdrive.

The second half of 2016 was one where I stretched myself further than I ever thought I could. I became determined to make my life exactly what I wanted it with my priorities clearer than they had ever been before. The last six months of the year were all about pushing, striving and working.

As the year ended we finally were able to slow down and I spent the month reflecting on what had happened. I struggled with constant, all encompassing feeling of guilt from what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. We had the life worked so hard was achieved but it came at a cost and nothing felt quite right.

It’s a weird feeling to struggle with happiness while grieving. To some extent it feels wrong but a part of me always remember that my parents would be proud of me. This constant back-and-forth is something I need to let go of before I’m able to move on.

So, as we start the new year I am letting go of 2016. I’ve accepted every part of the year, both good and bad and I’m ready to move on.

seek-kathleen-clipper-day-8-web-version-716x1024In 2017 my intention is contentment. My goal is to find peace in every situation and accept that the positive can still exist despite the negative. I want to find ease in our every day routines, let go of my need for perfection and embrace the messiness. I want to slow down and enjoy the little moments with my son. I want to nourish my body and continue to take care of myself, encourage my husband to do the same and foster my friendships. And most of all, I want to practice gratitude and shift my focus from the negative that will inevitably exist no matter how hard I push, plan or focus. I’m ready to let go and just be content.

What are you letting go of from 2016? What are your intentions in 2017?

 

 

What It Feels Like To Lose Someone You Love

There have been many moments lately when I have considered retiring this blog. The things I used to write about seem silly and my life is so different than when I first began writing.

I share this post because I feel at times when you’re grieving you feel like no one gets it- but there are people out there who do. Losing someone you love changes you in ways you never expect. But I’m here to say that unfortunately I’ve been through it, but fortunately I know that good can come of the situation. But man, it changes you.

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How We’re Doing

Good Evening!

We are back home after a whirlwind eleven days and it is very bittersweet. We have kept so busy that both Rich and I are kind of bracing ourselves for things to hit us. In the meantime though, we’re just exhausted.

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A To Do List For A Happy Life

First of all, thanks so much for all of the kind words and thoughts. This week has been one of the hardest in my life but also a time where I have found clarity as to what matters to me. While both of my parents died too soon, they were both examples of lives that were truly lived.

Everyone I talk to tells me how strong I am, but the truth is I have no choice. I can either accept what happened and solider on or let it defeat me. That is not an option. Instead, I’ve kept myself busy handling the arrangements and the logistics of handling selling my father’s company and his estate. At 29 years old, this all feel much too adult to handle but at the same time it’s what I have to do. And for Buel’s sake, I am able to take a break from all of the overwhelming talks to be with him and laugh. He’s been our saving grace.

Instead of letting the situation destroy me, what I have found is clarity to continue to live my life according to the example they set for me. Today, we celebrate my Dad’s life and I thought I would share the thoughts I plan on reading at his service. Wish me luck.

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The Day That I Knew

Every year during the week of Thanksgiving, I find myself extra crabby and agitated. I always attribute it to the stress of the holiday until it finally hits me. But that’s the thing about grief- it hits you like a ton of bricks when you least expect it.

This is when I’ve learned to be easy on myself. To slow down, relax and spend some time reflecting.

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Monday Motivation

Maya Angelou

This week marks three years since my Mom passed away. It’s pretty humbling to think how much has changed since then- I’ve moved, gotten married and grown so much emotionally. As the time has passed, grieving hasn’t necessarily gotten easier but something that I have learned to accept and learn from rather than let take over my life.

The hardest part about the time that has passed is how long ago having my Mom in my life seems. When this is hard to accept, I find comfort in knowing how much my Mom is a part of me. During her last year, she constantly told me that she would always be with me and looking back, she was so right. I’m constantly thinking about the ways I’m like my Mom and this is where I find comfort.

One thing that I’m constantly reminded of is how much appreciation my Mom had for life. She knew her life was going to be short, so she truly lived every moment to the fullest. She tried her best to mend past wounds and forgive, have faith in the future and enjoy the current moment by making it as much of a celebration as possible. Three years later, this is something that I constantly remind myself and try to live out my Mom’s legacy by living my life like she taught me.