2015 draws to a close…year in a blog review

1909703_1103110143035269_5097884919631902045_n2015 has been quite the year.  I have had plenty of moments where I wondered if being me on the Internet was worth it. But then today I received a note.

Every now and again people contact me with things that I think are beyond my capacity to help – and it is never about money (heck I don’t have a silver spoon in my mouth so that isn’t happening)- it’s people seeking information.  Today someone sent me a note. To say thank you for providing them with a necessary connection for their family.

It was just fate that helped me show them a good direction (nothing more) , and I did it because paying it forward in this world with no strings attached is what being human is supposed to be about. It’s not about money or status, it’s about caring.  And fate. Maybe even to an extent the kindness of friends and strangers.

And that simple thank you, privately said and heart felt? That was awesome. As opposed to others I have met in this journey called life for whom “paying it forward” comes with strings and strands of personal gain, that is not how I operate.

Human kindness.

How quickly we can all get caught up and forget about being human and being kind.

2015 was a bit of a crazy year in one part of Chester County. West Vincent, to be precise. Those folks have survived a toxic election season and as of their final meeting last night can hopefully close the door on Tammany Hall style politics….at least until their Lower Merion refugee decides to run for re-election or not.

West Vincent and their election season reminded me once again how awful human beings and purported adults can be towards one and other. It was actually nastier than a Main Line election season and that is saying something.

In 2015 I learned to shed fake friends with less regret or “what ifs”. I also learned about people not meant to be in my life for long and it was o.k. People have to choose within their own comfort level. And learning to let go of people who are wrong for your life without feeling guilty is actually hard. But I am learning.

One person who had once claimed I was a  friend was indeed a disappointing learning curve.  They deliberately lied and tried to hurt me to raise their own shall we say “sympathy” profile on social media? The irony is, I had quietly let that person go when I sadly realized the only thing they were true to was whatever anyone else could do for them. I figured it was easier to let go after a couple of years then to allow them further in. Trust after all is everything, and at least for me if the trust is broken, it’s a hard road. But Karma is real, isn’t it?

There are people who throw around catchy Christian phrases about being “blessed”, but truly those are the people you not only forgive for their idiotic selfish trespasses, but pass a prayer along for because you actually feel sorry for them and their lack of realization of how their actions actually affect them. They think their little white lies and bald faced fibs won’t catch up with them, and unfortunately they should remove their blinders.

2015 was a year of learning more about myself as an adult.  It was about letting go and learning to be more accepting about what I can’t control.  It was about taking chances on people whether or not they ended up becoming part of my world, or were just a passing, pleasant  thought. It was therefore, about personal growth after a fashion. It was also about opening other doors and windows. It was about opening completely to love and having faith and finally not being afraid of either.

2015 was a difficult year for some of my friends. But they have faced it with grace and courage. Sometimes as adults, we yearn for the simplicity of childhood. For some, childhood wasn’t so simple and growing up freed them. Life is a complicated puddle of color and emotion and life circumstances never entirely predictable although to say we have a hand in our own fates is to an extent true because life is what we make of it.

2015 was about renewing more relationships time and distance had interrupted over the years.  One of the most marvelous things I have discovered about Chester County is  who lives here.  Not just the amazing new friends I have made since moving here, but people from all stages of my life I had lost track of through distance and life circumstance…who all live in Chester County now.

In 2015 I got to see the Duffy’s Cut site and get to know it’s patron saint, Dr. William Watson of Immaculata. What a marvelous educator. And just a super bight,  genuine human being.  A perennial student of history, I deeply appreciate what he is about.  I also met some other like minded souls who also find other things in Chester County that I find important of interest.  Loch Aeirie and the ruins of Ebenezer AME on Bacton Hill.  I am also happy to discover there are many like minded people out here when it comes to historic preservation and preservation of Chester County’s amazing beauty and natural resources.

2015 was a year of super fun non-profit events. My favorites were Natural Lands Trust’s Stardust, Brandywine in White, and Main Line Animal Rescue’s Bark-O’Lounge (where I learned to wear my glasses while bidding on silent auction items!!)

2015 meant the loss of some family of my father’s and a dear family friend.  That was kind of hard. But they left wonderful legacies of their own.  And memories to keep us smiling for years to come. 2015 also marked a decade since my own father passed. Time passes so quickly.

2015 was also an amazing gardening year.  I expanded my gardens and they rewarded me. It is one the most fun things for me to just go dig in the dirt and it has been that way since I was a little girl.

2015 I became a cover girl when one of my photos graced the cover of County Lines Magazine. I also had my own photography show thanks to Christopher and Molly Todd of Christopher’s Restaurant in Malvern.

The last two months of 2015 have been a crazy kaleidoscope of everything.  Friends, family, and holidays.

This has possibly been one of the best Christmas seasons of my life and at four and one half years cancer free the emotion of the season and the joy is felt by me most profoundly. And somewhat humbly.

I am truly grateful to you my readers  and the insane numbers of people who visited according to WordPress .  As a blogger I am a writer and I have some amazing mentors and friends who are full-time writers. They inspire me daily.  I understand that not everyone appreciates my style, and that is ok.

My journey through Chester County and the second half of my life continues to evolve and grow.  It’s hard being a stranger in a new land, so I really appreciate those folks who have made me feel so welcome and shared experiences with me and pointed me in new directions. Intellectually as adults we have to continue to grow. It keeps us alive.

And as 2015 draws to a close a special note for my friends and family and especially my sweet man.  You are the bedrock of my life and the love your show me is almost indescribable. I am a fortunate woman indeed. To be loved and respected and valued as an individual just as you are is one of the greatest gifts in this world. Trust me when I say I love you all in return. To the moon and back.

Here is a wish and prayer for an amazing 2016 for all. There is no place like home, is there indeed, Dorothy?

Cheers!

 

Sit there with a blank expression

Say you can’t go on anymore

It’s not like me to come out and help you

Maybe I’ve been down this road before

 

Been living in the shadows

Now you come out slow

Now you’re in the saddle

Got to ride a long

Now your dream was shattered

These days are through

Maybe something mattered

It’s not just for you

 

Some are gonna go for broke

Some will lay down

I’ve been too long standing still

All I know is whenever you need me

You reach out and set me in motion

 

Looking out on that long valley

Telling me I’ve come so far

You’re the reason I finally got there

 

~Bruce Hornsby “Set Me in Motion”

 

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