Nearly one year ago, I wrote my last blog piece. It was about filling the piggy bank of life; broken down into three different categories, vitality, connections and contributions. I spent a great deal of time in 2018 focusing on each of these aspects.
This bucket of life was filled with activities that would nourish the mind, body and soul. I went on (silent) retreat in March. And during that time, I took refuge. This has helped me find more of who I am, what I stand for and how I approach my every day life. I also spent more time being conscious with my nutritional habits and exercise. Boxing and BJJ are two of my new favorite forms of exercise when I can’t be out in the woods hiking or making my way down the mountain on a snowboard. Continuing the self-care practice of meeting with my therapist is something I hope to continue for years to come. I have come to learn that having this regular meeting allows me to talk through emotions and feelings on all sorts of subjects from things going on in my personal life to how I approach situations in our global community.
2018 provided me a couple of wonderful opportunities to connect with friends that live far away. In April, a dear childhood friend came to visit. I feel fortunate that we were able to spend a few days of quality time with one another. Good food, good wine and even better conversation was had. Sitting on the couch, going through our past from so many years ago was a treat. But what was even better was seeing how much we have both grown. The way we think and act, knowing how much that plays a role in today’s society. And while we know that we will disagree from time to time, it does not mean that we dismiss the other for their thought process.
In August, I was lucky to spend time with my parents in Camden for a very low key vacation. Eating lobster every day was the only agenda item we had. A few other adventures included a trip to the flagship store of LL Bean, kayaking and hiking and driving through coastal Maine.
September brought me together with some college friends. At one point I was both teammate and roommate to each of these lovely ladies. Over the last several years, we have been living from coast to coast. So I used my 40th birthday as an excuse to gather us all in Chicago. I feel very blessed to have these strong, confident and independent women in my life.
People were not the only way to create connections this year. I found myself reading more books, both fiction and nonfiction. The MFA was a haven, especially when I felt a craving for creativity. And I discovered so many great podcasts. These were a wonderful alternative to listening/watching the every day news cycle.
This piggy bank of life is filled so many different ways. One of the reasons I left DC and moved to Boston fourteen years ago was because I was getting tired of the politics. This past year, I have spent more time standing up for what I believe is right when it comes to gun control, women’s rights, immigration, transgender rights, attacks against religious or spiritual homes. Attending the rallies, showing up, using my voice-that is democracy at its best.
Contributions also mean using my time, energy and other resources to causes that are important to me. I continue to donate platelets on a regular basis, signed up for Be the Match, support organizations important to me that need funding to keep up the great work they are doing.
I had hoped to spend more time in 2018 creating more content, both written and video. And while that will once again be a goal for 2019, I will not look harshly at myself for not doing more in 2018. Because this past year has been filled with so many great adventures in the woods, experiences with people from my past, coffee dates and dinners with friends.
May 2019 bring you and your loved ones health and joy.