2010 – A Personal Retrospective

By: on 12/30/2010   No Comments

I’ve enjoyed “year in review” features for as long as I can remember, and it always amazes me how much of what happens to us during the year is already forgotten by New Year’s Eve.  Of course, for most of us, each year holds any number of events and occurences that we’d just as soon not recall, but hopefully there’s at least an equal, if not greater, number of things we want to remember and carry forward with us.   For me, this annual reflection is also an opportunity to let go of what no longer serves me, and set my intentions for the new year. 

January/February:  The Washington DC area saw one of the worst winters in over a century, and I shoveled more snow than I ever care to see again.  I’ve never been much of a snow lover, and the older I get, the less I seem to enjoy cold weather and all that comes with it, but this winter just about pushed me over the edge.  On the plus side, I learned that I was stronger than I thought I was, and I discovered muscles that I never realized I had!  And despite the hassles the snow brought, it was beautiful, too.

March:  March brought one of those “dream come true” moments for me when I had a book discussion and signing at my local Barnes and Noble store.  This is my hometown bookstore, and I’ve attended many author events there over the years.  Holding a book signing there was part of the dream of writing and publishing Buckley’s Story, and the feeling of having it come true was indescribable.

April:  On April 6, Amber and I welcomed Allegra into our home, and into our hearts.   Other April highlights included meeting Garth Stein, the author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, at a local Border’s store, and The Conscious Cat’s first Ask the Vet teleseminar.

May:  May started off with a great event at the Reston Pet Fiesta, but quickly turned into what will probably always rank as one of the worst months of my life when Amber got sick, and passed away on May 13.  Even though it’s been almost eight months now, I still can’t quite believe that my beautiful girl is no longer with me.  2010 will always be the year I lost Amber.

June/July:  June and July were difficult months as I tried to cope with my loss.  Summer is my favorite season of the year, but this year, Amber’s death cast a shadow over what is usually a happy time for me.    The fact that there are few highlights to report during those months makes me realize just how much Amber’s loss affected me.

August:  I attended a workshop sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America ‘s MWA University at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD.   The workshop was fun and inspirational, and made me happy and proud to be a writer.

September:  Buckley’s Story was a sponsor of the National Capital Cat Show, and the event was one of the most successful of the year.   If there’s a better way to spend a weekend than in the company of hundreds of cats and thousands of cat lovers, I don’t know what it is.  I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.

October:  Buckley’s Story went to the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest book fair in the world.  As a child growing up in Germany who always had her nose in a book, the fair sounded magical to me.  What could be better than a place where you could find thousands and thousands of books?  So when I was approached with an opportunity to showcase Buckley’s Story at Frankfurt, I didn’t need to think about it for very long.  My only regret was that I couldn’t go with my book!

November:  November brought the biggest highlight of the entire year:  Buckley’s Story won the 2010 Merial Human-Animal Bond Award.  The award was given at the International Cat Writers Association conference in White Plains, NY.   This award is particularly meaningful to me because of its connection to the veterinary profession.

December:  I loved watching Allegra experience a lof of “firsts” in December:  first Christmas tree, first snow, first Christmas.  I enjoyed a number of holiday celebrations with friends, and for me, the year is ending on a quiet, reflective note.

2010 was definitely a mixed year for me.  It was a good year in a lot of ways, but it was also a very difficult year that brought tremendous loss.  However, as I was once again reminded, darkness and light can, and do, co-exist, and real personal growth probably happens when we learn how to embrace both.  As I’m looking forward to 2011, I’m embracing the possibilities a new year brings, and I think it will be a very good year.

Happy New Year!

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