2019 - A Year of Loss and Change

I can't say that I will look fondly back on 2019, there were multiple losses of loved one or people we knew, but it is also the year that I came to know myself a lot better and made changes to make my life more in line with the direction I want to take it moving forward. Family life was stable and better than I believed it could be.

Yeah, it was another year of peaks and valleys, but we made it through and are looking forward to 2020 and the challenges that it will bring.

Family

I can honestly say that I love my wife more today than on the day I married her. That is a very good thing and we are looking forward to doing more together in 2020. We have been focused on the needs of others and the house renovation this year so we haven't had the opportunity to do much in the way of fun things or trips, so there were no really exciting happenings to write about there.




My youngest daughter and her husband came out in June to take the honeymoon they never had and allowed me to tag along for 3 days with them.



Unfortunately, the week before I had suffered a stress reaction/fracture in my left tibia and while I attempted to keep up with them for the most part, but it did affect what was able to at some points.

However, we had a good time together and she got to see my dad one final time before they went home.



We also continue to help out SD2 in her new home and with dog-sitting duties. Which has been something that we willingly do because Hunter is a great dog, but it has changed how we do more than a few things in our retirement, but it is the right thing to do.

Speaking of critters who I consider part of our family. Bennie, Isabelle, and Elliott have all had good years and even a few adventures over the course of 2019. I have a feeling that going forward you might hear a bit more about our critter's adventures under the new blog's format.

A Year of Loss

We lost my Dad on October 18th and while I am sad that I will not get another chance to have another of our always interesting conversations, I know that he is at peace now. When he died it was his time and he was ready to go. We were lucky enough to have family and friends around him the night before he died, which is the way that he wanted it. You can read more about his death here.

If you read no other blog post from me, this is one that I recommend you read, my Dad was...well you can read a little about him if you like.



Dad, I will miss you, until we meet again on the other side.

My step-daughters' father lost his significant other in October also, which has made some changes in their life and as a result ours as well. Then in December, our neighbor lost her long battle to cancer.

While some will roll their eyes, SD2 lost her dog Karma early in 2019 and it was a loss that all of us felt very strongly, because our critters are an important part of our family and deserve to be mentioned in this end of year reflection.

There were other deaths as well during the year of people that have been in our lives at various times and we have attended too many Celebrations of Life or funerals over the course of the year. However, as we age, that is part of life, you get to attend funerals of people you know who have died. Sad, but true.

Home Repairs/Renovations

We finally got around to updating, repairing and making things around the house better for us as we get older. The old kitchen cabinets were starting to fall apart, the linoleum was 30 years old, so we did a complete rehab of the kitchen and dining room area.



We both wanted a deck on back, the front steps were getting dangerous and the windows in the bedrooms worked - sometimes, so they were replaced. Finally, the master bath needed repairs and replacement of the tub and toilet. Needless to say, it beat the hell out of our savings, had several times where we were frustrated with the contractor and his idea of timeliness but the repairs and renovations had to be done and the house is much more livable going forward.

Running

I have had a better year than I thought I would at age 62! You can read more about my running here if you are interested.

However, the quick summary is that I ran over 1,700 miles, did only one race, was injured with a stress fracture in June and ran in over 20 running shoes again this year.



Yeah, in other words, it was your typical Harold being Harold year for running. ;-)

Technology

I did a lot of research and thinking about how I actually use a computer in today’s world and figured out that as much as I like the Apple universe, I am unwilling to pay their premium prices as a retiree. Sorry, Apple.

After a lot of experimenting and thinking through the pros and cons of my technology usage since I retired, I have moved back to primarily using Google's tech silo and am rocking a new to me Google Chromebook Pixel 2 from 2015. You can read more about it here.

Blogging

I moved back to Blogger this year, primarily for economic reasons, it was just costing too much per year to keep my blogs at WordPress.com for something that is a hobby. I enjoyed my Just A Runnah blog, but at the same time, that narrow running niche did limit my writing to some extent. So I am excited about the fresh start here and am feeling rejuvenated about writing again.

I have already noticed a more eclectic reading list compared to what I focused on just a month ago and feel better about the direction that I am going with my blogging. I can go about my day and write about how an old fart is getting older and no longer "Just A Runnah". Yeah, I can't believe that I did that either.

Reading

I read a lot about running and some Sword and Sorcery over the course of the year, but not much else. I think that my final total was somewhere around 45 books in 2019. I plan to keep better track of the books I read this year and branch out a little more to other genres. Who knows I might even read about writing to see if I can become a better storyteller with words, Lord knows I need the help.



The most personally influential book I read all year was "The Happy Runner" by David and Megan Roche. I have read it twice and will probably read it again this winter at some point. It just makes sense to me on how I need to view my running. "You are perfectly awesome. No matter what." is how the book ends and it is the correct way for that book to finish.


The reality is that

While 2019 was not a bad year and we got a lot accomplished around the house and I personally have grown quite a bit during the year, I will not be sad to let 2019 become more a part of history.

I am looking forward to the possibilities that 2020 will bring, though I am not looking forward to the contentious election, the divisiveness that seems to pervade all forms of media and politics that currently are too much a part of the headlines. However, I don't see anything along those lines changing and probably only see things getting worse before they might get better.

However, I am excited about the possibilities that 2020 will bring to me personally as I have started making and taking steps to figure out the meaning of life...errr not really, but I think that I am moving my life in the direction that I want it to go and you know something.

I think I am finally starting to actually like myself and who I am.

Yeah, finally.


Originally posted on One Foot in Reality and written by Harold L. Shaw.







Comments

Robyn said…
Just as an aside, I have always liked who you are, and enjoy reading your blog, too!
Karen Olson said…
I enjoy reading your blog. Happy New Year
Karen Olson
Hshawjr said…
Thank you Robyn, you have been following my many blogs for quite a few years and I appreciate your comments and thoughts.
Hshawjr said…
Thank you Karen - Happy New Year to you as well and next time you are in Maine, I will make it a point to see you all. :-)