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Wow, what an extraordinary year! I knew going into 2019 that the next twelve months were going to grow me and that I’d exit the year a different person. That’s true for everyone, I think, whether they are aware of it or not. Every day, week, month and year brings opportunities to grow. I definitely experienced profound shifts.
Check out 2019 Year in Review for the highlights.
Focus for 2019
I primarily focused on two things last year, growing the blogs and a planned trip to Scotland. Many joys and some challenges filled in the spaces between those two big goals, creating a year of shifts and letting go.
My word for 2019, Enchantment, inspired me to use my thoughts, words and actions to create the reality that I desire. My symbol, the queen chess piece, came to me through a Divine question:
“Do you want to be the Queen of your own kingdom, or a pawn in someone else’s?”
During 2019, as the Queen of Enchantment, I focused on building my kingdom through writing, sharing, speaking and engaging.
The 2019 Year in Review is very simple as it basically covers two areas.
This year brought huge growth in me as a blogger and in the blogs as well. I began the year by taking an online blogging class. Blogging Blastoff, created and taught by Heather and Pete Reese, is a 30 day course with daily, online classes. I’ve been blogging for more than six years, however, I’ve never taken a class. How helpful this course is. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in creating a blog or monetizing an existing one.
Click this LINK to check out their classes. There’s an excellent free five day getting started course as well.
That class changed the course of my blogs. As a result, I now earn money through affiliate connections, like with Amazon, and through sponsorships with companies and brands. This past year I worked with 16 brands…and counting. I was also featured in two national magazines, Woman’s World and For Women First, guested on my first two podcasts, did a Facebook live for a group and did interviews.
These activities not only helped my blogs to grow, they expanded my abilities as well. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I spend hours and hours a day, working on my writing and my blogs. I love the journey though. And I’ve connected with other bloggers, which was a key component missing from my blogging journey before. There are so many amazing bloggers out there and I’m privileged to call some of them friends. We help each other out and encourage one another, sharing our accomplishments and our challenges.
The Scotland Trip
If you know anything about me, you know this…I love Scotland. My Scottish DNA seems to work as a powerful magnet, drawing me ever toward my ancestral home. The highlight of 2019 was a trip to Scotland, accompanied by my sister Debbie. We made Edinburgh our homebase while we explored that gorgeous, ancient city and met up, for the first time, with Clan Maitland members from around the world.
For me, Edinburgh is home, even though my family originates from Lauder, in the Borders. I’ve never experienced the connection anywhere else, that I feel in Edinburgh. This was my third trip to Scotland and I never tire of wandering the streets and closes of Edinburgh. The energy is amazing there, the sights and sounds exhilarating and the people so friendly. Debbie and I spent many happy hours exploring the city. A couple of vegan restaurants, Seeds for the Soul and Beetroot Sauvage, comped meals for us and a vegan bakery gave us extra treats to take back to our apartment.
I’m grateful that my sister traveled with me. It was a trip to remember. My next Scottish intention is visiting Edinburgh at Christmas time.
The second part of visiting Scotland involved meeting Scottish kin. Debbie and I are members of Clan Maitland, which includes those with Maitland and Lauderdale surnames. Early ancestors came from Normandy and settled eventually near Lauder, Scotland in the Borders. The family lineage includes a duke and a long line of earls. Our clan chief is Ian Maitland, the 18th Earl of Lauderdale. And there is a castle in Lauder, Thirlestane, that is occupied by another branch of the family.
What an amazing adventure, to meet Ian, his son John, and family members from New Zealand, the US, Scotland, England and France. As a family we explored places in the Borders connected historically to the Maitlands. Our little group of about 30 people bonded during our days together and truly became family, or kin as Ian liked to call us. We toured Thirlestane Castle and met our in-residence family members there, Edward and Sarah Maitland-Carew. They were such gracious hosts. Edward and Ian entertained us with stories about the castle as we toured the rooms and shared afternoon tea together.
Debbie and I left Scotland, reluctantly, but with full hearts and connections with new cousins. Clan means family, Ian reminded us daily. I love my expanded family and I look forward to seeing them again.
A New Adventure Begins
Exiting 2019, I leave with a kingdom that I’ve build with my own efforts, words and actions. I’ll be leaving real estate in March of this year, parking my license with Keller Williams.
It is time for me to expand my tiny kingdom. I have a new word and a new symbol for 2020, and big dreams and intentions. I am the Queen of Enchantment still though, the queen of my own kingdom. Creating my reality is my calling, along with helping others to live beyond comfort zones, limiting beliefs, poor health and fears.
Thank you for journeying with me. It means so much to me. I’m excited to see where I go this year, who I meet and what doors open! Join me on this next adventure during the Year of Curiosity.
Check out these books and products from 2019:
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I am an affiliate with It’s a Lovely Life and Blogging Blastoff. All opinions are my own.