What, This Again? Saying Goodbye to 2014

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"Just try and stay out of my way. Just try! I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!"

“Just try and stay out of my way. Just try! I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!”

I should have known 2014 was going to be a wild year when I tried to fill out one of those Leone “my best most fantabulous year” planners and came up with squat.

I love her artwork but never bought into the idea of the planners and calendars being useful.  Last year they became available on Amazon and I threw it into my cart on a whim along with my annual Christmas book haul for my oldest son.  I sat down on a day when I felt great, meditated my way into the right frame of mind, lit a candle, and started writing answers to the prompts.

Maybe it’s like when Mike the MMA instructor slash carpenter told me he’d like to take my boys into his class.  “But you,” he said in his heavy Russian accent,”You stay home.”

I asked him why couldn’t I come?

He said with a smile,”I see you and you don’t take direction well.  You want I should order you around?  Tell you, RUN, JULIE and don’t stop until I tell you?”

“No,” I said.

It was kind of like that with the book.

I tried and tried to come up with 50 things I wanted to do this year and 100 whatevers and all of that nonsense, but I already knew it was no good because I had my Word For The Year and that’s all I needed.  Just a wee talisman to remind me of what I was shooting for in all things.

The year before it was PROSPERITY because we were on the balls of our behinds after extended unemployment left us wiped out.  Prosperity came.

This year it was two words, EFFORTLESS JOY, much broader than prosperity (in my mind).

When you are planning and no plans come to mind, that’s when you know the odds are great that the universe has it all planned for you and you should expect the unexpected.

There was nothing I wanted to do with A Clear Sign, financially.  I just wanted to write when I felt like it.

I didn’t think we’d be in a financial position or have enough time to plan anything grandiose, like an actual vacation or trip, since we hadn’t done it in the last 18 years.

My ideas for the year were kind of like this:

1. Pay attention to Spirit, my guide team, the present moment, and above all PAY ATTENTION and do your work.

2. Get Thing Two to learn to read already.

3. Make sure Thing One exercises.

4. It would be a good idea to keep my job.

5. Keep my husband happy.

6. Get some exercise myself.

7. Get rid of the goat?

So about a month ago I was looking for a receipt for $1,600 of work I had done on my car, which was now being recalled (never found it) and I ran into that 2014 Planner.  I scowled at it and threw it right in the trash with a bang.

I want you to really, REALLY think over your 2014 while you’re reading this.  If you had to summarize it in ten items or less, what were the highlights?  If you neglect to end your year then you just bring the garbage with you into the new year.  Yes, even wonderful things are garbage!

It is probably a good thing that the calendar rolls around every four seasons, giving us a chance to think this over rather than simply continue on unconsciously.

I have this very strong sense that things are about to change dramatically, and I don’t feel that too much of 2014 is coming along with us in 2015.  It feels more like you should strap yourself in for a bumpy and wild ride.  Things are going to actually happen.  You won’t be doing so much waiting.  Opportunities will come to your door and pass you right by if you aren’t ready.  This is the year to look alive.  This past year has been more about how we chain ourselves and lock ourselves up, loss, letting go, sitting tight, getting shocked and disappointed.

We were revisiting and repeating things from the past that we’d darn well thought we were done with but they showed back up.  Collectively it felt like we were all saying,”This AGAIN?!  No! How did this happen??”

Or,”How can this possibly be THIS HARD??”

So if I wasn’t expecting any big surprises this year, it was probably one of those protective times where the universe consults itself and says,”Better not warn her about ANY of this, let’s just hit her as necessary.”

Biggest Surprises From 2014


1.  A revisit from The Slapper this Christmas.  Boundaries were set, compromises were made for the sake of family harmony, but I had to give up 2 of the 4 full days I got with my husband in the last six months for this woman, only to get agita back.

Let’s just say that, like there is no crying in baseball, there is no touching unless invited or given permission.  Everyone knows this, right?  No touching!  If your energy sucks, I don’t want it!

Oh the DRAMA, folks.

“To belittle, you have to be little.”  



2. “And ever it has been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”

My husband moved out of the country for work for now and into the foreseeable future.  Didn’t expect that one.  However, it did result in an actual vacation for me and the kids to visit him.



3. Due to an incredibly stupid decision, one of the dogs got hit by a car.  He had multiple procedures, two surgeries, and set us back in excess of $6,000, which we couldn’t afford.  But my husband wouldn’t let our 6 year old be broken hearted over his dog dying, so if nothing else I can say I chose a good father for my children.

goat in sandbox

4. I got rid of the goat!

5. I am fairly sure I was successful at all of the other items on my list.  The kid can read. I kept my job.  I stayed in touch with my guide team.  I learned a lot about things I needed to change and integrate.  Some friendships deepened.  I helped a few people.  I wrote some fiction.

