Saturday, December 31, 2011

The things that affected my life most in 2011

There are so many, many things that have made the past year pleasurable. I could list family, friends, books, music, puzzles, games and on and on and on, and I would have listed them except that those things don't change. Those things sustain me day to day, year to year.

Likewise, I could write a long list of things that have not made me happy, a list that would probably be nearly the same as yours: housework, rising prices, politicians, junk mail, email spam, and all things Kardashian. Those things don't seem to change either.

So, I thought about it for a while and came up with a short list of what made 2011 different for me.

The addition of Levi to our household
Technically, Levi came on the scene the last week of 2010, but it was in 2011 that he became a full-fledged family member. On his worst days (and there were a few bad ones) he still had funny going for him. On his best days (most of his days are best ones now), nothing has been ripped, and he gives hugs and kisses along with being funny. It's very hard to get depressed when there's a natural clown in the house.

The continuation of a low-carb lifestyle
Photo by Kalyn Hoover
This, too, began in 2010, but I've really reaped the benefits of it in 2011. I have felt better this year than at any time in the past ten years, maybe even longer. Yes, I'm getting old, and I still have some of the aches and pains that go along with that, but nowhere near as many as I did before. This year I accepted the possibility that I might actually live longer than I had previously anticipated, which made me focus more on what I'm doing with my life and less on how much time is left.

The vacation with my sister in the Smoky Mountains
This was the first vacation I've had in years, one I wouldn't have been healthy enough to take a year earlier, and it was wonderful. The time with my sister, who is the person who has shared more of my life than any other living being, was precious to me. The scenery was spectacular. Those things together have given me enough good memories to last the rest of my life, but, more than that, the experience expanded my horizons. Where I once saw boundaries and limitations, I now see possibilities.

The loss of Kadi
This is the only negative item on my short list. Kadi's personality was a big one, and I've felt her absence in so many ways. She was the first dog I ever knew all the way from puppyhood through old age, and I loved her dearly. In her short life, she gave me everything she had. In her death, even as I grieved, I learned again that loving is the best thing there is, that love is worth the pain of losing it, that the pain doesn't die but the rawness of it diminishes, and that the love doesn't die or diminish at all.

Thank you, 2011. You've been mostly very good to me.


  1. Happy new year, my friend. I wish for you all the healthy pets and happy joy and snuggles they bring.

  2. Linda, you look GOOOOD !!!!!!!

  3. You look beautiful in the picture, almost that's not right, you do look radiant :) I wish you a year full of blessings. Happy New Year!

  4. I really like your perspective on the world around you and your eloquent way of telling of it. Happy new year to you!

  5. That's a terrific photo of you! You look wonderful.

    That's another thing we have in common-Spot was the first dog I had from puppyhood on, and it was a learning experience,full of frustration but also happiness. I think you're right about love.

  6. Alison (Duly Inspired), thank you and the same to you, especially the wish for healthy pets. That seems especially important for both of us now, doesn't it?

    Harriet (Kybeadmaker), thank you SOOO much!

    Holly, Happy new year to you, too. I hope this new year will be better than the last one for you.

    Sandy, thanks and bless your heart! I hope you have a great new year, too.

    SDC, thank you so much for taking the time to tell me that. Happy new year to you, too.

  7. Janet, thank you! My granddaughter took that photo, and it's been easy for her to get a natural smile out of me since she was a newborn.

    I think it speaks highly of your Spot and my Kadi that both of us have opened our hearts to loving new dogs since they passed. I don't think we would have done that if they hadn't shown us just how much joy a dog can bring to a human.


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