Friday, January 3, 2014

2013, My Year In Review

A Nor'easter howls outside my door, a candle is lit, my well worn coffee mug is perched atop my bedside table and the beloved pooch is nestled into my side.  A perfect night to write.  A perfect night to reflect on the past year.  My year in review.

 I've taken some steps forward and probably an equal number of steps back but I've emerged a different person than I was 12 months ago.  I've suffered the loss of friendship, rejoiced in new relationships and grown on a personal level from both.  I've been severely deconditioned and worked hard to achieve a healthier level of fitness. I've been too fat and too skinny and everything in between. 
 I've seen pain and disappointment graze the faces of my children and learned that while I experienced the same as a child, the pain is far greater when you watch it unfold in the lives of those you hold dear than if you were to experience it yourself.  So too have I seen absolute joy cross those same little faces and learned that those moments are what makes parenthood so worthwhile.                                                                   

This year brought emotional challenges.  I've seen highs and I've seen lows.  I've been happy, sad, joyful, and full of sorrow.  I've seen worry and experienced paralyzing fear and I've overcome both.  I've been helpless and powerful, hopeful and hopeless.  I've been full of emotion and lacked any emotion at all and it's all been an exercise of the heart.  I lived thru it all and learned from it all and I'm thankful for it all because if one minute of it were missing I would not be the person I am today.  Today I'm wiser, today I'm stronger and today I'm healthy and happy.

I was fortunate to have been able to travel this year. I traveled for business and I traveled for pleasure.  I was in planes and trains and automobiles and I was on ships at sea. I traveled alone and with family and in both cases I made new friends along the way.  I swam with sea turtles, hiked in a rainforest and had my hair braided like an island princess.  I traveled to places that took me back to the "good 'ole days" and explored new places as well.  I learned that no matter how much you want to or how hard you try, you cannot turn the clock back.  You can remember fondly and hold those memories dear but you can never go back in time.  You can, however, start fresh with today and carve out new adventures that will be equally as memorable and bring you just as much joy.

This year brought me closer to my passions. My passion for writing lead me to starting a new blog.           My Baked Stuffed Life was born in January and in the year that has passed I touched the lives of many and many have touched my life in return.  My readership has grown more than I could have ever imagined.  I'm thankful for my readers, I'm thankful for you.   I've met some incredible people along the way and shared stories and heartfelt messages with them.  I've connected with my readers, I've connected with you.  You've taught me that we are all more alike than we are different and that sometimes it just takes one of us to speak up, to break the ice and make the connection.  I'm grateful for the connections that I've made and I look forward to making more.

This year allowed me to explore my photography passion and fine tune what I like to call the "art of the shot".  When I first started taking pictures a few years back, I had no idea what I liked about it.  I just enjoyed clicking away and looking at the result at the end of the day.  Time and experience told me that what I really like to do is capture a moment of action in a moment in time.  Hair flying, feet in midair and fingers flying across the fret board.  I like the challenge of the chase and the thrill of the catch.  You have to study your subject.  You have to anticipate their movements.  You have to know what they will do before they do it and that's the only way you'll catch that moment.  That and luck but I don't want to rely on luck.

This year brought me tremendous personal growth.  In order to grow I had to make some tough decisions, I had to close some doors so others would open.  I had to leave some personal as well as professional relationships behind to allow room in my life for a more peaceful path.  None of the decisions were easy.  I was nervous and fearful each and every time.  As I look back now I realize that those nerves, that fear was born of self doubt, of confidence lacking.  In the face of that doubt I jumped off the cliff anyway and landed on my feet a much stronger person. I learned that when my intentions are pure and when my heart is in the right place that in the end I'll be just fine.  Just fine is a good place to be.

All in all it's been a great year!  What's on deck for 2014?  I didn't make any formal resolutions other than to stay the course.  I'm happy with the pace of my life, I'm happy with the progress I'm making so "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".  I will continue to breathe deeply, be still and watch for the right path to illuminate.  I'll be still and listen for the direction I should take.  I'll be a peace-keeper and a peace-seeker.  I'll fill my life with like minded people.  I'll continue my journey of self care.  I will continue to pursue passions and friendships that bring joy into my life. I'll stay away from ill-intentioned people.  I'll stay away from the users and abusers and those with evil running thru their veins.

I do have wishes and goals that I'll work toward in the coming year.  I'd like to take my photography to the next level and work on getting some professional assignments.  I have irons in the fire and a wonderful mentor who is helping me.  He really is an angel that dropped from the heavens and I'm so appreciative of his knowledge and expertise.

I will continue to write.  I want to challenge myself with different projects.  I'd like to work on getting some professional assignments in this medium as well.  I'd like to write a book some day so maybe I'll write a short story or two and see how it goes.

I'd like to continue traveling.  I'd like to see what I haven't seen.  There are always new places to see and new people to meet.

There are so many things I want to see and do.  I just cant wait to get started!!!!!

Happy New Year!!


+Michelle Morrissette Cucchiaro
+My Baked Stuffed Life

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