Before the whirlwind of last minute shopping, holiday parties, and eggnog chugging commence, I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and well wishes for an amazing New Year.
2018 was more than I could have imagined it would be less than 12 months ago. I knew as the clock struck midnight that there were some big changes in store, but I really had no clue exactly what would happen or the ripple effect it would have. It's been a very revealing year.
I won't go through the entire list of events, but if you've read anything I've posted this year, you already know the gist of it. January I got bronchitis, which was the jumping off point to nearly 40lbs of weigh loss this year! Super excited about that and looking forward to continuing the trend in 2019.
In February, I encountered several life changing/affirming events. There was me hitting the big 4-0 on the 8th and legally going back to my maiden name of Miller. Then my son became a legal adult on the 16th and finally got his driver's license. A little celebrating was had for both of us.
On the 19th of February I ended a 3 1/2 year relationship. To most it seemed sudden, hell even to the ex it seemed that way, but it was a long time coming. I don't know if it was turning 40 or just hitting a wall, but I just couldn't keep on when we weren't just not on the same page, but we were in different books, different stages, of our lives. I'd hoped we could end up being friends, but that has not been the case. I knew then and I know now, not having a single moment of regret, that it was the best choice for both of us. I wish him the absolute best.
At the end of March I got a new tattoo, a saying, a motivation, for those times when I doubt myself. And Lord knows I've doubted myself enough in my life. But this year, it was getting past that, and believing in me again, believing in the power of my dreams. The tattoo states "and still I rise" and I do, even when I want to cry, even when I want to hide....I still rise.
April through June were a bit of a fog honestly as I enjoyed single life a little too much. Several late nights and early mornings made me realize I'm no kid anymore. Even when I was a kid I was never one to go out to the bar on a regular basis or make questionable choices. Suffice to say it was a short lived wild time that I quickly reined in. Though it left some inspiration that I didn't realize I would use soon enough.
As summer unfolded I regrouped and stayed closer to home. I worked at getting my yard in order, preparing Jake to enter his senior year of high school, and just trying not to make a total hot mess of life. I bonded more with friends, reconnected with my girl squad, and really just used the time to clear my head and refocus in a way I'd only thought about over the last few years. I ain't gonna lie, it was hard and it sucked at times, the whole calling myself on all my bullshit, but I am so glad I loved me enough to do it.
Those earlier inspirations...well one night I started writing. Then I wrote the next night and the night after that. Until to my surprise, I'd written a novella. Not only that, but I had an idea for a new series. With some help from my editor and more elbow grease, LOVE STIRRED was released at the end of September! Within days of release it hit the top 75 on two different Amazon Best Seller lists! I never saw that coming!! It encouraged me to keep at this writing thing after all.
While soaking up the best selling goodness, I was making changes in my day job as well. In Mid-October I moved to a new role in my company which allows me to work from home full time! Bye bye nearly 50 minute commutes! Also hello to the nice raise I got!! It's been a challenge but also an adventure to start something new and broaden my skills. I'm so excited for the change after 10 years on the same project. It was a bittersweet, but much needed, move!
Near the end of October I made an unexpected connection. I will give no details on this blog now or ever possibly about this man. I don't know what lie ahead, but I know this much - I have been shown that good men still exist. That they can be kind, supportive, and thoughtful. And that as much as I thought I was ready to just be single, I know that with the right person, I am able to open up. Needless to say, if this becomes anything more, or not, or when something more evolves in the romance department, I will be moving forward with a new perspective than I have ever had before. I don't have to loss myself in someone else and, in fact, being independent is attractive to some men.
November arrived and so did the realization that my son would need ACL reconstruction surgery. Back in September he had the best/worst week when on September 17th he got accepted to college!! He'll be attending University of Northwestern Ohio starting August 2019. A few days after his letter arrived, he was playing football under the #fridaynightlights and was injured. He had to be helped off the field. My momma heart sank for him and the pain in his face. Try as he might with physical therapy, it was determined after six weeks that only surgery could help. So a few days before Thanksgiving, Jake went under the knife. Thankfully all went well and though he was laid up for a good week, and had crutches for another month, he is finally able to walk without help. One step at a time, one day at a time.
Which all brings us to December and the last few weeks. While helping fetch things for Jake, I also used the time to write. Just a few weeks ago, LOVE SHAKEN came out! It's the follow up to LOVE STIRRED and the second book in the Love in a Bar series. After years of releasing nothing, I managed to get 2 books out during 2018! I didn't see that, or these books, coming at all!!
So here I am, in the last 10 days of the year. Exhausted...yes. Exhilarated....oh definitely! Eager to see how the next 12 months unfold...you betcha!
I've decided to just enjoy these next 10 days. My work gave us all paid leave between Christmas and New Year so I will be using that time to get some writing in and look ahead at 2019. I'll scale back on social media, spend time reading and enjoying the holiday with friends and family.
This year I set 40 goals for myself. I was a bit ambitious to say the least. I think I hit about half of them, at least I tried and made an effort on all of them. Next year I'm thinking a solid 10 goals is good. But within those goals are smaller goals so I will still have to get out of my comfort zone. Like the goal to travel more - with trips up north, a girls weekend away, a relaxing float down the river with family. Or the goal to make me a priority - with healthy eating and moving my body more, dancing in public lol. Or the goal of surviving my empty nest as Jake goes to college - finding activities to keep me busy, possibly looking at new hobbies or rediscovering old ones.
And write...of course I will be writing in 2019! I know I will be finishing the Love in a Bar series with ANOTHER SHOT AT LOVE, which I hope to get out Spring 2019. Then I am going to go back to the Small Town series and get the second book for that done and out. And I think I may even try to write the final book in the California Dreamin' series too. Have no fear, 2020 will have new series to release and even more events in life!
For now, I thank you to those who have been viewing this journey of mine. To those who have been here since the beginning and to those new arrivals...thank you. My sincere hope is that your holiday season be full of love and laughter, that you look to the future with joy and hope, and that you enjoy peace in this moment.
See you in 2019!