Today was my final day of firsts. What an amazing year. I’ve spent time the past few days looking over blog posts and the past year, remembering and thinking on the valuable lessons I’ve learned. Today, to complete my year of firsts, with a first, I created a year end review with the Magisto app. It proved too cumbersome to do a slideshow with 365 pictures, although that would have been cool! The Magisto movie uses 30 pics from this past year, all firsts, to capture this exceptional year.
And exceptional it was. My year of firsts was undertaken to push me BEYOND….beyond what I was used to doing, beyond my comfort zone, beyond the habits I had settled into. Firsts like delivering roses to strangers on Valentine’s Day, creating a video for the Hobbit Fellowship Contest and screaming as hard as I could in a primal scream did indeed push me. Other firsts required more of me and didn’t allow me to pull back, like watching sad movies and being okay with my tears, contacting a teacher I hadn’t been in touch with for more than 40 years and publically writing about attending a Theresa Caputo event.
The firsts that were more about inward journeys brought growth. Confronting my fear of tornadoes by taking a weather spotting class and watching the movie “Into the Storm” and the documentary “Twisted Believers” helped me to release and move beyond the fear. Having firsts like Yes Day, Leaning into Silence and accepting what is by Making Friends with the Rain, brought reflection and a deeper sense of who I was. I learned to use power tools and repaired chairs, fixed faulty Christmas tree lights, created a fire pit. My creative side was unleashed in designing vignettes and taking art classes. I made new friends. I celebrated many happy occasions with family and friends, ate at new restaurants for the first time, watched movies I’d never seen before. I tried Zumba as a first and continue to dance three times a week.
There were BIG firsts. My backyard was transformed into a sanctuary of peace and beauty and continues to bring me great joy. I grew herbs and dried them and now use them to make my own beauty products, teas and potpourri. And I realized a lifelong dream by traveling to Scotland for the first time, with cousins Mindy and Harry. I learned so many things about myself on that trip. It was an unforgettable and amazing experience.
Those were some of the things I did. The bigger lessons came around the shifts that occurred in me because of my willingness to try something new…every day. That attitude brought a raised awareness about the many opportunities Joplin offers. I discovered MSSU brings in talented performers on the college circuit. The Post Memorial Library has a new art exhibit every month. Spiva is an amazing place to see incredible works of art. The “biggie” for me though was experiencing how life truly works, at least for me. I saw like I’ve never seen before how the Divine communicates with me through everything that is showing up in my life. Synchronicities abounded and helped me know that I was on the right path. And if a planned first failed, another one, the right one, always, ALWAYS showed up. I learned to trust God, life and my own instincts in such a deep way. I have seen the connection of everything and that it is a friendly universe that conspires to help me, guide me and bless me.
I am so grateful to Lu Ann Cahn for inspiring me to travel down this path through her own journey. I am beyond thankful for my family members and my friends who not only encouraged me to keep going, but experienced firsts with me. I am blessed with such faithful traveling companions. I finish 2014 changed from the person who began it with fear and trembling, and a concern that I would be able to do that which I intended to do, to one who is confident I can do all I set out to accomplish. I did it! And I am excited about the New Year, which is beginning even as I complete this blog post. A new adventure begins. I’ll see you on the JOURNEY!