New Year Reflections, slide show and holiday card/letter

Happy New Year friends, family and chosen family.

While I don’t normally do “resolutions” (and if I do, I usually do them at the begging of the “Celtic” New year at Samhain in early November), I am ready to kick 2014 to the curb and look forward to 2015 being a new and awesome year.

2014 seems to have been a year filled with more challenge, tragedy, illness, death and trauma for just about everyone I know than any years in recent memory.  (as I write this, one of you is in surgery having a large, rare and malignant tumor removed from around your iliac vein and artery and another also with cancer is planning your own memorial)

Without offering up platitudes which those who are still struggling/grieving may not appreciate, I will just say that for me, that pesky phoenix metaphor holds true.  While just about every area of my life went up in flames (all at once) last year and it seemed overwhelming for a time, it is allowing me a fresh start on a lot of levels.

I enter 2015 in a much better place career wise-I love my job and have benefits again.  Small business, which contributes to society in a meaningful way seems to be my sweet spot between working for a soulless corporation for benefits and working for a non-profit with no competent leadership and no benefits.

While I’m pretty sure the debacle with the scummy mortgage servicer took a year or so off of my life, I ended up in a better position in a modified mortgage which has left me with a 1.25% decrease in interest rate and a 25% decrease in monthly payment.

While I very much appreciate (you’ll never how much that meant to me) those of you who offered to help, it was something I needed to do on my own and the end result was much better than if I had accepted help and tried to deal with the status quo.  It also helped me learn to navigate a corrupt system that is designed to victimize hard working people and reward the worst of the worst 1%.  I am using that knowledge to write a guide to help others who are in the same situation.  I have already been able to use my experience to advise others.

I extricated myself from a “relationship” which made me feel bad about myself every single day (and Yikes! Did I ever wait far too long).  While I still have work to do on myself and my habit of putting my own wants/needs/self-esteem aside in favor of others’ I feel that I am stronger for it and can only hope that moving forward, I am able to make healthier choices for myself.

So yeah, I’m still decompressing from it all, but looking forward, things look pretty darn good.  I managed to “rise from the ashes” once again and sooner or later the scent of singed tail feathers will dissipate.

I plan on filling my life with more friendship, love, hiking, cycling, running, backpacking, music, art and dance.

I wish all of you a happy, healthy, 2015!

I put together my annual year end slide show, which those of you not on Facebook haven’t seen yet.

It just goes to show you that 2014 had a lot of high points despite the challenges, and most of them involved you, my friends and chosen family (a lot of you are in it)

Book update 
I’m still waiting on proofs from the book; I ordered a bit too close to the holiday rush.  I will let you know as soon as they are ready.

New Years Eve – First Night!

Don’t forget First Night on New Year’s eve.  The forecast is for clear and  no snow so once the indoor venues close at 11:30 and everyone moves to the square for our fiery countdown to midnight, it will be comfortable (if you’re dressed warmly, unlike we performers)

My fire siren friends and I will be in the parade with our LED toys as well as in the fire spectacle at midnight.  It’s going to be awesome this year!

An article on first night was just posted in last Friday’s Trib

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/12/26/3554861_fire-food-spectacle-and-music.htm

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For those who didn’t see it on Facebook or receive it by email or snail mail, here is the holiday card and BadKitty’s sarcastic letter.

holiday card 2014

holiday letter 2014