Happy New Year to all who read this! Wishing you peace, joy, and fulfillment of any long-held dreams.
Making annual resolutions—which seldom last longer than a few weeks—is not my thing. Life has a way of interrupting my best planned out schedule like losing weight or being more consistent in posting blogs. One thing for sure, my followers can’t complain about me flooding their inbox with too many posts.
While I try never to make promises I can’t/won’t keep, I do have a tendency to travel the backroads of my mind remembering the footsteps which caused me to stumble and the ones where I marched ahead.
With regret, I did not finish editing my romantic suspense novel, nor did I reach 50,000 words on the next Dahlonega Sisters novel during NANOWRIMO. I count both as stumbles since they are still works-in-progress which I’m hoping to publish in 2023.
While reviewing the positives and negatives, I was inspired to write about a mountain (okay, maybe it was a hill) I successfully climbed this year.
It has always limited my world. I’ve never been bold or brave. Conforming to rules and expectations kept me out of trouble as a kid and for the most part, as an adult. I’m not timid, but I seldom risk venturing into the unknown, especially on my own. My husband of fifty-one year is even less adventurous. As such, the width of our world has been pretty limited.
However, we’ve often been very blessed to vacation across the United States with my brother and his wife. They skillfully and confidently take care of all the arrangements: hotel reservations, car rental, and mapping out all the sights to see. We merely get in their vehicle and enjoy the experience.
This year, my dear friend who now lives in Virginia, invited me to join her at a beach house in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. We’d talked about the possibility ever since she moved away. I’d promised to visit and to spend time at the beach with her. When the opportunity presented itself, I balked. The list of reasons why I shouldn’t go grew quickly: Hubby would be all alone. The cost of airline tickets and car rental would dent our savings. Too many commitments listed on my calendar.
Truth was, none of those things were the issue. It was fear.
Traveling alone freaked me out. I hadn’t flown in more than twelve years, hadn’t rented a car in nearly twenty, and even more important, I’d never driven for hours by myself to an unfamiliar location. I don’t even like to test drive a car when we are looking to buy it.
I’m not a “what if” person, but I sure spent a restless night praying for an answer and trying not to think of things that could go wrong.
The following morning, I woke with new-found confidence. I called my daughter, who travels frequently, and asked for her help. She selected the flight, arranged for a rental, and reassured me I could do this. Suddenly, excitement overtook the fear. I mapped out the driving route, researched the requirements and limitations for flying, and started packing.
Not once did I feel anxious or second guess my decision. There were no delays flying out, the rental car was a breeze, and my Garmin took me right to the driveway of the beach house. I felt like I’d released a new me.
We laughed. We cried. We made new memories. Then, we promised to do it again next year. And, I found a confidence that had escaped me for most of my life. Hubby survived alone. I didn’t get lost or end up in Timbuktu. I could do this!
When I got back home, still feeling pumped with confidence, I filled out applications for passports for my husband and myself. He may not ever use his, but I will. There are places I want to go to and things I want to see.
Shortly after I returned from vacation, my daughter booked for us on a Caribbean cruise which we will take in April 2023. Once I’ve gotten my feet wet on a ship and abroad, I hope to convince my husband to join me on another cruise or some other trip out of the country.
Fear is in my rearview mirror. I hope it stays there!
So here is to the start of a new year. May you face your fears and rise above them.
Blessings to all of you.