Monday, January 2, 2012

Goodbye 2011

Okay, I know it’s January 2, 2012 (already January 3 in some time zones) which means I’m a little behind in reflecting on the last year but I’m going to reflect anyway.  Sometimes as a caregiver (or as a mom or wife or any other role for that matter), things get a little busy and great intentions go out the window. 

I intended to do 2011 reflections on December 31.  A reasonable date for such things.  However, between hubby’s surgery (he's recovering nicely, by the way), bringing Robert to our house for the long New Year’s weekend and being just a tad tired, reflections  got moved to 2012.  Reflections at the end of 2012 just may get moved to 2014.  It’s hard to predict but be prepared.
I was a little apprehensive going into 2011.  Just days before, I had turned 50 and I was disappointed I hadn’t yet published the book I was working on for so long.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my 50th birthday with a family celebration in my favorite place – Disneyland(!) but  I was being hard on myself for not finishing the book.  
Heck, I had worked on it for only ten years, maybe I should have been easier on myself.  J

I wasn’t sure what the new decade would have in store for me but I knew I was happy with my family, I was committed to caring for Robert, and I was employed.  I am thoroughly grateful for all of that. 
To my delight, 2011 brought so much goodness that I almost feel guilty about it!  It also brought some difficulties but that is to be expected (this is life, after all).

The good stuff first (in no particular order):
1.     I met some amazing caregivers through caregiving.com.  I accidentally found this site at the beginning of the year when I was trying in earnest to link my blog to related sites in order to grow my readership.  Caregiving.com isn’t a site to link personal blogs but instead offers opportunities to write about our caregiving situations and to develop friendships and gain strength and inspiration.  I also got a few tips on incontinence.  It’s pretty awesome.

2.     The blog was picked up by Sacramento Connect which is a network of local bloggers through the local paper, The Sacramento Bee.  Heidi (Atticus Uncensored) kept reading my posts and leaving me comments.  She loved reading the blog and she wasn’t even a relative!  We became online friends (and then realized, hey, we’re in the same city, we could become actual real-life friends).  So we did.  

3.     Heidi introduced me to a group of inspirational people who are entrepreneurs, artists, moms and bloggers.   I learn something from this group of talented people every time I read their blogs and am grateful to have them as readers here.   

4.     I published my book!!!  Much love and gratitude goes to my hubby, my daughter, Joelle Stone and Denise Brown for their undying support and gentle (well, sometimes not so gentle -- you know who you are) nudging for me to get this done.   And, it only took me ten years instead of eleven.  .   

5.     I learned about epilepsy.  Being the older sister of my 46 year old brother who has lived with epilepsy his entire life, you’d think that would be impossible.  It wasn’t!  I had a lot to learn and met some remarkable people (and organizations) along the way.  My own personal challenge to complete 30 days of epilepsy awareness was something I was extremely proud to complete and am already looking forward to doing it again this November.

6.     Robert moved from a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly to a smaller, more age appropriate group home.  (It turned out to hardly be a perfect fit but we’re working on that).

7.     I became a Staff Writer for Today’s Caregiver Magazine and branched out to another website to write as well (getting paid to write – wow!  A dream come true).  It’s a small start but I am thrilled to have to list some writing income on my taxes!  (Note to the IRS: it’s a very small start).

8.     I was interviewed a few times by Denise Brown of caregiving.com on Blog Talk Radio and was so nervous the first time I wouldn’t let anyone tell me if they would be listening (not even my own family who secretly listened in another room).  I sat in my home office, closed the door and talked with Denise, pretending it was just me and her on the phone.  I was so nervous I actually thought there was a good possibility I would pass out during the 30 minute interview (I didn’t; thanks for asking).  I was grateful I couldn’t be seen because I’m pretty sure my proclivity to blush when nervous would have been quite evident. 

9.     2011 was also full of reminders of what a wonderful, beautiful family I am blessed with.  We laugh, we enjoy time with each other (most of the time) and, most of all, love each other no matter what.
2011 had its difficulties (the big ones were extraordinarily heart-wrenching work decisions and health problems for my beloved mother-in-law) but I would like to let those difficulties stay in 2011 and focus on the positive moving into 2012. 

