Thursday 26 December 2013

Dear 2013

Here I am again, at the end of another year, sitting by the rapidly d(r)ying Christmas tree, contemplating the past 12 months.
Dear 2013, we had a good run, you and I, didn't we? Outwardly there were no huge changes or challenges, but inwardly a big internal shift happened for me. If I could use only one word to describe this year it would be this: peace.

I feel like I have found myself. Know who I am and what is important to me in life.
A year ago, we seriously contemplated moving away. We wanted to go into the wilderness, live a cowboy life somewhere in a cabin in the woods, fending off the wolves from our back door. Gradually though, over the last year, we have fallen back in love with our farm. We did some minor upgrades, discovered a new favourite spot on the farm, and simply enjoy living here.
2013 was a good one, and here are my personal top 10:

My 10 best moments of 2013:

10. My knowledge of computers and technology increased ever so slightly. I know what an URL is. How to do a screenshot on the computer (and the phone, come to think of it. I just learned that last year as well). 
HTML still baffles me, but with copying+pasting, trial and error, and much cursing I can sometimes figure it out.
Due to my new laptop and joining Google+, I also get pictures auto-awesomed, and they (=Google-gods) made a short video compiled of photos from last year (see below). How did they choose them? I will never know. But I'm in awe of the technology and love these little sparkly gifts they leave on my desktop. 

9. 2013 was the year of the hair-growing-out project. After being a pixie-girl for basically all of my adulthood, I now want to give long hair a go. And I am proud to say, despite being severely tempted at least 10 times to chop it all off, I stuck it out! Braved the never-ending awkward stage to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Top knots are in my future!

8. One year free of depression. I have talked about it here and here. Not having this burden any more is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I know it's not gone; but it is being successfully treated, and I don't suffer from it any more. Even the fact that I can openly talk about it now without feeling ashamed is amazing - nobody should feel ashamed, it's a disease, not a choice. If you have depression or another mental illness, go and seek help! Please!! It will change your life. 

7. We had four glorious seasons this year. For a nature lover, that's simply grand. Can you do a repeat, 2014?

6. Farm life is where it's at. And I finally, finally get it. The relaxation Rich gets from it? I get it too! That he doesn't mind the work? I'm starting to be like that as well! (By telling myself it's a workout, taking pictures of everything, and singing to the dogs - but the end result is the same.)
To be completely honest, for a long time I sometimes resented it just a tiny bit. Especially when it was raining. Or I felt lazy. Or thought I need the mental freedom to be able to get away at a moment's notice. (We still do get away, but it involves a bit of planning and preparation.)
But somehow, in 2013, that has changed. And now I enjoy it nearly as much as my darling husband does. Would I ever have so many chickens if it was up to me? Hell no! But I enjoy having them around just the same.

5. Cellphone photography has become a passion of mine. It makes me very excited to do simple things such as going for walks or hanging about on the farm, because there are so many photo opportunities! In a moment of insanity I entered the mobile photography awards, which is a contest where one can only enter photos taken with a phone or tablet. How cool is that? They will announce the winner in two weeks. Eeks!
Here are my 8 entries:

4. I witnessed the miracle of birth. And trust me, as overused as the expression may seem, there simply is no other word for it. It is a miracle! Movies, youtube videos, eyewitness reports - none of them come even close in describing properly what it's like. Being in the same room, seeing a new human life enter this world, is absolutely indescribable. 
I was on a high for days, and simply happy. It makes you believe in miracles and fairy tales and everything that's good and magical.
I will forever be grateful to my darling friend who made it possible. I love you and your beautiful daughter!
This isn't them, obviously. Hen and chick symbolize the mother-daughter bond. (source)

3. That being said - it's not for me. The big decision has been made. Over the last few months I have found the answer to that nagging question that was in the back of my mind for about 4 years: "Do I want kids of my own or not?" Believe me, it's been a long road. Subconsciously, I knew for a long time that having a baby is not the right choice for me. I don't have the yearning. Don't feel incomplete. Need lots of alone time to function properly. Already have stepkids whom I love dearly and consider to be part of me. 

But still. There were the questions, friends getting pregnant, me getting older, Facebook, the comparison. The big huge fuss that's being made over pregnant women and newborn babies. The showers. The "Oh that's so exciting!"s. The repeated question: "Are you sure? What if you regret it one day?"
I felt guilty. Guilty for heaven's sake! For disappointing society. Not fulfilling my role as a woman. What a waste of a pair of ovaries, right?

But slowly, over the course of many months, I let go of that guilt. Stopped feeling defensive. Looked into my soul, into my heart, and found peace. 
I love kids. There are some cool little people around, and I enjoy them tremendously. 
For me? I am happy and complete with my amazing stepdaughters and all my furry little babies. 

2. I started this blog. How much more it is than I ever thought it would be! It's my hobby, my passion, a place I love to come to every day. It inspires me, challenges me, feeds a creativity that I didn't know I have. Through my blog I have gained more confidence, more perspective, and a whole new appreciation for all the good things in life. It makes me feel so grateful, and humble, and grounded. I love it. 

1. There is now a dog living in the house, on the couch. I never thought it possible. 

How was 2013 for you?

If you have gotten through this humongous post, congratulations! Boy it was long, I'm sorry. 
Do you feel crazy like us now?

The Lady Okie Blog

The Nectar Collective
Love, Miriam

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  1. What a great recap. I have loved getting to know you via your blog this year!

  2. I love #7! What gorgeous photos! Here's to 2014!

  3. #4 is the reason I often think about becoming a doula!

  4. I love your recap! I am so, so excited we have connected. I can already tell I will be back again and again :) You have a beautiful life and we share a lot of common interests. And your new corgi puppy. Oh. my. SOOOOooooo adorable! A little corgi baby of my own will be on my wish list until it happens!

  5. What a fun year in recap! I too went through depression but came through this time without medication. I do think much of it is mental illness and it's tough!!! I was wondering if there was such a thing as 'iphone photography contest' and I'm happy to read on your blog that there is!!! Thanks for linking up with us today!

  6. You have come a long way in a year! Congrats in beating depression and finding peace. That's so awesome. I have been thinking about changing over my blog but the whole HTML thing scares me. Maybe that will be a goal for 2014. I have enjoyed your blog over the past couple of months since I started following you. I LOVE your farm pics. Good luck with the contest!

  7. The farm life sounds so romantic to me, but I think it would take a HUGE amount of adjusting for me to actually be happy living it. It's a lot of work, and I don't even really have any clue as to how much! It sounds like 2013 was a great year for you. And you should never feel guilty for not wanting to have children. You should feel proud of yourself for figuring that out before making such a huge decision based on society's expectations. We aren't at a loss for people around here, so no need to jump on that ship if you aren't sure. :)

    Oh, and html? When I stumble through after hours and something works, I feel like I deserve a medal. Maybe we should create those...

  8. I like your plan for tackling farm work. :) That's such a great attitude to have about it! And I'm so happy to hear that you've had a depression-free year!! Also, I absolutely love your four seasons pictures. Happy New Year!

  9. Great recap! Seems like you had a wonderful year. I hope 2014 turns out even better!

  10. I really loved reading this post and it really resonated with me. I'm not on a farm, but I had to sort of learn the same lessons about embracing where I'm actually at. Best wishes for 2014! Happy New Year!!!


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