Occasionally, you need to dust off old pictures and hang them with new perspective.  The end of January is a bittersweet time.  10 years ago, I would be sad for days leading up and following and try to ignore the issue on the actual date.  The past few years, there is a gentle reminder of what happened years ago and with an Irish Blessing, memory, and quick prayer, it quickly comes and passes me by.  This year, it is looking at a photograph, brushing off some of the dust, and setting its frame back up in a location where it is seen in passing, every day. 

You see-this Friday- 1.25.13 -marks 15 years since my uncle passed away.  

The youngest of four.  The only son.  The only blood-related uncle.  The heart problems.  The open heart surgery.  "Life's a  bitch and then you die".  The sippy cup that remains in my parent's cupboards, that one day will remain in one of my cupboards.  The smiles.  The laughter.  The tears.  The memories -all of them- that still exist all these years later.  

I have been known to get semi personal when it comes to my blog - but this time of year and the fact that it has been 15 years - makes it feel appropriate to share this story.  Every one has things they go through - that shapes them for better or worse.  While he is gone and still missed terribly - he has shaped me for the better.  I know I have two guardian angels (My Grandpa joined him a summer or so ago) up in heaven playing that game of baseball that they have not been able to play in a few years.  It is all about perspective and how you choose to remember and honor those who go before you.

"May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."

-Play ball.
Though I never completed one post, my #oneword2012 was Explore.  When selected, it seemed very fitting - and proved to be true as the year flew by. 

2012 was my year of new beginnings.  Moving to a new city (and returning to an old state) on January 3.  Starting my first professional job on January 9.  Working hard to make connections at my new institution and new region of Ohio.  Opening myself up to meeting new people and putting myself out there to do so.  Using online networking opportunities to meet new friends.  At work, taking on projects and planning events that I never thought I would be involved in my first few months on the job.  Sitting in meetings with administrators and having my voice be heard and valued. Planning an event that was mostly beyond my control and keeping a smile on my face the whole time.  Being taken seriously and treated as an equal.  Knowing that I am not alone in the (often) craziness that occurs and finding allies along the way.  Joining the planning committee for a state conference.  Finding creative ways for training and professional development. 

I also found time for discovering my new region.  I traveled 2,254 miles just for recruitment purposes.  I took time to explore small towns and the bigger city that surrounds me.  Traveled some distances to visit friends near and far.  A few flat tires cannot dampen the fun times and memories created by traveling the Midwest and seeing some new places and revisiting places of the past.  Seeing friends that too much time had passed since the last meeting.   Meeting friends from online networking for the first time and seeing new campuses.  Connecting with graduate school friends and seeing where we've all ended up.  Accepting that people move on and friendships change became part of my exploring this year as well.  Taking time to reflect and look back upon all that I've done has given the opportunity to explore where I have been and where I want to go from here.  

A constant theme that was discussed in my first year on the job and on my own...the concept of thriving.  It was a wish turned into a goal of my immediate supervisor that once I made it through the first few months that I go from surviving to thriving. There have been moments when I went back to actively floating to survive certain portions of the year.  But as I've made it through, I have learned lessons that will make a difference for the next time around.  I also began to understand and know that I am capable of thriving in many areas of my life.  This all comes together to make my #oneword2013 decision a simple one...2013 will be the year of Thrive.  This decision is being made by me for me.  By pushing myself to thrive, I am advancing my push to explore, extend my comfort zone, and take on the new year while continuing to find and improve upon what I have successfully (and not so much) completed this past year.  Here's to 2013.


    January 2013
    May 2012
    April 2012
    January 2012
    December 2011
    May 2011
    October 2010



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