Winter Solstice 2014

Happy Yule!

A lot has happened on the Living Daringly front since the summer solstice. But something that is the same is that there is a feeling gratitude raging inside me.

In this blog, I don’t like to just talk about the positives in my life. I think it’s incredibly important to share all of our stories. So, while this is a post of gratitude, I want everyone to know I’ve had ups and downs the past six months.

  • My primary ‘down’ had to do with an intense situation at work that persisted for months (more about that here and here). This situation affected me emotionally, mentally, and perhaps physically. But I got through that situation, and it’s behind me now. I learned a lot from all that happened with that, if nothing else.
  • Another ‘down’ was being homeless for almost a week, because of electrical problems in my apartment complex (more here, here, here, and here). I’m so grateful my former room mate was able to take me in those days. The uncertainty of that coupled with the work situation, being sick, and getting everything else done was very taxing. Staying with a friend made the whole situation feel a little less stressful.

With those ‘downs,’ there have been so many more ‘ups’!

  • I’m still dancing tango, though somewhat sporadically, and I’m having fun while enjoying the challenge (here and here).
  • I’ve made progress on my manuscript, though it’s gone slower than I’d like. Winter break has sped me up again!
  • I’m still running. I ran the Gopher Weedon Trail Run 8k (really a 10+k) for the 2nd year, and the 10k Tampa Bay Turkey Trot for 3rd year.
  • I took a number of education-related workshops that have been inspiring to me in multiple ways.
  • I participated in Becoming an Outdoors Woman, which was a fantastic experience.
  • I took up archery, which has helped me cope with many of the stresses associated with my ‘downs.’
  • I went to France for 9 days. C’était un voyage fantastique!
  • I’ve experienced great music (here and here).
  • I had a nice Thanksgiving with friends, my mom, and my uncle (here).
  • I put up my Yule decorations, and I even made a tree that fits my small space (here).
  • This one isn’t mine, but my friend, Mary, safely completed her kayak circumnavigation of Florida. Amazing!
  • I was offered my dream job when I wasn’t even looking for a job (here)!

I’ve posted and written about my cycles of life painting before (here, here, and here). It was the first original painting I ever did, and it hangs on my wall in plain site.

Last year, I mentioned feeling like I hit a plateau in these cycles. After a few years of feeling like things were getting better and better, well … Things didn’t feel worse. They just felt a bit stagnate. 

Cycles of Life

Cycles of Life


This year, I don’t feel that way. As mentioned, I’ve had downs during this year. But the overall trend has been up, up, up! I feel more like myself than I have in a long time. I keep challenging myself with school, hobbies, and friends. I’m trying my hardest to live a wholehearted life, even though it is scary and hard.

I feel grateful, and I can’t wait to open up my gratitude jar on New Year’s Eve!


My gratitude jar. It’s much more full now.

I think this living daringly thing is paying off for me!

A few questions for you (Please leave comments!):

  • How have you lived daringly during this past year?
  • How do you want to live daringly next year?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What do you hope to change for next year?

J’aime beaucoup Paris!
July 2014



J’aime beaucoup Brittany aussi!
July 2014





Channeling Athena for Halloween
October 2014




Gopher Weedon Trail run that started as an 8k, but became a 10+k
October 2014



Becoming an Outdoor Woman while shooting shotguns!
November 2014


Mom Me Yule tree

Mom, me, and my flat Yule tree!
November 2014

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