Friday, January 1, 2021

Reflections on a New Year - 2021 and beyond!

New Years 2021 rolled in easily, with neighbors lighting fireworks, and Sauk scared of them, but not terrified.  We used his "stressful event" medicine prescribed for him last Summer, in full anticipation of last night.  He was more like a happy drunk - bumping into the walls and couch, drooling, drinking lots of water, and eating plenty.  This was such a difference over the past few years - he was scared, but not panicked.   What all of this really means is that I was able to sleep and not stress, and wake up early to do some quiet reflection and blogging.   

I am starting my morning with watching Josh Morningstar's Coffee & Cigarettes live stream.  He was reflecting on some artists we've lost over 2020 and the anniversary of the death of Hank Williams, almost 70 years ago.  Josh stated "There will be another Hank", and that's so very true.    With the short shot of fame he had, he left a profound legacy.

The statement had me thinking of my own impact and legacy.  I don't talk about my struggle with infertility much to outsiders.   A few years back we did 10 months of fertility treatments - after two years of no natural success.   With every passing month,  even though my ultrasounds showed promise, I was not able to concieve and struggled with crippling depression.   I reacted well to the drugs, but my general health and mental well being were being compromised the longer we went.  We had to make the hard decision to stop treatments and accept that we wouldn't be human parents after a risky situation presented itself.  It's taken a lot to overcome the sense of failure I felt and manage the depression and anxiety that comes with the realization the dream you had will never come true.  Some days it would creep up and overwhelm me, and other days it's like a sad song on the radio - a passing minute or two (like today, the anniversary of when we found out it was too risky to continue).  It's taken a few years, lots of tears, some long talks and lots of mindset shifts to not dwell what was not to be.   I have accepted that I'll never be a human mom (and to not fall into a depression when my irregular period skips a month), but I am a dog mom and a chicken mom - I've made peace with that.  I have a very fulfilling life and a freedom that I wouldn't have had we had children.  

My legacy is my life.  I freely share it with family, friends, coworkers, and all who read this blog, who attend our events, who find comfort in my words, or laugh or smile at a gift. We all have impact and make everlasting ripples across time.  These words are out here forever - so let it be known that this IS my legacy to all.   May you find comfort in them long after I am gone (may that be many decades from now).  

So here we are, the first day of 2021,  I am listening to Josh Morningstar, drinking my coffee, planning out  my goals for 2021 and so many other things.   It's my annual tradition to take this time, set some goals and do some planning.   2021 is going to be a rough year. Y'all thought 2020 was bad, nope - that was just the prelude.  2021 is going to show true colors of folks in your circle. I have a feeling we'll see people lose their homes, lose jobs, lose unemployment, and see the trickle down of those cuts we all are making until another crash happens due to these cumulative circumstances (like folks relying on loans, credit, and deferred payments (thankfully we've not deferred anything)).   The best thing that we all can do is buckle down and make some hard decisions before things get worse.  If folks make informed decisions - we'll all come out the other side better for it (and maybe some savings!).

Due to workplace restritions that B has faced in 2020, (can't weld remotely), cost of living going up,  we're looking to cut out wasteful, luxury, or unneccessary expenses.  We are going to take a few calculated risks this year and open up a new business part time (more to come later).  In looking back,  it's where we've been heading for several years.  We held off doing this last year to do some market research, but Life is too short to just survive.  We want to live, and enjoy these moments.

There are other things in my immediate future that will be coming to fruition in 2021.    My cookbook project is moving forward - I am making a commitment to self publishing for Christmas 2021.  I've found a few printers who will allow me to print on demand - I can even sell them too!   Saukthedestroyer Calendars are coming out for 2021 (several are in print production right now).  If they turn out good, I'll offer them up for print on demand!   My new greenhouse will be up by Spring (bigger and a permanent structure).   Our outdoor kitchen project should hopefully be ready by our annual Gumbo Night celebration (can you say Pizza Oven?).   I am really looking forward to all of these things!  

My wish for anyone reading this - Be kind to yourself today, but take stock at your life in this snapshot - and make some tough decisions for 2021.  Ask yourself - what is your legacy?  Are there bucket list items you wish to do?  What small, actionable steps can you take each day to achieve a larger goal?  
I am hoping that as we move forward into 2021, people are kind, compassionate and steadfast in knowing that this crisis will pass - we're in the midst of a historical record - we can choose how the world sees us.    How do you want to see yourself one year from now?

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