Category Archives: 55 Things

55 Things Follow Up and What’s Next

Now that I have completed my 55 things series for 2020 I thought I would do a follow up post.

Why 55 Things?

Last January, when I first announced the 55 things series, my premise was that since I was celebrating my 55th birthday I would, over the course of the year, publish 55 addition posts. The truth is that there was something else that brought about my decision to create this series. I just wasn’t ready to blog about it at the time. It wasn’t until April that I finally published this post where I wrote about the issue that prompted me to write more – Parkinson’s disease.

After receiving the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in December of 2018 I began paying closer attention to things I was experiencing physically – beyond the tremors. I identified several things that are likely related to, or as a result of, Parkinson’s disease. The most disturbing of these was that I was often stumbling over my words when I was speaking. If someone asked me a question, even though the answer was clear in my mind, it took a moment and some effort to translate it into spoken words. Sometimes this would also happen mid sentence, the words would get trapped, and I would struggle to complete my thought. Losing my ability to communicate is a very frightening thought. I also noticed that the same was happening with my writing. The thoughts or words are clear in my mind but they seem to get trapped and it takes a lot of effort to turn them into printed words.

I am extremely happy and grateful that my speaking seems to have gotten better, but I still find myself struggling with writing. It takes me much longer to compose a piece than it use to. I have always enjoyed writing and view it as valuable form of communication. I don’t want to lose my ability to write, so last December I decided that I must use it or lose it. I needed to write more and since my blog is where I do most of my writing nowadays making a commitment to blog more was the best way to accomplish this. Thus my 55 Things series was born.

The Outcome

After completing all all 55 additional posts I did a bit of an evaluation to see how I may have benefitted from it. Here is what I discovered:

A. First of all a small confession: As I looked back through all 55 posts I discovered that I somehow skipped # 43 (oops!), but as I continued to scroll through I discovered that I had two posts for # 8 (phew!) so there are still 55 posts in this series. I just can’t count. LOL!

B. I am still struggling with writing. This condition hasn’t gotten any better but I don’t think it has gotten any worse. If I can maintain I am good with that. 🙂

C. This commitment kept me motivated to write in times when the worries of the world threatened to keep me from blogging.

D. Statistically my blog has done well. In 2020 I published more posts, had more views, more comments, and more likes than any other year.

Over all I am quite happy with the results. I am most grateful for those of you who take the time to read and especially those who have encouraged me through your comments on my posts, or telling me in person that you enjoy reading. I truly appreciate your support.

What Now?

55 Things is certainly done, but with so many positive outcomes I don’t want to just stop. I need another challenge or commitment to keep me on track for this year. It is true that I will turn 56 tomorrow but “56 Things” is just not doing it for me. After thinking long and hard about it I have decided to do a Word of the Week series. Words, after all, are what writing is all about. Like last year these will likely be short posts. I will select a word, give the definition and share a thought or two about the word. Again the goal will be to keep me writing and you reading.

Thank you so much for being with me through 2020 and please continue to visit as we all strive to make the best out of this next year.

55 Things # 55 – The Finale

Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.

They say that hindsight is 20/20 meaning that looking back at something gives us a clear picture or understanding of the situation. This expression is usually used to indicate that we could have handled things better. Oh, if we had only known. Rarely in life do we get do-overs so the best we can do in these situations is learn from it and hope to do better in the future.

Now that 2020 is hindsight I would like to know if there are things you would have done differently had you known what 2020 would bring. Are there lessons that you have learned or changes that you have made or plan to make?

Personally the biggest change I have made is to protect my mental health. It was after only a few weeks of being barraged with pandemic news that I began feeling overwhelmed. Stress and anxiety were creeping in. I realized that I needed to address this. Here are some of the things that helped me remain sane in this seemingly insane world.

Limiting the amount of news I listen to/read.

Gratitude

Laughter

Prayer and Scripture

Kindness toward others

Keeping life as normal as possible

Living in the moment

Most of these are things I already practiced but I found them to be the most valuable weapons to defend against the covid blues.

While we have heard repeatedly this year that “we are all in this together” reality is that it’s different for each of us. That’s why I believe that there is value in sharing any lessons that 2020 may have taught you. We’re looking forward to learning from you.

Wishing you all the best in 2021. 🙂

55 Things #54 – It’s Been One Year

Click here to learn more about my “55 Things” and here to view previous posts in this series.

🎈 Today we are celebrating.🎈

It’s been one year since Ranger joined our family.

Looking at this picture I was tempted to write a Dr. Seuss-type blog

about a dog near a log

being snug on a rug

or a pup with a cup

using a straw with his paw.

Do you think this is even legal for a beagle to drink? (Wink wink.)

But these words are absurd.

They’re quite over-the-top

so I will just stop.

I’ll just ask for a round of cheers

and toast to many more years.

Hear! Hear!