The year started beautifully.  My husband and I were happier than we had been in a long while.  There was laughter back in the house.  But then he moved away.

There were things the school had told me would never be possible for my child, like writing the ubiquitous Five Paragraph Essay.  His new school did a phenomenal job with teaching him and he began winning awards and being honored for his writing.  I’d like to take every essay that won an award and shove it up the old principal’s nose, telling her that if she ever does what she did to my son to another child, I will haunt her.  But I’m not dead yet, so just like The Slapper, when they see me coming they should run.

When I think of the past year, this comes to mind:

“We are all like the bright moon, we still have our darker side.”

I’ve decided that trying to be right or good, or kind and perfect in my thoughts even when faced with utter crap from other people is just not in the cards.  I go with my gut and do what I can in the moment, but shaming myself for calling a spade a spade is nonsense that gets me nowhere.  Feeling our feelings when they show up – whatever they are – is the right thing and the best way to learn.

Sometimes I see people sticking their noses out intentionally to get others in trouble because they don’t approve of their attitude, their politics, or the curse words they use.  What do I know, maybe that way of being is necessary in the world to get things done, but as for me I’d rather mind my own business.

Be Proud – We Hung In There

Underlying all the thoughts that came to mind when reviewing 2014 is a sense that we hung in there, but we are capable of so much more.  Do not fear what you’ve left undone, but look forward to meeting it in the future.  There are times we must rest, times we must revisit our old mistakes, and times when we have to take a serious look at who we are and what we maybe haven’t noticed about ourselves yet.

I’ll assume that it’s true that there is a purpose to everything, good or bad in our estimation, but useful to us regardless.

I am so much stronger than I ever expected to be.  Each time some ugliness creeps its way in, I can see how much I have learned to blow it off and not take things so much to heart.  What would have traumatized me last year or the year before is now quickly dispensed with.  We’ve had to accelerate along the learning curve for the work we have ahead of us, drawing nearer.

I long ago gave up a desire or need for “stuff” or big houses, but that’s probably because at one point I already had that experience.  There are many things I haven’t done enough of yet, like travel.  I still want to have my cat sanctuary.  I still want to write.  I still want to enjoy my children growing up and expanding their skills and abilities just because it will be interesting to see what my unique progeny decide to do with their lives.  I still want to spend happy times with my husband.  I still want to get back on the ice in my hockey skates.  I imagine there are a lot more “I stills” left in me to be discovered.

I’m off to read Freckle Juice with Thing Two before bed and to think if I want to have a WORD again this year or just leave things be for future discovery.

What about you?  Hopes for 2015?  Lessons learned from 2014?   What came to mind while reading this?


All quotes credit Khahil Gibran

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  1. Hi Julie,
    I love your summary for 2014. I especially love this: I imagine there are a lot more “I stills” left in me to be discovered.

    LOL, I was going to ask you if quote #2 was Kahlil Gibran and I just noticed that all are of him (Have you read The Broken Wings? The most beautiful love story ever written)

    My daughter just left and today’s the day (eleventh hour. no less) that I start thinking of the year around the corner. I was thinking of how every year I write down goals and put them in a prominent place but do I reach them- never really noticed. But this Christmas I was reading last year’s journal (to see if this Christmas really was harder to face than last one) and I found a goal I’m scribbled for 2014 and impossibly, we reached it. It got me thinking: I hadn’t written it down in a prominent place. I had closed it up between the covers of my journal. Maybe I’ll do it again that way this year.

    2014 was filled FILLED with challenges but along with each came the thrill of empowerment. Every problem took us from one place and deposited us in a better one. 2015 is a mystery present I’m nearly afraid to unwrap. I don’t know even what I want but today’s the day to start thinking about it. Thanks for the inspiration to get me going. And I hope my guides are not saying this about me: ”Better not warn her about ANY of this, let’s just hit her as necessary.”
    Please. 🙂
    Lori Gosselin recently posted..Merry ChristmasMy Profile

    • Lori, If we had no more “I stills” then wouldn’t it be entirely too boring?!

      I have not read it but I may need to suck it up and dive in.

      At our next “international” meeting I am going to have to ask everyone what they think about this business of goal setting versus just “being” and diving in when opportunity presents itself. How much is creating our own opportunities, and how much is being open to the surprises of what happens next?

  2. Mary Stephenson says:

    Hi Julie

    2014 was a life changing year! A year that has thrown me wildly out of my comfort zone and into a big adventure. Oh, sure I balked at the needed changes, but now I am looking forward to the next scary part of my life, knowing that this is releasing bad energy.

