We Are Ready
We were ready last year and we are ready this year. There have been many challenges, most of which I choose not to blog about. Why? Because the muse tends to be my refuge from the stuff that life can throw at you. We are more than ready to put all of it behind us and move in a much more positive direction.
That is not to say that 2013 didn't include some awesomeness because it did. First and foremost, a family miracle. True story. We are so very grateful for the miracle, that the trials and tribulations that were scattered throughout 2013 seem small in comparison. Very small.
I've written lists of resolutions in the past at New Year's, and I've written them in the middle of years, and whenever the urge comes to me for that matter. This year I'll forgo a list of 'resolutions' that doesn't include an action plan to make it happen. Many thanks to my friend Celia for her great post on how she looked at things from a different perspective last year and didn't just resolve, but made plans to make things happen. I like that. I really, really like that.
So while we're all celebrating the start of 2014, I will also be considering not only 'what' I want to happen, but 'how' I'm going to make it happen. I'll be looking at things from 'that different perspective' and mapping things out more clearly and arming myself with an actual plan instead of just a list, and I'm actually really excited about this.
Before I move ahead though, a look back at some of the highlights of this past year which include:
* growing the blog and my other social media followings to 3,000+ followers. It's not so much the numbers that matter to me, but rather the people behind the numbers. To me, it's all about connecting and I've done a lot of connecting this year.
* getting to NYC for a much needed visit
* having part of our Irish family (G's sister and family), who we hadn't seen in 13 years, visit from Cyprus where they live
* celebrating our 25th anniversary. Whoop, whoop! How did that happen?
* great times with family and friends including: my Mom's big 80th Birthday Surprise Party, my Aunt and Uncle's 50th Anniversary Party, time with my Godmother at her kitchen table, hanging in the neighborhood, pizza night, champagne ladies....the list goes on and on
* publishing the first issue of the muse online magazine, a dream I've had for a very long time, and having it be received so well. I can't thank everyone enough for their comments and my sponsors for their support. Plans in the works already for issue 2.
* refocusing Bates Mercantile Co. and beginning to evolve it into a modern mercantile for home and business. I began to offer logo design and branding services, (some thing I've been doing in 3D for a long time) and which helped the shop go through the roof by the end of the year!
* piggybacking the above: working with so many new clients with varied businesses from so many different places, and helping them to brand their businesses for success. I love what I do and I appreciate the trust my clients put in me to design something to represent what is close to their hearts.
* a perfect day while we were in NYC, highlighted by an incredibly beautiful sunset cruise in the harbor and lunch in Little Italy across from where my Gramps was born and raised
* too many campfires in the back forty to count and too many glorious swims in the pool
* lots of walks with my pal Lucan
*taking so many pictures with the camera that Santa brought last year and learning, learning, learning more about photography
* trans-atlantic skype parties with Dublin and Cork
* never-ending beautiful sunsets at sunset meadows
* another heck of a 4th of July Lobster Bake
* being a student again, as part of Holly Becker's Blogging Your Way Course, which I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend
* a great holiday season, so far and more to come
I know there are more, but for now I am thankful for all of the above and my husband, our pal Lucan, a roof over our heads, our health, work on my desk, an extremely awesome support system of family and friends, food on the table, and a pillow to lay my head on at night.
So here's to 2013. Thanks for coming along for the ride. You guys are the best!
Note to 2014: "I've got your number."
Tonight, we will be celebrating with the neighborhoodlums, staring at one house, moving to the next and the next while being as ridiculous and as irreverent as possible. The 'basket of fun' will come out of the attic so we can adorn ourselves in shear silliness and good times are sure to ensue as well as: a sing song around the piano, B52s (and I'm not talking the band), good food at each stop, YouTube singing and dancing, perhaps some karaoking, and most definitely a Champagne toast. Top that off with the tears I cry every year as soon as Auld Lang Syne is played, and it will be a full and complete night in celebration of the past year and the year that is yet to be.
See you on the flip side.
Ciao for now,
Happy New Year!