I’ve been putting it off you know. That look back, that summation of last year. Undaunted, I launched into my new year claiming my words and feeling the boldness of clean slates. I faltered but stood again. But I tripped when I reread my last years goals.

In my letter to myself in the future, I was sure I’d have written great big important pieces by now and gotten smaller ones published. I was supposed to emerge a leader and organize myself and others. But all I could see was that I’d failed myself, my year’s intentions were blown.

Seeing others’ New Year last year wrap-ups made me wince. Then I read fearless leader of the Self-Made Society Caroline Kelso’s Letter to the Union, her borrowed version of a last year wrap up, and I kinda liked that format. A state of my union address. I knew I still needed to be able to leave last year behind in a clean and organized fashion. I’d write a blog post as a breadcrumb trail leading to my future and back to my past. So I figured I should get to it. And now I have.

Sanctuary decorations 2015 on Shalavee.com

I’d like to think that last year wasn’t a complete waste of time. I need to separate out the wonderful from the weeds to make final sense of it so I can let it go and start again. Here goes.


I started the year out right by searching for the right therapist for the work I needed to do. Mainly to build my dragging self-esteem, claim my value, and step confidently into the person I know I already am. So much progress was made towards that effort. A therapist is the only person who has no stake in you , completely third party neutral, so you can truly trust them to tell you the truth. Especially when that may be harder to hear.

My esteem has been raised immensely, I’ve claimed my value in many ways including artistic talent, friendship worth, and self-respect.

Fiona's room on Shalavee.com

I made many new friends online and off, met up with some new friends, joined challenges online and was a part of artistic and heart helping communities. I worked hard on those connections and they have bouyed me in ways I didn’t expect. Came out of hiding and they joined me. I’ve been vulnerable, asked for support, and I’ve been generously given what I’ve asked for and more. Beginning to believe I can do more of that.

My work on my cognitive distortions reduction has helped decrease my anxieties immensely.

I said yes to teaching a blogging workshop. That turned out way better than I’d thought it would. And then I had to acknowledge that as an accomplishment which I did.

Farm to Table Dinner at Turnbridge Point in Denton, Maryland on Shalavee.com

Artistically, I painted a floorcloth, decorated Fiona’s room to my satisfaction, participated in a couple of creative challenges, a gift exchange, continued to blog three days a week and a month straight in October, decorated a house for Christmas tour, asked to meet with event decorators, pitched an idea for a class to teach and was asked to submit a proposal, discussed teaming up with owner of Moonvine and my friend Pama next holiday season to decorate houses, and showed up to help a creative workshop function. And opened that Etsy shop.

I showed up for me and I showed up for my community taking pictures, writing, and sharing my process boldly so that others might benefit from this. Here are the pictures of my neighbors Steve Konopelski and Rob Griffith‘s Turnbridge Point Bed and Breakfast and the Farm to Table Dinner on the back lawn.

And I reopened a bank account for myself. I do my work before I look at emails and social media most of the time. And I asked for a little more support at home to get what I can accomplished from being more proactive to asking for kid coverage from Mark.

2015 was about turning up the volume on my purpose, continuing to do the work, showing up for me and my community, family, and friends, and slowing down towards the cessation of the negative thoughts. One step at a time, one moment at a time.

Grieving the Losses

2015 did not see me get published as I’d hoped. I tried and tried and gave up submitting for a while as my skin wasn’t thick enough. I did also realize that I’d been submitting to the wrong places. And that felt like something good from it all.

I spent most of the year avoiding that Etsy shop which made me feel badly all year. I amended that here in 2016 but the avoidance was torturous.

And I had a very sad and bad experience putting my trust and my artistic worth into someone’s hands that I shouldn’t have. But where I lost, I grieved, and I gained three times as much moxie and wisdom.

I didn’t do the major writing I’d hoped to do to create an e-book to gain readership or write another newsletter. I never felt like I had enough time to delve into anything larger.Small work in small chunks is still work though.

I didn’t read a book or finish my online branding course. I didn’t go on vacation or have any major downtime for myself. And I seem to be maintaining the same overweight I’ve had for some years now.

I am still not earning any money regularly for myself however that bank account I did start has what I have made waiting for a blog make over.

Eamon and Fiona at Martinak on Shalavee.com



I guess I was still waiting for a “Eureka” to tell me what my life was supposed to be about and how I was going to go about achieving that. But meanwhile, it would seem I’ve already been creating that life one good choice at a time. I’m cautious and creatively prolific and I think that this next year will show that all of my choices were leading me to discover the right path for me. Not the path that I think I should take but the one I’ve been blindly leading myself towards this whole time. It takes as long as it takes. And seeing all that I really did achieve in 2015 makes me realize the devil and the proof is in the details.

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And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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