Tuesday 28 December 2021

Ponderings on the year that was . . .



As hard as it is to believe, here we are sitting pretty close to the end of 2021. Somehow we have basically gotten through another year, despite the Pandemic.  This can be a time of great reflection and introspection.  A time where we evaluate where the past year has taken us and where we want to go in the year to come.

I have never been a person who makes New Years Resolutions.  Oh, maybe once upon a time, but in all honesty, I do not keep most of the resolutions I make, and so for me resolutions are a no go. If I resolve anything at all, it is to become a better me. That, I can manage.

Last year at this time I remember feeling very broken, maybe even shell-shocked.  I couldn't see very far into my future.  I was basically just trying to get through one day at a time, and I think perhaps that is the best way to get through most difficult things which happen to us . . .  one day at a time. 

You do it, the one day and then you get through the next one, and the next one and before you know it, you've gotten through a whole mess of whatnot that you never thought you could get through. 


This was very much a year of healing for me. I feel much better sitting at the point I am this year than I did last year, but I still have a ways to go.  I have learned some things about myself this year however. Things that I was amazed to learn about myself.

I am incredibly strong.  They say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I have learned that that is true.

 Oh, I have had many weak moments. Moments where I just sat and cried, and it is good to cry sometimes. Tears can be very healing.  But the brokenness is not a good place to dwell for very long.  So I allowed myself to cry, but I did not allow myself to wallow.  Progression does not come from wallowing or in self pity.

I did not ask why me, because to be honest I know that bad stuff happens to good people all the time. Instead I tried to ask myself what can I learn from this experience?  What positivity can I take from this? Where is the gold in this that I can use to stitch myself back together with?  


I was fortunate to have been able to surround myself with very good people.  I have always surrounded myself with good people, but this year I allowed myself to lean on their goodness and their strength to help propel me forward.  Leaning on those who want to help is not a bad thing and it doesn't mean you are weak. It means you are human, and sometimes as humans we need to draw on the strength of others.  My family, my friends, many of you.  You were often the strength I needed to draw upon when I couldn't summon up any of my own.

And not all of it was positive. I had some very hurtful and damaging comments and actions directed at me during this year and this experience.  But again, I did not dwell in them.  I asked myself, is this true?  Am I what they have suggested I am?  Each time the answer came, no.  That the comments left were saying more about the person who left them than they were about me.  I grew from that.   The things we say and do, always say more about us than they do about the person they are directed at.  When someone shows you who they are, believe them, and put them into the place where they belong.

I decided that I didn't need these people in my life and so I cut them off.  That's never been very easy for me. I was brought up to respect others, always.  But I have learned this year that respect is something which needs, in many cases, to be earned.  I can take constructive criticism.  Constructive criticism is often a good thing.  But allowing others to degrade you simply because it, in some way, makes them feel better about themselves at your expense, is never a good thing.  And so I put a halt to that as much as I could.  There will always be people who put out unjustified negativity.  Ignore them.


This year I learned to face my fears, my bullies, my shortcomings, my weaknesses and then use them to empower myself to become a better me.  I had never ever lived on my own, not ever in my life. I had gone from my parents home to a husbands home, to my parents, to a husbands, to a parents and then again to a husband.  Even when this latest crisis occurred I had to retreat into the arms of my loved ones, but I did not use it to propel me into the arms of anyone else, and I did not stay there.  

Instead I learned to live on my own.  I learned that I could support myself and depend on myself.  Rely on myself.  And it is scary, but it is also good.  I discovered that really I had not been "taken" care of  for all of those years, but that I had been "taking" care of.  And that now I needed to take care of  . . .  me.  And learning to take care of "me" was not a selfish thing to do, but empowering . . .  and, again, an opportunity for great growth.

I discovered a strength that I had had all along but not recognized.  I looked around at the women in my life and I saw that I had come from a line of very strong women, and that I was a strong woman also.  I saw that for the most part I had only ever experienced very weak men in my life and that it was not something I ever want to do again. 

In losing everything, I discovered the most important things, and I found myself.  The myself I had never taken the time to acknowledge or to recognize.


This was the year that I was able to put my faith into action and to draw upon it like I had never drawn upon it before.  God became very real to me and I saw and felt Him and my Savior every single day.  I have always been a woman of faith, and I have always believed in God and in Jesus Christ. I had never really allowed them to guide and carry me. My prayer life increased. I lived more in the scriptures. I clung to the good in the world in all that I read and watched. This year I had the opportunity to exercise my faith each and every day like never before.  Faith is like a muscle. It needs to be exercised and I gave it a real workout.  They never let me down. My faith in them never let me down. My faith became even stronger through the process.  

I learned how to forgive the unforgiveable.  

I think I became a better me. If I can end the year as a better me than I was when I began the year, then it has not been a year lived in vain, and I resolve again, to become a better me in the year that is to come.  Its exciting when you think about it. It really is.

I said a few weeks ago that my word for 2022 was going to be authentic.  I stand by that word.  2022 is going to be a year of authenticity for me.  In all that I do. In all that I think. In all that I feel. In all that I share.  As much as I can. In whatever way that I can.

And along the way I want to work less and paint more.

And that's enough for me.

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *Life is not measured by 
the number of breaths we take
but by the moments 
that take our breath away.•。★★ 。* 。 

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Creamed Potatoes and Chicken. Except I used turkey and ham.  It was delicious and sized just for two people or one with leftovers.

Have a wonderful day!  I just realized its Tuesday, DUH.  Woman's Day book tomorrow.  haha, that is the week between Christmas and New Years. You can never really know quite what day it actually is! haha  Don't forget! 

═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════

And I do too!


  1. What a year!!Again ..bravo..I always thought your faith was a great strength for you.

  2. A lovely retrospective on your year, Marie. You've come a long way, baby! Here's to much happiness and growth in 2022. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. I still have a ways to go, but 2022 is a new year! Love and hugs, xoxo

  3. You have made great progress this year, and it will continue.

  4. Very exciting thought to end the year a better person ! It’s what we all strive for, I would think. Well, done, you. On to 2022 ! xo,V

  5. My 90 yr old aunt, who had lived through 2 husbands, told me this past year that she had noticed that strong women (like she is) draw weak men. When I pondered on that awhile, I could see her point. It does seem so. A weak man who is faithful but not easy to live with, well that can be endured at least, which is what her 2nd husband was. But in the end of things, when you are left alone, is when one realizes their real strength it seems. I think you have done incredibly well...and you obviously come from a wonderful family who have been of great help!! You are blessed beyond measure these days in that...so many have no one at all to help in times of need. But you have also worked very hard to get to this place...I admire your accomplishments!! May this next year be better for us all!!
    Elizabeth xoxo

  6. Hi Marie~

    You, my friend, are as strong a woman as I have ever known! XOXO

    Hugs and Love,

  7. Well done Marie, you did a really amazing thing: you came through something unthinkable, and can now look back and be proud of yourself, how you handled it. I wish you all the very best for 2022!

    1. Thanks very much Patricia! All the best to you in 2022 as well! xoxo

  8. My dear friend, you are inspiring for sure. I have been following you for a very long time. My heart hurt for you, but I have seen you go through a hard time with great faith, and you are a strong woman. I love how you write about it all. You have many God given gifts that you have used well. I WILL look forward to you painting again.
    I know you strengthen many with your blog posts and I'm sure your teachings too.
    May you know the love I have for you as a sister in the gospel and as a friend.
    Sending loving thoughts and hugs your way!


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