Wishing all of you a very happy and joyous new year filled with great possibilities for love, friendships and success (and many laughs along the way).   

16 comments:

bccmee said...

It's always interesting to see a roundup of the year. Sounds like things are off to a busy start for 2012. And belated happy birthday! :D

robert's sister said...

Thanks, bccmee! I appreciate you dropping by and look forward to more of your creative work this year.

Louise Edington said...

Love your round up Trish and I think getting your book published was a really big deal! Glad to have met you in 2011!
Louise Edington

bill austin howe said...

I KNOW I am sounding like a broken record, Trish, but I just can't help myself. You are my hero. Your accomplishments simply thrill and amaze me. By the way, I am now on my third copy of your book. I kept giving it to friends who have loved it so I had to buy a new copy for myself. I am proud to have it on our new bookcase with all the other great writers.

Happiest of new years for you and the ones you give so much love to. Especially me!

Bill

robert's sister said...

Louise, I was happy to have met you, too, in 2011! I am excited about you finishing your book this year and reading about it in your 2012 round up. :-)

robert's sister said...

Bill, You are officially deemed president of my fan club! It is exciting to think my book is on your brand new bookshelf. I really appreciate your support, Bill, and hope your 2012 is much less eventful than 2011. You and Jon deserve a fabulous year.

Judy, The Reflective Writer said...

What an amazing year, Trish! I have your book in hand, and I will be reading it in 2012--so I am carrying forth your success into the real world. Truly, you have done so much with your writing while at the same time staying committed to your caregiving role. Not a bad start to a great decade! The 50's really are great. I was sorry to leave them, but I hope to be able to get you excited for the 60s in the FAR distant future when that applies to you as well.

Congrats on a wonderful year, and here's to more fabulous success and love in 2012.

Judy Stone-Goldman
The Reflective Writer
http://www.thereflectivewriter.com
Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

Dennis Salvatier said...

Congratulations on your book, Trish! That's really great. It looks like it was a busy 2011 for you. Wishing you more success in 2012. It has been great meeting you and sharing some of my art with you.

Jennifer Duchene said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful year. So many marvelous things happened through writing. So glad you decided to start this blog and share your life. Wishing you a wonderful 2012

Imogen said...

You have certainly accomplished a lot, Trish. I am very impressed. As I'm new to your blog, I didn't know you had written a book - that's very impressive. I'm enjoying getting a glimpse into your world, and wish you well for a successful 2012!

Heidi Alberti & Atticus Uncensored said...

So many wonderful accomplishments!! The book was worth the wait -- I can attest to that! Such a thoughtful, moving & touching book. I can't wait for your next one!!

I must say, my heart is welling & swelling (hope that's not a bad health condition!!) at your mentions. I am absolutely honored and thrilled that we have become friends this past year. That's vow that in 2012 we have many more chatty lunches and discover more Sacto culinary gems :)

Cheers to you, Robert, hubby, kids & animals in 2012!

Heidi & Atticus
http://www.atticusuncensored.com
"commentary to give you paws..."

robert's sister said...

Heidi, Sounds like a deal for 2012! There's a vegan restaurant downtown I've wanted to try so that could be next on our agenda. (You may want to get that welling & swelling checked). :-)

robert's sister said...

Imogen, I appreciate you reading and look forward to catching up on your blog too. I think your struggles with pain and the solutions you've found will be helpful to hubby. Happy to have you here!

robert's sister said...

Jen, You have many accomplishments too (including your own book!). I wish you continued success in 2012 and am anxious to read your book and more of your blog. Thank you for stopping by!

robert's sister said...

Dennis, I love that I have a piece of your art and plan to get more (more for hubby since he shares an affinity for those superhero characters you draw so well)! Always nice to have you leave a comment -- thank you.

robert's sister said...

Judy, I'm so excited you have my book! I hope it's everything you hope it is. I'm looking forward to this decade for the both of us! I would love to have you "review" the book once you've finished, if you have the time.