The Year of Yes-Days 28 and 29 of My Year of Living Abundantly

My husband is likely the best husband in the world!  During each season of our life together, he’s been the perfect partner.  Today, we celebrated the new year by completing our McMenamin’s Passport and true to form, he was the perfect balance of celebration and anticipation.

McMenamin’s has been a great source fo couples fun over the past three years. Since 1983, the McMenamin brothers have been building family oriented pubs and hotels.  A few years ago, a marketing genius developed the Passport that allowed  future Tripsters to .get a stamp at each of the locations.  For each page of stamps, a prize is awarded.  Once a passport is complete, the passport holder gets 3 free nights at a McMenamin’s hotel, free concert tickets, and a T-shirt.  It’s pretty special.

In 2019, we pumped about $10,000 into communities around McMenamin’s. between Roseburg, Oregon and Bothell, Washington as we’ve worked to earn our FREE prizes.  We’ve built countless memories as we’ve done this.  Today’s prizes included Scooby snacks, a feta plate, burgers, growlers and  two $16 gift cards.


Today, we celebrated the accomplishments of 2019.  Our biggest accomplishment is we are now empty nesters!  One third of our kids has found a life partner and we survived the wedding!  We helped another child sell his first home and relocate.  Another child has done service projects on three continents and we’ve helped with fund raising for his ventures. Our home has been used to host community groups for roughly 255 hours.  We’ve both invested a lot of time volunteering for projects near and dear to us.

Today, we also started planning for 2020 adventures.  In her song  Anticipation, Carly Simon perfectly captured my feelings about getting ready for upcoming events.  I look forward to what is to come but I dream about them anyway.   Part of the fun of the McMenamin’s Passport has been planning.  Aligning schedules  and figuring out which special events (including free tours for stamps requiring TIX) might be happening and learning about the history of the area have enhanced the pre-experience.  Simon’s lyrics, “We can never know about the days to come,But we think about them anyway” and “And tomorrow we might not be together.  I’m no prophet and I don’t know nature’s ways, So I’ll try and see into your eyes right now, And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days.”  I look back on days like today  as one of the good old days I spent with my husband.

Because I’ve declared this year as my Year of Living Abundantly, I’ve said “yes” to things I wouldn’t have considered in the past.  A friend is planning a trip to Greece and she invited me. Different friends invited us to join them on a trip to Spain.  Our son asked us to join him on the Big Island of Hawaii for a special celebration.  We won’t have room in our budget for free McMenamin’s prizes this year but to adventure elsewhere.

I can honestly say that a barrier to saying “yes” to invitations like the ones I’ve received recently has been my overall health and wellness.  I fear not being able to keep up with others.  I dread trying to buckle an airplane seatbelt.  I worry that my luggage will be lost and I won’t be able to find underwear in my size.  I picture myself at a sidewalk cafe when suddenly, the tiny bistro chair I’m sitting in breaks.  Anticipation of such events has always stopped me from doing things in the past.

I’ve struggled with my weight for decades.  In my head I know how to lose weight.  I”ve not applied that information to my daily living though I’d really like to be thin and more active.  My Year of Living Abundantly started with a visit to a new primary care doctor. After a conversation with her,  I realized that  I’M the one who needs to make the decision to eat well and move more BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY  I’m the one who’ll live with the choices I make. Though BMI and Blood Pressure may reflect my health and well being, there are other success indicators I’ve decided to track.  I’m recording this journey   so I’ll be able to review and share the highlights when I see my doctor again in December 2020. I’d love to honestly report positive things.

As I look forward to a new year and new decade, I need to envision myself doing things that will help me live abundantly.  While in the past I’ve resolved to lose 100 pounds, in 2020 I resolve to hike and dance more.

In 2020 I will wiggle my toes in sand and slow dance in a backless dress.  In order to do both, I will need to walk and stretch daily.  I’ll need to eat less and strengthen my core.

In 2020 I will  read the New Testament and use resources like the Bible Project to enhance my understanding.  I know that God’s Word will reveal God’s plan for my life.  I hunger for something deeper.

In 2020  I will remove 2020 things from my home.  I’ll continue to use Kathi Lipp’s Clutter Free Academy podcast and resources to support  building habits of mind that allow me to shed stuff so that I can live  free of distraction.

In 2020, I will spend more time with loved ones.  I’ll play with my kids, throw the ball for my granddog, read with first graders, and enjoy time with my parents and inlays.IMG_4886.JPG

During our time together today, we crunched numbers from the past year and set goals for the upcoming year.  I’m certain that exciting things will happen in 2020!  By December, I plan to be 100 pounds smaller than I am today.

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