the last post of 2012

As I sit here this morning dear readers, I am feeling a bit contemplative.  It has been DSC_0038a busy year, full of change.

I began 2012 with this as a new blog as I transitioned full-time out here to Chester County as yet another refugee from the Main Line, which was no small feat after thirty plus years in one area.  But they say change is good, and it has been for me.

I have found as an adult where I belong.  I love being in Chester County and discovering new haunts, barns to pick treasures from, meeting new people, photographing and writing to my heart’s content. I also just love the abundance of beautiful open space and scenery, although I worry about that given the zeal and rate at which some developers are tearing up the landscape to build plastic Tyvec boxes for all the equally plastic Barbies and Kens and their giant SUVs.

I have through this blog and my natural curiosity about life accidentally stumbled upon hot button topics in Chester County, but such is the nature of life. From troubled now former zoning hearing officers in Tredyffrin to watching my friend and fellow blogger Pattye Benson be picked on via Tredyffrin’s Muicipal Website by an elected official who deserves to be shunned and put out of office, to the whirling nastiness and negativity and shoddy politics that is West Vincent, to my recent discovery of a manure pile known as horse rescue, it has indeed been a trip.

2012 was the year I really went for it with my writing and my photography.  I was part of a photography show and had a slew of photo by lines to be proud of.  I honed my writing skills and had a blast writing online content for Philly.com when they had need of my services. And I ended 2012 with my first magazine byline for writing with Main Line Parent Magazine. And I had a recipe published in a nationally released cookbook – The Epicurious Cookbook. I also rode in a giant flag shaped hot-air balloon on 9/11.

2012 is the year I took a chance on myself for once.  Change is hard, and always uncertain.  But after entertaining breast cancer for a large chunk of 2011, why not?

And that is one of life’s greatest ironies: having breast cancer made me face my fears and dreams all in one fell swoop.  In a weird messed up karmariffic kind of way, having and surviving breast cancer freed and released me to try new things and just live my life better.  It is perverse but true.

For me, breast cancer was a beginning not an ending.  Some I know were not so lucky with breast and other cancers  My neighbor Myrna was the last cancer death of 2012, a childhood friend name Joanna was the first. Also sadly in 2012, I watched one of my oldest and dearest childhood friends bury her beloved younger brother before Thanksgiving. He had an unexpected heart attack and died in his sleep.  But as I also know three amazing women who have done awful battles with thyroid cancer this year (and survivied), and one who defied the odds to bear a child while suffering from MS, I know that even in the darkest hours of our existence we do indeed have to have faith.

DSC_00542012 was also a year of some heartache as I said good-bye to one of my beloved dogs. He was a special little guy my little Peanut, and was even eulogized by a writer I know who also loved him. As 2012 draws to a close I find myself in the position of being a cancer survivor with a dog on chemo.

As this has been a year of change, it has also been a year of letting go of people.  As you get older, you discover that certain people are only meant to be in your life for a finite amount of time.  Some you let go of, some let go of you.

I learned in 2012 that sometimes people can’t handle the change you are going through.  On one hand you know they are happy your life is moving forward, but then they become a little different towards you as their role in your life changes.  Some people you just simply stop hearing from because you no longer live in close proximity to them,  or your paths no longer cross as often in other ways.  It is a bit of a bummer, but it’s life.

I also learned in 2012 when it comes to people a lot are just completely clueless and often unintentionally ignorant.  Some are limited by their own self limitations and inability to accept that not all 40 something women are Stepford PTA Wives who have no thoughts of their own and bake brownies with one hand and meet their man at the door with a martini in the other hand.   I met a few of those women in 2012, and I hate to say it, but no thank you, I would rather be me.  Besides I don’t like martinis.

I also learned that sometimes it would be nice if human beings would have a sense of personal accountability.  I am not saying that because I am perfect, because I am far from that.  I am flawed just like every other human being on the planet.

This year I have been blessed to not only have amazing friends, but to have met so many neat people who are new to my life.

I guess what I am saying is that I finally believe how much of a journey life is, as well as a constant evolution. And part of the impetus of this last post of the year is because someone I know is upset because someone else they know has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  But I wish they would realize once they get past the shock of the news that it doesn’t mean it is a death sentence.

Facing breast cancer was very hard, do not misunderstand me.  But it is like you are faced with a fork in the road and you have to make a choice.  I chose life.  I chose to live my life more fully and learn to be more positive.  It is hard to open yourself up to change.

As I sit here on this snowy morning listening to the winter wind swirl and blow around outside I am reminded of the truism to count life’s blessings.  But for the Grace of God go all of us.  Look at all people lost in Superstorm Sandy, and look at what all those people in Newtown, CT have lost and had to face after that madman shot up Sandy Hook Elementary School.

And yes, our lawmakers are playing with a fiscal cliff of their own creation and ruination, but that doesn’t mean life stops, does it?

In conclusion, as 2012 lives its final hours and final couple of days I wish all of my readers a very happy and healthy and safe New Year’s.

Life is what you make of it. Live it.