First Post Of 2015

I did not know that I enjoy biscotti.
But apparently I do. 
I am not worried since I have been exercising everyday since the new year began.
My friend SL informed me that everything we do on the first of the year must be something we want to be able to do through out the rest of the year.

So on January 1st, I made the effort to stay away from my biscotti stash.
Also I set goals for myself and exercising everyday was one of them.
I don't mean a full blown daily work out. 
Some days it's a 30 to 45 minute run or a 20 minute walk or just 10 crunches. 
Everything counts when it comes to making exercising a habit. 
I have discovered that I need exercise in order to stay upright.

I have been meditating and praying every single day.

I've also been clearing my home of unnecessary belongings.
My goal is to donate items every single week.
The moment I pick out a donation item, I move it to my porch to await pick up by the Veterans.
I am trying to shed my practical nature of saving something I might potentially want in the future.
I am trying to live in the present moment.
The act of sorting through and letting go of material possessions is very therapeutic by the way.
For each bag or box I am able to give away, there seems to be a release of emotional baggage as well.
In less than a month Steve is turning 50.
The process of trying to clear out my home has, alas, turned it upside down and inside out.
The expression, sometimes you have to break something in order to fix it is quite true.
Unfortunately, Steve's milestone is not going to wait for me to finish my house overhaul, and so amidst all this, I am planning a party for him.
The problem is, I have not thrown a party in years. I am rusty.
I am focusing on not giving in to feelings of overwhelm.
I know that if I were to act remotely taxed or stressed, then that would not feel good for Steve.
So I just keep daily small goals:
-Dechristmasing the house completely (yesterday, I put away the decorations at the property and this morning, I took down the last of the outside lights and garlands of our home here).
-Researching food and drink options.
-Texting invites, etc.
-Clearing out stuff, including polishing off the last of the biscotti.

We made an unplanned visit to our property yesterday.
Just a day trip.
The girls were interested in searching for a frozen pond to skate on, while Steve wanted all of us to hike through the snow in search of a dead bear we had heard about.
I had been feeling slightly off recently and in an effort to do something
"as a family," we decided to jump into the car and go.
We found both, a patch of frozen in the woods that the girls skated on, and the dead bear.
Natural ice rink, lovely.
Dead bear, not too lovely.

A few days ago, I found out that the little girl I had been praying for since last month, died in her mother's arms.
I was heartbroken.
So in an effort to stay mentally healthy, I decided to just keep on cleaning out my house.
When prayer or exercise is not enough, occupational therapy is good.

While sorting through the bowels of this house I bumped into old photos, which gave me the idea to start a 50th birthday picture collage.
It was while I was looking through Steve's old photos that I found this:
A picture of him as a four year old boy standing to the right of that red feather Christmas tree.

There was something about the death of the little girl and finding this particular photo of Steve that switched something in me.
First, I realize how precious life is and that is a gift to be able to celebrate 50 years (especially for Steve, who as a young boy was not given a good prognosis due to kidney disease)
And then second, yesterday, when I was putting away the Christmas decorations at the hunting place, I found myself not just tolerating the red feather Christmas tree, but loving it.
Loving it.
Somehow, seeing this red tree survive life reassures me that some things are just meant to be.