Last week, I looked back at my daily journal. I flipped through the past 12 months to see what I did each day. My daily journal has become a nightly ritual. I write before I go to bed, jotting down the top three things I hope to accomplish the following day and the three things I’m grateful for. I also record a note about my health. Am I faring well or is something brewing that worries me? (BTW the health journal is very helpful when I go to my doctor, especially at my age when I forget things.)
Gratitude is overflowing
As I re-read the gratitude portion of my journal, it is interesting to note what I was grateful for each evening. Clearly what ranks first are the relationships in my life – my daughter A and my son D, my sister N, my long-term BFFs and my new BFFs, my BF E, and my extended family. I mustn’t forget my grandpups O and M – my fav non-humans. It is these relationships that nourished me throughout 2023. It is these relationships that brought me happiness and joy. It is these relationships that I will always cherish.
The other grateful biggie at this age is my health. With each 2023 quarterly bladder scope my body has remained cancer-free. Thank you G-d. I’m grateful too that my 65 year old body can do all that it can do including active walks, yoga, Pickleball, bicycling, Zumba and more. And when my IBS slows me down, as it often does, my heating pad warms me up and makes me feel better.
Today sitting at my new iMac (which I finally treated myself to with my 10+ years of savings from my blog earnings), I’m in awe of all that transpired the past 12 months. For sure there were difficult lows, yet now being on the other side of those lows I can say that the highs outweigh them.
2023 in the rearview mirror
I have so much to be thankful for. How about you? How was your 2023?
Ooh, ooh, ooh, I think I’ll share my year like The New York Times does – with a year-in-review of pictures. I wrote 55+ blog posts and filled them with pictures. In this post I’ve included ones that most represent the essence of 2023:
- January brought my entry into seniorhood with the celebration of my 65th birthday. I’m grateful that I survived my Medicare health plan registration. In 2023, I took advantage of my AARP supplement and all the added benefits membership provides — like free Club Pilates classes and Stretch Lab sessions. I’m keeping my Medicare plans intact for 2024.
- My second winter in Florida was just as good as my first in 2022. I continued to shovel sunshine instead of snow. I perfected my Pickleball skills and made new friends on the courts not only in Naples, FL but when I returned home in spring and fall in New Jersey and in summer at the Jersey shore.
- My annual mother-daughter road trip home from Florida took us to St. Augustine, FL; Charleston, S.C.; and Alexandria, VA. It was so much fun that my daughter A and I are planning our 2024 homeward-bound road trip with a new route to include Asheville, NC. If you have any recos for this trip LMK.
- In May I spent a fabulous week on a Viking River Cruise to Lyon and Provence. The Viking team invited me to join a group of media peeps for an 8-day voyage on the River Rhône. It was my first international trip since the pandemic and my +1 was my sister N, one of my favorite traveling companions. If you’re thinking of a river cruise in 2024, I highly recommend this one! Although you may want to book it before or after the 2024 Summer Olympics in France.
- The September wedding of my son D to my new daughter-in-law S will go down as the most memorable event of 2023. It was a rite of passage for D as well as for me. Walking my son down the aisle for his nuptials as mother of the groom was one of my happiest days ever. I never tire of rewatching the wedding video and viewing the wedding pics of this magical Malibu day.
- Going to 2023 Cornell Homecoming Weekend in the fall brought back memories of when I was a college student. Oh to be a young coed again. Would I want to go through my four-year stint a second time? Absolutely not but it was a hoot to be back almost 45 years later with some dollars in my pocket and a lot more smarts.
- In October, my BF E and I went on a road trip to Hudson Valley in New York State. It was a special getaway because we had had to cancel our plans in autumn 2022 due to E’s serious bout with Covid and subsequent 2023 battle with the infamous “C” disease. I spent a good amount of time as a caregiver to E this year, helping nurture him back to health. While I chose not to share my caregiver journey this time around, I feel more open to now that we’re on the other side of that journey. I am pleased to say that E is stronger, “C” free, and back up on his feet. And our love for each other grows.
Holiday and new year greetings
There you have it. Before I sign off I want to thank you dear readers for continuing to be engaged in my blog and my life. Your readership, as always, means the world to me.
I wish you peace and love during this holiday season. May you have a happy and healthy new year. I look forward to seeing you back on the blog in 2024.