Happy 2023 - A New, 365 Day Journey in Love


I'm a day late writing about the New Year--for this, the critical voice of self-judgement is brimming in my head, but I won't release that negative thought.  Not today.  Not this year.  (I hope.)


I'm starting 2023 in a slightly awkward place.  My job was eliminated back in October, and I left feeling unappreciated for my 21 years of service.  Still, my heart jumps back and forth from aching to rejoicing. I knew for some time, I wasn't passionate about my work anymore.  I cared about many of the friends I made there, but the leadership was toxic--making callous decisions for their own self-preservation.

It was hard to leave, but I knew my exit would provide a new personal freedom--a freedom to start over again--a freedom to even recreate myself.  But, as I write this, my indecisive nature keeps me stifled.  "Who do I want to be?" I hear my subconscious voice ask my heart hundreds of times each day.  I read through lists of job openings, and I waffle. Do I want to work here?  What will the commute be like?  Will the pay be decent? Will I have a work-life balance?  Will the job feel rewarding?  Fear takes over until I remember that I've been craving a new beginning.  So, I am exactly where I need to be...

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2022 was an interesting year.  My sister-in-law was living with us for the first six months until she could find an affordable apartment.  My husband was taking her back and forth for chemo treatments while I was doing my best to help uplift her spirits and get her settled into a new place.  My son couldn't have friends over the house during this time, so we made up for it by taking the boys to the movies, snow tubing, rollerskating, and bowling.  Big Lew, Little Lewie, and I also had a chance to see Jim Gaffigan live at Foxwoods, which would be Lewie's first experience watching a standup comedian live. 

We all came down with COVID in May, which was quite a scare, but thanks to the vaccines and new medications on the market, we survived it without any complications. Still, I continue to have "brain fog" and wonder if it's from long COVID.

In June, we took a trip of a lifetime to see the Mighty Five National Parks in Utah.  I haven't begun to write about our full experience yet, but I have a folder on my desk with all the brochures, so I don't leave out any details. Highlights of the trip included hiking to the Delicate Arch, sleeping in a Tee-pee, learning how to "canyoneer," and winding our way around hoodoos and slot canyons.  It was the perfect distraction from my unfulfilling work life and my strange, public home life, where my sister-in-law was around 24/7 to see my every move.

In July, we helped my sister-in-law move out, and Lewie resumed his friend sleepovers.  They watched outside movies, swam at night, and ate breakfasts from Dunkin Donuts in the morning.  We also took them to Lake Compounce Amusement Park, Sand Jam Movie Night at Penfield Beach, and boat tubing on Lake Gardner.  It was an active summer, to say the least, which included tons of friend and family pool parties, too.

In September, the winds of change fell upon us.  My work colleagues and I learned that the college we worked for was "millions" of dollars in debt, and there would be layoffs, cancelled classes, and wage freezes.  Students would suffer the most because there would be less resources, activities, and classes to choose from all while their tuition increased.  I felt strangely uneasy and decided, rather than worry, to start reading the book I purchased this summer--Gabby Bernstein's The Universe Has Your Back(I had a chance to hear her speak at the Cornwall Library earlier this summer under a garden tent surrounded by lush greenery and cows--it was lovely!!)  Her words struck me, "To truly say yes to the love of the Universe means you have to look at your resistance and give up a thought system that you mistakenly identified as safety, security, and the foundation of your life."  In other words, I needed to release fear and control and say yes to love.  As I read further, it became abundantly clear that to say "yes" to a happy life, I needed to leave my job.  Then, one week before my October 3rd birthday, a mini-miracle happened.  The college did it for me.

I wish I could say I spent the last three months of my unemployment happily meditating and waiting for the perfect opportunity, but fear, as usual, reared its monstrous head from time to time.  In October, I had two promising job interviews for a college I liked, but when an internal candidate was selected over me, fear and self-doubt took over AGAIN.  Then I sent out more applications, resumes, and cover letters with no response.  This only heightened the worry.

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Today is the start of a new 365-day slate to begin again (364 days since I am writing on January 2nd).  I am still organizing my house, sending out job applications, and very deliberately reading through Gabby Bernstein's book, not wanting to rush the process of learning how to be "fully committed to love each day."  I believe in synchronicity and know I am purposefully being led down this path of self-discovery.  Now is my chance to break the cycle of fear and to embrace love, laughter, forgiveness, and understanding.  I know there is a plan, so for now, I am going to be patient, loving, and kind.  I am going to meditate, spend quality time with loved ones, and practice self-care.  I know fear isn't working for me, so I will LOVE with my thoughts, actions, and words this year...for my heart and head both know there really is a lot to LOVE and celebrate.

Words from one of my all-time favorite authors and role models. 

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