It appears I’ve only posted one Harmony Art Mom post for the whole of 2018. What happened there? I didn’t mean to be silent for so long, but I’ll fill in with the highlights of my Harmony Art Mom year.
This has been a busy year of adjusting to living in a new place and to the comings and goings of friends and family. We knew when we moved here that we were starting a new chapter in our family, but nothing ever quite turns out as planned. I’m getting better at the twists and turns of life with four grown children and elderly parents.
Through the challenges of this year, I was introduced to a new way of looking at things. It has saved my sanity and kept my emotions in their proper place.
“Don’t let your highs be too high or your lows too low.”
We can plan and dream about how a year will go at the start of each new year but really it’s the unexpected joys that come along that make the time special. In my case, it’s been in the form of friendships made and deepened, the surprise of family relationships healing and growing, and then the taking on of challenges and seeing how we are supported by loved ones and the answers of prayers that highlighted 2018 as a memorable year.
Our four children, who are all of the Millennial generation, are continuing to be a big part of our life. No marriages or grandchildren yet, but all four are healthy and growing as adults. Continuing to be home base for the two younger boys, allows us to continue our close relationships. Whether it’s advice on careers, girls, or how to fix a car, both my husband and I treasure the connections and opportunity to see them continue to grow and take on life.
2018 was filled with visitors who came to spend some time with us and see the wonders of where we live. Whether it was just a married couple or a houseful at a time, we enjoyed every minute! There were campfires, dinners made on the smoker, horseshoes, long walks along the river, kayak trips and floating, board games, and good conversation. Especially in the summer, it was sort of like a string of mini-vacations when friends and family came to visit. More than once we were told that it’s a joy to come and be quiet and still, gazing out at the landscape. We feel the same and so blessed to be here full time.
Then the autumn came along and we made the decision to get both my hips replaced at one time. I am relatively young and healthy which made me a good candidate for this surgery. After much research, prayer, and conversation with family, it was decided. I’m now eight weeks post-operative and am feeling like I’m getting my life back. The surgery and recovery have not been too painful or difficult but it’s been the mental challenge of being at home and dependent on my family and friends. I learned to take it one day at a time and remember my goal of not getting to emotionally high or low….keeping an even keel and looking at the positive. I tried to make good use of my time spent confined in the house with a walker and cane by catching up on my reading, doing lots of writing and journaling, and reaching out to others through cards, email, and texts.
Looking back on the last eight weeks, my sweetest moments have been the little encouraging texts and visits from people who truly care about me. My husband has been my hero and so devoted to my care. He continues to amaze me with his ability to be calm and encouraging even when I am in tears.
A friend told me that soon this whole surgery and recovery will be a “speed bump in my rearview mirror”. What a great way to look at this whole experience! Next spring when I’m hiking up a trail with no pain, I know this time will seem a distant memory.
Like I said in the beginning of this post, we can make a plan but then as the year goes on we see the path takes some unexpected turns and the plan goes astray. I think I’m going to change my attitude about yearly plans and view it more like creating a beautiful painting. As the year starts, it’s like having an idea for a painting. We can sketch it out on the canvas and have a vague idea of how it will look as we put the first bits of paint down. As the year unfolds, the painting becomes more vivid and full of life. There are always things to adjust and adapt to and perhaps even a “mistake” makes us paint over a section. But, in the end, the painting can be a masterpiece.
Thanks to all my loyal readers, those of you who take the time to comment or send a personal email from time to time. It makes my heart happy to hear how this blog and my work have helped you and encouraged you.
My message continues to be that there is life after homeschooling and those hours you spend with your children building relationships are some of the most important and treasured times you will ever experience as a parent. Don’t overlook the long term benefits of time spent engaged in enjoyable learning with your children.
If you are like me, you are anxious to see how their canvases will be painted.