    Will be moving soon and boy can you accumulate a lot of crap over 43 years living in the same house.

    Your post definitely describes my life this year!

    Looking for a great 2015.


  3. What came to mind while reading this?

    Goodbye 2014. You had your time and I am done with you. 🙂

  4. I foolishly chose THREE words last year, and they all manifested in ways that I was not expecting, and which were not universally pleasant.

    So having totally learned my lesson, of course I am doing it again this year. Three new ones. But they’re a nice happy orange color this year. Maybe that will help. 🙂
    The Painted Universe recently posted..A Towering AchievementMy Profile

    • THREE words? Well aren’t you the risk taker. I notice you don’t mention which they were, nor the new ones! Inquiring minds want to know. But if you never tell me, at least I’ll know you picked the right color. Pick some heart centered pink and green ones for me, will you?

  5. I would have to say 2014 was the most transformative year of my life. I started to say hardest but I didn’t like the negative connotation. My hopes for 2015? I’ll sound like a hippie – but peace, love and understanding. Seriously.

    • Mary, We already know your 2015 is off to a good start because you’re coming to see me! 🙂 I don’t know that you’ll get any peace around this madhouse but I’ll offer you understanding for sure.

  6. The year 2014 was a year of transformation. It was also a year of the miraculous. I did a lot of personal work using my favorite method of bulldozing up old junk: hypnotherapy with a spiritual twist. I healed a lot of emotional eating issues, enough that when I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the spring, I was able to change my eating significantly with relative grace and ease. I also did hypnosis around the diabetes and did big healing there. Six months later my blood sugar is normal and continues to be so (and I lost almost 75 lbs.). I also released a lot of old anger from my body, taxing my liver for a while, but that’s back to normal now as well. And I find more peace in my heart in my day to day existence.

    Towards the latter part of 2014, it became painfully clear that it was time to deal with an uncomfortable relationship in my life. Because that person and I are connected by joint property/home ownership, we will have to deal with each other for years to come. I can’t just cut this person out of my life and be done with it, so I’m doing healing work around the relationship, which is a big challenge for me. But things there are shifting, and will continue to do so. Feeling more peace there, and moving toward even more peace and detachment.

    For 2015, I’m continuing work on my evolution towards inner peace and experiencing the ripples outward on my family.
    Susan recently posted..Pieces Lost and Found: A Guest PostMy Profile

  7. anonymouse says:

    This: “I have this very strong sense that things are about to change dramatically, and I don’t feel that too much of 2014 is coming along with us in 2015. It feels more like you should strap yourself in for a bumpy and wild ride. Things are going to actually happen. You won’t be doing so much waiting. Opportunities will come to your door and pass you right by if you aren’t ready. This is the year to look alive. This past year has been more about how we chain ourselves and lock ourselves up, loss, letting go, sitting tight, getting shocked and disappointed.”

    So is this your feeling that the tenor of 2015 will be along these lines for people in genral/the collective experience? If so, um, pretty exciting! I love a little excitement (just not too much? ha)

    Sweet family photo and looks like wherever your husband is lovely. He’s far away yes but the financial rewards are so good for your family. I hope his health continues to be good.

    Thing 1 and thing 2, we use that too for our smalls:) Speaking of which, for our thing 2 we are struggling with the teaching to read (well, almost 5 now). Word tables being reviewed but eh. How did you guys do it? It’s not the same for teaching each child; Thing 1 learned at a faster rate and we just lucked out:)

    Well written post and happy new year to you. Thanks for sharing your insights with us. And so wonderful your youngest found a school that not only helped him but he is flourishing. There really is no better feeling that advocating for you kid and seeing the results. It’s sheer joy.

    The bit about honoring the fact we are not all sunshine and light (in the face of dealing with jerks..) is to me a way to be kind to yourself. We’re human and it’s ok to get frustrated or mad- the trick (as you said) is not letting it linger. Let it GOOOO (yes, 2014, you are gone and I hope Frozen songs are gone with it..) and move on. Huge congratulations for not kicking the Slapper’s butt. Restraint, you GOTS IT.

    • Yes that’s the general feel.

      The Caribbean is beautiful 🙂

      Reading: my oldest was reading literature (adult books) at 4/5 whereas his brother just started getting through Reader #2 and #3 at almost 7, so go figure. So I would not worry about almost 5, some kids especially boys apparently are just reluctant. Mine just refused for 3 years. Phonics worked for #2 whereas #1 taught himself by reading to himself and watching captions on tv. I read nightly to both of them, didn’t seem to matter. I think they do it when they are ready and get interested.

      Happy new year 🙂

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